It’s been almost three years since the last North American International Auto Show, more familiarly known as the Detroit Auto Show, after its 2020 and 2021 shows were canceled because of the pandemic. And automakers were already starting to move on from auto shows before all that, anyway, but not the state of Michigan.
And the state of Michigan is in the middle of putting its money where its mouth is, in the form of a one-time $9 million grant to the show’s organizers, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.
“This is just to help them get back, get them up and running again,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, told Crain’s Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News. “It’s really important for the state of Michigan.”
In a statement, [Detroit Auto Dealers Association Executive Director Rod Alberts] said, “we are pleased state leaders have recognized the hardships and difficulties the show has faced over the past couple of years — hardships directly related to COVID.”
“While each previous show has funded the next show — a nearly 3-year void led us to ask for direct support from the state of Michigan,” Alberts said. “This one time, one time, funding will help put the show back on strong financial footing and go toward making a 2022 show the best one yet — showcasing all things Michigan has to offer on the automotive front.”
The grant is part of a much bigger spending bill that appears likely to pass, according to Crain’s, and $9 million is a little under a dollar per Michigan resident, many of whom I’m sure would be happy to help, others maybe not. Crain’s describes the money as a “grant,” meaning that it won’t be paid back, and also says that the money will come from the state’s general fund and isn’t part of unspent stimulus funds.
Be sure to attend the auto show next year if you’re a taxpaying Michigander, I guess, as you’re going to help pay for it.