NeighborHUB Featured in Daily Detroit Podcast

Devon O’Reilly, director of entrepreneurship for the Detroit Regional Chamber, discussed NeighborHUB and the fourth-year launch of funding neighborhood-focused projects, with Jer Staes, host of the Daily Detroit podcast.

Applications for training grants through Going PRO Talent Fund accepted starting September 30

Training grants to upskill Michigan employees open to businesses focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Michigan employers looking to take advantage of the Going PRO Talent Fund program will be able to apply for a share of at least $40 million in competitive training funds available to Michigan businesses today, Sept. 30. The Going PRO Talent Fund helps individuals secure employment, industry-recognized credentials and strong wages by providing training grants to Michigan businesses to support employees in high-demand, skilled trades industries.

Going PRO Talent Fund provides grants to assist in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees. New this year is a priority on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion focused on providing grants for minority-owned, women-owned, Veteran-owned, Individual With A Disability (IWD) owned or a Geographically-Disadvantaged Business.

“It is our mission to expand economic opportunity and prosperity for all,” said Susan Corbin, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity director. “Focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion ensures these underrepresented populations stay competitive and are afforded opportunities to succeed. A more diverse workforce brings fresh ideas to businesses, leading to a stronger Michigan economy.”

Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and industry recognized.

“Since the program’s launch, Going PRO Talent Fund has provided training for more than 121,000 Michigan workers, supporting the needs of over 40,000 business, upskilling the workforce and contributing to the increase in post-secondary credentials supporting the Governor’s Sixty by 30 educational attainment goal,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training.

Going PRO Talent Fund grants are awarded to employers through the Michigan Works! network (MWAs). Participating employers play an integral role in defining their key training needs, then work with the local MWAs and other partners to develop an appropriate, realistic training plan.

“The Going PRO Talent Fund is essential to helping Michigan businesses meet the growing demand for skilled workers and provides individuals with industry-recognized credentials that lead to higher wages,” said Michigan Works! Association CEO Ryan Hundt. “Employers increasingly seek out Michigan Works! services and see the workforce system as a partner to better support their business goals and the goals of their employees.”

Among other responsibilities, employers are expected to provide financial or in-kind contributions in support of the training project, as well as use Pure Michigan Talent Connect ( and MWAs to recruit for job openings.

Businesses interested in learning more or applying for funding should contact their local Michigan Works! Service Center. Contact information can be found at

The application period ends Oct. 28, and selected applicants will be announced in December 2021.

To learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund, visit

The Governor’s Sixty by 30 program aims to help 60% of working-age Michiganders achieve a certificate or postsecondary degree by 2030. Find out more at

Gov. Whitmer Signs FY 2022 Budget with Significant Chamber and MICHauto Priorities

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2022 budget on Wednesday, Sept. 29, calling it an example of what can happen when officeholders seek “common ground.”

When combined with the K-12 school aid budget signed earlier this year, the total budget is $70 billion. The funding plan, which takes effect on Oct. 1, provides strong investments for the state’s economy. The plan will lower the cost of childcare for Michigan’s working families, invest in education and skills for Michigan’s workforce, protect access to affordable healthcare, and prioritize a significant investment in a holistic infrastructure package.

During a press conference at Lansing Community College, the Democratic governor said the budget approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature brings investments in “kitchen table issues.”

“This budget really is a testament of what we’re capable of when we put the needs of the people of our state first and foremost,” Whitmer said. “This budget shows that divided government doesn’t have to be dysfunctional government.”

The current year’s initial spending plan was $62.8 billion when Whitmer signed it into law last year. This year’s budget was based on increased federal COVID-19 relief funds and better-than-expected state tax revenues to expand investments in childcare programs, target millions of dollars for road and environmental infrastructure projects and boost the rainy day fund.

Investing in Chamber and MICHauto Talent Priorities

The budget fully funds Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners, providing direct support to help people get higher education or skills training as the state moves towards Sixty by 30 goal of having 60% of working-age adults earn a postsecondary education or skills training by 2030. This goal was first developed by the Chamber before being adopted by the state in 2019.

The investments in today’s budget will help the 167,000 Michiganders who have signed up for Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners pursue their potential and provide employers with the talent they need to succeed. The funding for Reconnect will provide a tuition-free path to an in-demand industry certificate or associate degree for Michigan adults aged 25 and older, Futures for Frontliners will pay for frontline workers to attend local community college tuition-free, and there is also additional funding for the Going Pro program, which backs employer-based training grants to help workers earn industry-recognized credentials and certificates.

