Since 1964, the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit has served as host for the North American International Auto Show. Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, marks the start of the latest edition, as the show kicks off for the international press. Aside from the many anticipated vehicle unveilings, the most noticeable thing on Monday will be the renovations made to the venue itself, which are part of a $299 million dollar renovation plan set to conclude in time for the 2015 NAIAS.
Opened in 1960 and named after former Detroit Mayor Albert E. Cobo, the Cobo Center is undergoing this latest renovation as the second facelift it has received. Back in 1989, the $225 million dollars worth of renovations it received nearly doubled the size of the center to its current 2.4 million square feet.
More Cobo Center Fun Facts:
Every sitting U.S. president since 1960 has addressed a convention or attended an event there. However, President Barack Obama had visited the Cobo Center prior to becoming president, but has not yet done so since taking office.
The formerly attached Cobo Arena served as the home of the Detroit Pistons from 1961-1978 and hosted concerts for world-renowned artists, including The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Detroit-loving Kiss.
Out of the estimated 5,000 hotel rooms in downtown Detroit, 4,000 of them are located within walking distance of the center.
The center is located where French adventurer Antoine de Laumet Lamothe Cadillac founded the first significant European post in July 1701 west of the Allegheny Mountains and named it Detroit, claiming the area for his country in the name of King Louis XIV.
On the technology front, the 2013 NAIAS stepped up its game with a smartphone app that includes a slew of useful features for press and everyday visitors, alike. The app’s main newsfeed features a live feed of news updates, pictures and tweets. There’s also a dedicated video tab with live coverage of the press conferences. However, the info tab may be the most impressive — and useful — on the app, which was developed by WaPo Labs in cooperation with PNS Digital. It includes show dates and times, a list of scheduled events, a virtual show floor, a Cobo Center guide, parking and shuttle information and a bit of show history. It even includes a Detroit weather forecast, featuring a live radar, and a Detroit city guide.
Below is the 2013 NAIAS exhibitor press conference schedule for Monday, Jan. 13, and Tuesday, Jan. 14, including when auto manufacturers will unveil new or updated models, will talk about the models in their current lineup and will discuss the company’s future plans — including potential vehicle releases.
|Monday, January 14, 2013||Tuesday, January 15, 2013|