bill ford skv3584 Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center

Bill Ford with the 2011 Ford Fiesta at NAIAS. Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

NAIAS 2012
Public Show Open: Sat., Jan. 14 – Sat, January 21

Expected to be bigger and better than years past, the 2012 North American International Auto show (NAIAS) has an estimated economic impact of $400 million on the Detroit area. According to a report by WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert, ninety per cent of the exhibitors will increase their display budget this year.

Entering its 24th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world. Get up close and personal with the world’s autos. From exotic cars like Tesla’s electric-drive sportscar, to the latest in mainstream models, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

charity 3 Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo CenterSchedule

Press Preview: Jan. 9-10

Industry preview
Wed., Jan. 11 from noon to 9 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 12 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Charity preview
Fri., Jan. 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Public show
Sat., Jan. 14 – Sat, January 21 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sun., Jan, 22 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

dscn1145 Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center

(credit: Keith Whitten)


The debut of many never-before-seen cars and trucks.

The return of 2011’s popular “EcoXperience” featuring electric-drive and hybrid vehicles that you can drive and or ride in. It’s part of the “Smarter Living in Michigan” display presented by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and DTE Energy featuring Michigan companies who are involved in green initiatives.

A new mobile site designed to work with a variety of smartphones. Get information to make your experience at the Auto Show that much more productive. Point your mobile browser to Use it on the show floor to get relevante news updates, view the press conference schedule or find an exhibitor on the virtual show floor.

Cobo Quick Facts

  • $299 million upgrade underway
  • 722,500 sq ft of exhibit space
  • One of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America
  • 19th largest convention center in the
  • 80 meeting rooms
  • 180,000 square feet of meeting space
107984125 10 Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Know Before You Go

Don’t forget your ID it will be required to pick-up tickets.

Hours and Early Admission – Don’t get left out! The main floor is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be no admittance after 9 p.m. The final day closes early at 7 p.m. with no admittance after 6. Early access for handicapped individuals at 8 a.m at the Oakland entrance.

cobomap Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center


Getting There

Cobo Center – Map One Washington Boulevard Detroit, MI 48226 From Detroit Metropolitan Airport

  • Take I-94 eastbound to the Lodge Freeway (M-10) south
  • Take the Lodge south to the Larned Street exit
  • Go east on Larned to Cobo Center

From I-75 (north of Detroit)

  • Take I-75 southbound to I-375, to westbound Jefferson Avenue
  • Follow Jefferson to Cobo Center 

From I-75 (south of Detroit)

  • Take I-75 northbound to Exit 49 toward M-10/Southfield/Downtown/Civic-Cobo Center
  • Take the exit on the left toward M-10/Lodge Freeway/Civic Center
  • Take the M-10 S exit toward Civic Center/Cobo Center
  • Merge onto MI-10 southbound/John C Lodge Freeway
  • Take the Larned Street exit, Exit 1B, on the left toward Cobo Center
  • Stay straight to go onto West Larned Street
  • Turn right onto Washington Boulevard – Cobo Center will be on the right
107984204 10 Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


1. Joe Louis Arena 900 West Jefferson Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Tip! Cobo is the first stop from Joe Louis parking to Cobo, but you have to go all the way around to go from Cobo to Joe Louis. Plan for some extra time getting back to your car.

2. Cobo Roof Deck 625 West Congress Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

3. Millennium Garage 432 West Congress Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Detroit People Mover – A convenient method of rail transportation in the downtown Detroit area, Detroit People Mover stops are usually a short walk from most parking lots and Cobo Center/NAIAS 2011 is one of the stops on its route. The cost is 50 cents per person.

eatsvilleusa Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center

(credit: Cobo Center)

Food And Drink

Healthy Alternatives – New for 2012, organizers are offering more family friendly and healthy options for show attendees. Learn more

Eatsville USA – This new eatery features some of Detroit’s strongest brands. Read more in the full story.

International Cafe (10 p.m. – 8 p.m. daily) – Down the escalator at the south end of the main concourse you’ll find a food court next to the ride and drive EcoXperience track. Options include dishes from Andiamo’s and Detroit Beer provided by The Vu Restaurant plus a sandwith and pizza stand, a snack store and a Baskin Robbins stand.

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out some of the Best Of Detroit. Get a coney at American Coney Island or a chicken shawarma at Bucharest Grill. They’re only a few blocks away.

small12 Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center


What To Bring

Comfortable shoes – Unless you have a segway don’t wear your brand new dress shoes. The show floor is huge and your feet will remind you at the end of the day.

Video and still cameras – Capturing the beauty of these cars will be something you can take home with you and it won’t cost a dime past your admission fee. Plus, starting Tuesday, show your auto show ticket and camera and you’ll get in an hour early to snap your photos for the contest sponsored by yours truly WWJ Newsradio 950. Check out the 2010 winners! Learn more about this year’s contest.

Cash – Bring a couple small bills in cash to get a people mover ticket or to in small bills for the people mover and a cab ride to a local restaurant.

xj4o4683 Guide To The North American International Auto Show At Cobo Center



Industry preview – $95
Children under 12 will not be admitted during the industry preview.

Charity preview – $250

Public show – $12
Group tickets – $8 (30 or more)
Seniors – $6 (65 and older)
Children – $6 (7-12 years old)
Children 6 and under – admitted free with supervision

Buy tickets at Cobo or online.

Ticketing Office Address
1900 West Big Beaver Road Suite 100
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 283-5173

Get more Detroit Auto Show coverage from the floor of Cobo Hall with WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert.

Follow @NAIAS on Twitter.

Information courtesy of the North American International Auto Show. For more visit the official site.

Comments (7)
  1. concerned1 says:

    Days left until the most overhyped, overpriced event in the Detroit area is over…..6 days abnd counting. Hey, all american displaced worker and retired GM workers especially, think back anbd remember what GM and the rest of the big 3 did to you. Now they want you to buy their overpriced vehicles……stand up and let your voice be heard…….nboy cott the big 3

    1. unconcerned says:

      It’s about the same price for a family of 4 to go to the Auto Show (an all day event where you get exercise and enjoy family conversations) vs. a Movie (only 2 hours of “entertainment” where you have to keep quiet and can’t interact with the family). Hardly over priced.

  2. Jeff Erdman says:

    You should mention that the show is not open to the public until Jan 14th. If I didn’t know better (or I was a visitor to the city) I wouls think I could go there today.

  3. JE says:

    Thanks for adding the public show hours

  4. Stephen says:

    So what, you wish the big 3 to go under and the asian companies to take over because of an economically hard time? This auto show is about the cheapest entertainment out there, and the best.

  5. Thank you so much WWJ 950 for this guide. I found the NAIAS website sorely lacking in pertinent information needed to attend an event, especially in regards to cameras, video cameras, etc.

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