“Solidifying Michigan’s role as the global mobility leader has to be a priority for our state, and that requires an investment in innovation and talent,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., Executive Director of MICHauto and Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “MICHauto applauds the important commitment that the Going PRO Talent Fund makes to the people of Michigan and the long-term competitiveness of our state’s signature automotive industry.”


Efforts to Expand the Labor Force

The budget expands low or no-cost childcare to 105,000 kids. During the pandemic Chamber, polling and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that thousands of Michigan women and men left the labor force to take care of children and older relatives. In the Chamber’s May Michigan Priorities Poll, 8.6% of respondents cited the need for child care as the most significant barrier to finding employment. The Chamber believes this will help entice people back to the labor force by expanding affordable child care.


The budget invests $196 million to repair or replace nearly 100 crumbling bridges in serious and critical condition and create 2,500 jobs. It also helps local governments prepare for climate change and extreme weather and fixes dams to mitigate flooding and other hazards. The Chamber and MICHauto continue to advocate for long-term, strategic investments in our state’s infrastructure to help spur long-term economic growth and development.

Plunkett Cooney attorneys among 2022 list of ‘Ones to Watch’

Ten Plunkett Cooney attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch 2022 edition.

The “Ones to Watch” awards are recognitions given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States. The award recipients typically have been in practice for five to nine years, focusing on one or more of the 77 areas of expertise that were recognized.

The methodology for determining these awards remains the same as it did when Best Lawyers was founded almost 40 years ago: a peer-review survey in which lawyers within their own geographic region nominate their peers. These lawyers are not allowed to select nominees from the same area(s) in which they practice, and it is not a fee-based listing.

Below is the list of Plunkett Cooney attorneys who have received the 2022 Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” recognition:

Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills, Michigan Best Lawyers Ones to Watch:

*Ryan M. Bates (Partner – Bloomfield Hills) – Insurance Law
*Stephanie M. Brochert (Associate – Bloomfield Hills) – Insurance Law
*Rochelle L. Clarke (Associate – Bloomfield Hills) – Education Law, Municipal Law
*Michael C. Dennis (Associate – Bloomfield Hills) – Insurance Law, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
*Justin J. Hakala (Senior Attorney – Bloomfield Hills) – Defendants: Medical Malpractice Law, Product Liability Litigation
*Michael D. Hanchett (Associate – Bloomfield Hills) – Municipal Law
*Katherine M. Nighswander (Associate – Bloomfield Hills) – Insurance Law

Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit, Michigan Best Lawyers Ones to Watch:

*Emily M. Coyle (Partner – Detroit) – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law / Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
*Michael A. Osman* (Associate – Detroit) – Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

Plunkett Cooney’s Grand Rapids, Michigan Best Lawyers Ones to Watch:

*Michele Dunsky Adams (Associate – Grand Rapids) – Insurance Law

Ones to Watch-awarded lawyers can be recognized for multiple years, but he or she cannot indefinitely remain recognized on the list. After a candidate has been in practice for 10+ years, he or she is eligible to be nominated for the traditional Best Lawyers designation.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s 2022 “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch,” contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;

– End –

Paul W. Smith: Celebrating success on Mackinac Island, Motor Bella

The Detroit News
Sept. 26, 2021
Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’”

Congratulations to Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber and his great team, for what appeared to be an action-packed and successful 2021 policy conference at the (still) beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Great timing to (coincidently) have a “medicine man” at the helm as chair during this pandemic, as Wright Lassiter III of Henry Ford Heath Systems helped everyone to (hopefully) stay safe.

My last happy duty was to welcome everyone to the annual WJR Radio Golden Ticket event at the Yankee Rebel Tavern, to salute the men and women of the National Electrical Contractors Association and their partners at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58.

Congratulations to Jennifer Mefford for organizing and celebrating these very important and hard-working men and women in the midst of rebuilding this great pandemic-hobbled country of ours.

From the island to the M1 Concourse in Pontiac: “I have seen the future, and it is now!”

I salute the executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Rod Alberts, for seeing the need for massive change in the auto show world (to save it) and making the first moves. It is risky, but undeniably critical for the very survival of this industry within an industry. “Motor Bella” was born.

The good news is the vision of the North American International Auto Show expanded brilliantly to a very much needed experiential outdoors event. Unfortunately, that also was the bad news. Mother Nature had her own agenda as the rain was relentless at the start.

