2014 Detroit Auto Show Still a Go, Despite Unsettling Bankruptcy, Organizers say


  • 2013 Detroit Auto Show Picture

    2013 Detroit Auto Show Picture

    The 2014 Detroit Auto Show is still on, despite the bankruptcy filing by the city of Detroit. | July 19, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Organizers of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show say the event is still slated for the city in January, despite Thursday's Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing by Detroit.
  • "While yesterday's announcement of Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings for the city of Detroit is unsettling, we — along with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — see it as a first step in the recovery process," said a spokesman for the Detroit Auto Dealers Association.
  • Organizers say the bankruptcy proceedings will have "no impact on the development, planning and operation" of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

DETROIT — Organizers of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show say the event is still slated for the city in January, despite Thursday's Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing by Detroit.

"While yesterday's announcement of Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings for the City of Detroit is unsettling, we — along with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — see it as a first step in the recovery process," wrote Joe Rohatynski, a spokesman for the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, following a query on Friday from Edmunds.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association oversees the show.

Rohatynski said the show "will continue to be at home in the city of Detroit."

The show is held at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. Rohatynski noted that since Cobo is "operated by an independent, regional authority, the bankruptcy proceedings will have no impact on the development, planning and operation" of the 2014 show.

Larry Alexander, the chair of the Detroit Regional Convention and Facility Authority, which runs Cobo Center, did not respond immediately to a request for a comment on plans for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

"We will continue, as planned to work side-by-side with international auto manufacturers, which continue to rely on Detroit's stage to make their worldwide product introductions," Rohatynski added. "We look forward to playing a positive role in bringing the city back to good health."

But what is unknown at this point is the impact of the bankruptcy proceeding on transportation and other city services during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Nor is it known what kind of impact the stigma of a bankruptcy may have on the event.

Many showgoers use the Detroit People Mover, an automated light rail system that operates in Detroit's central business district. The Detroit Transportation Corp., City of Detroit, is the owner and operator of the Detroit People Mover.

There has been speculation in the city that the People Mover could be dismantled or sold, along with other Detroit assets, including items from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Kevyn Orr, Detroit's emergency manager, assured Detroit residents on Thursday that nothing will change for them following the bankruptcy filing.

"It is business in the ordinary course," he said in a press conference.

Edmunds says: The show must go on, but questions still remain about the long-term impact of Detroit's bankruptcy on one of the most important auto shows in the U.S.

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