An auto show was held in Detroit in 1907 at Beller's Beer Garden at Riverside Park and since then annually except 1941-1953. During the shows first decades of existence it portrayed only a regional focus. In 1957 international carmakers exhibited for the first time.
In 1987 the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) proposed it become international. The members of the DADA went to places such as Europe and Japan in the attempt to convince those unveiling their new brands/vehicles in those countries to bring those unveilings to the North American Auto show. That attempt proved to be successful, the North American Auto show was then renamed the North American International Auto Show in 1989. The North American International Auto Show has been hosted in Detroit, Michigan for over a Century. Since 1965 the show has been held at Cobo Center where it occupies nearly 1 million square feet (93,000 m²) of floor space. The show is particularly important because the Metro Detroit area is the location of the headquarters of the Big Three American automakers, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. Prior to being held at the Cobo Center, the show was held at other well known places in the Metro Detroit area. Some of those places include the Light Guard Armory, Wayne Gardens pavilion, and Michigan State Fairgrounds.
The show begins with press preview days, industry preview days and a charity preview event. The charity preview raises money for local children's charities. In 2004 and 2005, the charity preview attracted 17,500 people at $400 a ticket and raised $7 million in total. 2006 was the sixth consecutive year the charity preview event raised over $6 million. 35,711 tickets were sold for the industry preview representing people from 24 countries in 2005 and 6,897 credentialed press from 63 countries. Over 800,000 attended during the days the show was open to the general public in 2004. It is estimated that the show generates a revenue of over $500 million to the local economy.
The NAIAS is the one of only a few auto shows in the United States sanctioned by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles.
NAIAS 2005 overlooking the Volkswagen exhibit
The Chevrolet Bolt, Honda Ridgeline, and Chrysler Pacifica were selected to receive the show's North American Car, Truck, and Utility of the Year awards, respectively. This was the first year Truck (pickup trucks and commercial vans) and Utility (SUVs, crossovers, and minivans) were awarded separately. 
The 2016 show ran from January 11 to January 24.
The 2015 show ran from January 12 to January 25.
The Ford GT won the EyesOn Design "Best Designed Production Vehicle" award at the Detroit show while the Buick Avenir was selected as both "Best Concept Vehicle" and "Best Use of Color, Graphics, and Materials" and the Audi Q7 received Best Designed Interior,
The 2014 show ran from January 13 to January 26.
The 2015 Ford Mustang won the EyesOn Design "Best Production Vehicle" award at the Detroit show while the Volvo Concept XC Coupé took awards for both "Best Concept Vehicle" and "Best Use of Color, Graphics, and Materials".
The 2013 show ran from January 14 to January 27.
The 2012 show ran from January 9 to January 22.
Bryan Herta was presented with the Baby Borg trophy for the 2011 Indianapolis 500 during the show, which coincided with the promotion of the return of the IZOD IndyCar Series to Detroit later in June. A replica Baby Borg was also presented to Suzie Wheldon, the widow of the winning driver of the race.
The 2011 show ran from January 10 to January 23.
Porsche returned to the show for the first time since 2007. A new "Smarter Living in Michigan" section showcased alternative energy technologies outside of the automotive sector, in addition to an electric vehicle track condensed from its 2010 size.
The 2010 show ran from January 11 to January 24.
A new "Electric Avenue" section showcased electric vehicles from around the world, including some entrants for the Automotive X-Prize. Saab, Hummer, Infiniti, Suzuki, and Porsche did not attend the 2010 show. Nissan and Mitsubishi did not have regular floor space, but the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i MiEV appeared in the Electric Avenue section. A small electrical fire at the Audi exhibit caused an evacuation on January 21. Nobody was hurt.
The 2009 show ran from January 11 to January 25.
Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover, Ferrari, and Porsche did not attend the 2009 auto show, the largest number of non-returning automakers in the show's history. As a result, the show became the first with Chinese automakers (BYD and Brilliance) exhibited on the main floor.
GM also announced the production of the Chevrolet Spark mini-car (previously shown as the Chevrolet Beat concept), for sale in Europe in 2010 and North America in 2011, as well as the Chevrolet Orlando compact MPV, for sale in North America in 2011. The Spark will be shown at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.
The Audi Sportback and the Cadillac Converj (ELR) won the EyesOn Design "Excellence in Design Award" for concept vehicles debuted at the Detroit. The Audi R8 V10 and the BMW Z4 received the Design Excellence award for production vehicles.
The 2008 show ran from January 13 to January 27.
The Cadillac CTS concept and the Chrysler ecoVoyager won the EyesOn Design awards for concept car and truck. The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V and the BMW X6 received the Design Excellence awards for best production car and truck.
The 2007 show was held from January 7 to January 21.
The EyesOn Design Awards for Design Excellence winners were the 2007 Chrysler Nassau concept for "Aesthetics & Innovation", the Kia Kue concept for "Functionality", the 2008 Cadillac CTS (second generation) production model for "Concept Implementation", and the Jeep Trailhawk concept for "Spirit of Industrial Design".
The 2006 show was held from January 8 to January 22.
The EyesOn Design Awards for Design Excellence winners were the Mazda Kabura concept for "Aesthetics & Innovation", the Ferrari FXX prototype for "Functionality", and the Chevrolet Camaro (fifth generation) model for "Concept Implementation".
The following cars are shown:
This edition featured 52 new vehicles, including 39 worldwide introductions.
The Detroit Auto Show was renamed the North American International Auto Show for 1989, as Lexus and Infiniti debuted. The show opened on January 11, with press previews and introductions for the first two days.
The 1987 show ran from January 10 to January 18.
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