That aside, more than 400 cars, trucks and utility vehicles were displayed over 87 acres of the M1 Concourse. One big question, can all this be duplicated in Detroit?

There is no quick or easy answer.

View the original article.

Rehmann Named to List of Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in Metro Detroit

TROY, MI., Sept. 24, 2021 – Rehmann, a fully integrated financial services and advisory firm, has been named to the 2021 list of Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®. This marks the company’s 19th consecutive year being recognized.

“Metro Detroit has been home to many of our associates and clients for decades, and it is an honor to again be recognized on this list, along with so many other great businesses in our community,” said Scott Bonacorsi, Chief Human Resource Officer. “Rehmann prides itself on creating a culture our associates can take pride in – one in which they feel welcome, safe and valued. Our dedication to those principles continues to be a driving force behind our collective success.”

To determine the list, an independent research firm evaluates each company’s entry based on key measures in various categories. They include Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance and the Best of the Best Small Business, Medium Business and Large Business.

“The Best and Brightest is a powerful community of elite leaders who share ideas and practices, and who have proven they are employers of choice. Best and Brightest winning companies have also been a voice for important actions in creating a sustainable culture that works, ensuring that the wellbeing of their employees comes first,” said Jennifer Kluge, President and CEO, Best and Brightest Programs.


About Rehmann
Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services and business advisory firm that provides accounting and assurance, business solutions and outsourcing, specialized consulting, and wealth management services. For 80 years, Rehmann has provided forward-thinking solutions to our clients. With nearly 900 associates in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida, we are the momentum behind what’s possible. We focus on the business of business – allowing companies and individuals to focus on what makes them extraordinary. We help you look to the future with confidence, thanks to our unrivaled expertise and integrity. Through our partnerships with our clients and communities, we drive impact that empowers our world. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Find us online at

About the Best and Brightest Programs
The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® is a program of MichBusiness (formally Michigan Business and Professional Association) that provides the business community with the opportunity to gain recognition, showcase their best practices and demonstrate why they are an ideal place for employees to work. This national program celebrates those companies that are making better business, creating richer lives and building a stronger community as a whole. It is presented annually in several markets including Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New York, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, West Michigan and Nationally. Nominations are now being accepted for 2022. Visit to obtain an application.

JS Clark Agency is Now AssuredPartners of Michigan

JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, a leading benefit broker in Southeast Michigan is proud to reveal a rebranding that reflects the strong partnership with its parent company AssuredPartners. JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company is now AssuredPartners of Michigan.

While this change means the agency has national resources available, it still operates locally offering the personal touch that organizations have come to expect. JS Clark Agency joined AssuredPartners in November 2018.

”We’re excited to continue providing the best-in-class service and products as it relates to employee benefits, while also offering additional resources like business insurance, personal lines coverage, government contracting models, all with specialized knowledge and boutique service operations, said Amy Hall, Agency President of AssuredPartners of Michigan.

The rebrand includes a redesign of the agency’s website, logo, visuals, and informational materials as well as the agency’s popular bi-annual seminars and periodic webinars.

AssuredPartners of Michigan (formerly JS Clark Agency) is committed to providing Power through Partnership. Learn more at:

AssuredPartners of Michigan, is a full-service employee benefits firm located in Southfield, Michigan. The agency specializes in the design, communication, administration, compliance and overall management of group benefit programs. Learn more at:

Headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida, AssuredPartners is a full-service insurance broker providing commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and personal lines through consulting and services. With over 8,000 employees located in offices throughout North America, London, Belgium and Scotland, AssuredPartners is in the business of building relationships. While cementing powerful, lasting relationships built on trust earned from working openly and honestly with our partners. That’s what we call, Power through Partnership. For more information, visit

Details and Deadlines: SBA Disaster Loan Applications

The U.S. Small Business Administration Business Recovery Center’s customer service representatives are still available to answer program questions, assist in completing the SBA disaster loan application, and help with the reconsideration process.

Learn more about SBA loans here.

Back to the island: Quieter Mackinac Policy Conference eases back toward ‘normal’

Crain’s Detroit Business
Sep. 26, 2021

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference went on as planned last week — a little slower, a little gentler and at least a little less crowded.

Attendance was capped at 1,300, as opposed to the usual 1,700, amid COVID protocols, and the conference saw 1,034 actual attendees. Many elected leaders, including Attorney General Dana Nessel, county executives from Macomb and Oakland counties and many legislators elected to skip the confab.

