The Detroit automotive and mobility industry’s crown jewel, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) didn’t let the pandemic hold them back from remaining a platform for industry-related thought leadership as it continued to make plans to return in 2021.

Prior to the show’s cancellation due to COVID-19, NAIAS was looking forward to a reimagined show in June 2020. NAIAS had put plans in motion for indoor and outdoor events that would have consumed most of downtown Detroit in a flurry of automotive and mobility innovation, activations, and hands on experiences.

The 2020 show would have featured eight events over two weeks and included at least 20 vehicle debuts. Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced NAIAS to cancel its show after TCF Center was designated to become a temporary hospital.

To fill the void created by the cancellation of events and auto shows around the world due to the pandemic, NAIAS launched a virtual web series called Q’d Up Mobility—tapping on the show’s industry ties and building upon the heritage as the preeminent global stage for the auto industry.

“Our show has long been a catalyst for industry-shaping news, showcasing leading automakers and mobility innovators and attracting global media. These longstanding relationships provide us with a unique brand that sets the stage for Q’d Up Mobility, which serves as a premier virtual venue for everything auto and mobility,” said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts. “We kicked off the series this fall with several strong speakers and we already lined up a roster of leading industry speakers for next year as we continue to build momentum towards our next show in 2021.”

Q’d Up Mobility provides a platform for the industry’s top executive experts and analysts to discuss their latest insights and share mobility innovations. It gives the entire automobility community the ability to hear from the industry’s best minds.

Launched in September, Q’d Up Mobility features a monthly keynote event as well as multiple shorter briefings. To date, Q’d Up Mobility has featured:

  • ZF Group Martin Fischer, president of the company’s North America operations and member of ZF’s management board, explain what his company is doing to transform from a supplier of transmissions for traditional, internal combustion engines into a global supplier of technology for electric and autonomous vehicles. Watch
  • A deep dive with the Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council on designing in-car experiences for smart mobility featuring HARMAN International, Ford Motor Company, Amazon Web Services, and HERE Technologies. Watch
  • An understanding of how technologies enable autonomous vehicles and other advanced driver-assistance systems with Metawave Corporation and Velodyne Lidar. Watch
  • A look into how Michigan Department of Transportation is working on connected and automated vehicle infrastructure and the future of mobility on Michigan roads. Watch
  • An exploration into how the industry is driving toward a software-defined vehicle and enabling advanced safety and performance features with Nexteer Automotive. Watch
  • A look into a corporate sustainability strategy that helped Michelin navigate through the unexpected challenges brought on by the pandemic. Watch

For more information on upcoming Q’d Up Mobility events and to watch more past events, visit www.NAIAS.com/Qd-Up.

Behind the scenes, NAIAS organizers are continuing to develop plans for an indoor/outdoor auto show that will differentiate itself from other major North American shows with an emphasis on immersive brand activations and product engagement for both the international media and the public.

“Visitors will be able to enjoy a walkable, vibrant Motor City while embracing the future of the industry, new technology and experiential activities right before their eyes – all during seasonable September and early October temperatures,” Alberts said.

Not only is late summer a beautiful time of year, this strategic move allowed NAIAS to fulfill a need of the world’s largest automakers: a show in the latter half of the year to capture late-year reveals that consumers will want to see.

“By moving NAIAS to September, it relieves pressure on the OEMs who are facing the possibility of a crowded schedule of shows in the spring and also places an international show early in the fall for OEM and supplier product and technology debuts,” Alberts said. “We know that it’s important for the public to see the latest cars and trucks that are on their way to dealer showrooms.”

For more information on the 2021 NAIAS and to stay up-to-date on all the show’s announcements, visit www.NAIAS.com.