This year’s North American International Auto Show will kick off with a four-day street festival in downtown Detroit celebrating Italian and British supercars, show organizers say.
Called Motor Bella, the festival will include more than 100 supercars representing 12 brands, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, McLaren and Lotus. They’re expected to be supplied by the automakers themselves, dealers and various car clubs.
In previous years, we’d be spending this week writing about the Detroit Auto Show. But organizers opted to move it to June starting this year to take advantage of warm weather, the Detroit Riverfront setting and the opportunity to stage outdoor reveals and other events as a way to reinvigorate the show, which has suffered from a growing number of defections by automakers. Last year’s show in January was notable for reveals including the highly anticipated 2020 Toyota Supra and all-new Ford Explorer, but it was perhaps most notable for what wasn’t there, as brands such as Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Mazda opted to skip it. It’s a trend affecting all major international auto shows — BMW, Mercedes and Audi have all opted not to take part in this year’s New York Auto Show, as well — as automakers re-evaluate their marketing plans and spending.
NAIAS officials say Ferrari will bring a lineup of its cars for its own event in a pedestrian alley behind the upscale Shinola Hotel that features outdoor seating and several eateries, bars and retailers, which would mark a return of sorts for the prancing horse to Detroit after several years away. Other brands that will be represented at nearby sites are Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati and Mini. Food trucks and street vendors will also feature in the festival.
Motor Bella will take place June 5-8 and is one of seven events surrounding the auto show, which runs from June 13-20 for the public. Among the expected features are at least 20 vehicle reveals, many of them outdoors, along with outdoor ride-and-drives and a rooftop driving course at TCF Center, the convention center formerly known as Cobo.