A message from Rod Alberts, Executive Director, North American International Auto Show
The Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy has been anticipated for some time and will have no impact on the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The bankruptcy filing was a good decision, given the state of affairs of the city over the past decade, and will give Detroit an opportunity to move forward by relieving the city of a legacy of liabilities – giving it a fresh start. That was the sole purpose. The direction by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was the right one, and will help Detroit turn the corner. Although surprising to many, it was a bold and positive move.
Cobo Center is independent of the city and is managed and operated by a regional authority, so no funding from the city is needed for Cobo. The NAIAS is also an independent organization and will not be impacted in our operation or funding, although we do work with all the city municipalities in the region, including the City of Detroit, and will continue to do so.
An interesting aspect of this, too, is the fact that we are soon to complete the third and final stage of the $300 million renovation of Cobo this coming year. Again, this is because Cobo Center is managed by a regional authority and is funded accordingly with regional and state funds.
The city bankruptcy will have no effect on the show’s ability to provide the venue that the world automakers have come to expect, and the event that each year brings more than $350 million in economic impact to the Southeastern Michigan region.
We will continue, as planned, to work side-by-side with international auto manufacturers, which continue to rely on Detroit’s stage to make their worldwide product introductions.