But much was familiar: The speakers took the stage, and the attendees hobnobbed and networked.

Here are some highlights of Crain’s coverage of this year’s unusual conference. You can read all our coverage, listen to our Mackinac podcasts with top leaders and check out a large array of photos from the conference at

So far, so good

Concerns about possible COVID exposures colored much of the preparation for the event.

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah in his welcome to the conference offered up a hotline for any attendees to report potential COVID exposures or symptoms.

The chamber said Friday that the hotline had received three calls during the conference.

They included:

  • One conference attendee who reported a risk of exposure prior to departure for Mackinac Island. That person then tested negative and continued with travel and participation in the event.
  • One registrant who self-reported not feeling well prior to departure and did not attend the event.
  • A third registrant who reported not feeling well at the event. The registrant was in the Grand Hotel’s parlor area and conference registration area for a total of about an hour, and was fully masked the entire time. The person left the island and subsequently tested negative for COVID.

The chamber told Crain’s it planned to keep the hotline active through the weekend.

Lassiter lays out MSU Detroit vision

Henry Ford Health System’s months-old 30-year affiliation with Michigan State University could lead to construction of a medical school in Midtown Detroit, potentially unlocking new real estate development opportunities in the city.

That’s according to Henry Ford Health System CEO Wright Lassiter III, who laid out some of his vision last week for establishing a research-intensive medical school in Midtown that could raise the national prominence of HFHS research and medical innovation.

“I have a strong desire to increase the production of medical students in the state of Michigan and I’d like to bring a new medical school into the city of Detroit,” Lassiter said Tuesday night during a dinner of business executives at the conference that was co-sponsored by Crain’s Detroit Business.

Lassiter said he’s eyeing an area between West Grand Boulevard in New Center stretching south to 1 Ford Place — the headquarters for HFHS — to construct a medical school in partnership with MSU.

“There could be the ability to garner real estate and development that could produce a research center or a medical school, a new hospital complex,” he said. “We’ve been a catalyst for redevelopment in Midtown Detroit for a long time, and I think there’s a lot more that can and will happen.”

Lassiter made the comments in an interview with KC Crain at a dinner during the conference.

State budget makes big child-care investment

A nearly $70 billion state budget fueled by surplus tax revenue and federal stimulus funds that took shape Tuesday contains major investments in the child care industry in an effort to get more parents back in a pandemic-disrupted workforce.

The spending plan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration brokered with the Republican-controlled Legislature would invest $108.1 million more into the state’s child care subsidies, making 105,000 more children eligible for the program.

The budget blueprint contains $158 million for an ongoing 30 percent increase in the provider rate for child care centers as well as another $222 for a temporary pay raise for providers.

“This is a pretty tremendous and a significant expansion of the state’s child care program,” State Budget Director Dave Massaron said Tuesday in an interview with Crain’s.

Massaron said the rate increases for child care providers are “designed to increase the sustainability” of their business model, which has been upended during the pandemic as parents chose to keep their children at home to mitigate their potential exposure to COVID-19.

State to build Lake Michigan EV circuit

Michigan plans to build a route of charging stations around tourist destinations called the Lake Michigan Electric Vehicle Circuit, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

In its quest to make clean energy and mobility jobs a key piece of Michigan’s economic recovery, the governor’s administration also said it expects to start the Michigan Revolution for Electrification of Vehicles Academy, or MiREV.

“We are going to equip our workforce with the specific knowledge and skill demands of the emerging mobility and electrification industry,” Whitmer said in a news conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The road-trip circuit builds on other announcements of mobility-forward corridors, such as Whitmer’s announcement Tuesday about plans to build the country’s first wireless charging road for electric vehicles in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties. The state also said more than a year ago that it wanted to construct a multi-faceted “mobility corridor” from Detroit to Ann Arbor along Michigan Avenue. Talk Wednesday focused on electrification and mobility in the state’s automotive industry and not on public transit.

“As the state that put the whole world on wheels, we appreciate the great American road trip more than most,” Whitmer said. “But just as the auto industry evolves to an electric fuel cell-propelled future, the way people are traveling is changing as well. Eco-tourism and environmentally conscious travel continues to grow in popularity.”

Duggan: ‘Very good idea’ on pavement buckling

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he has a “very good idea of what happened” in southwest Detroit to cause roadway to buckle upward a week and a half ago, and the city needs to take steps to make sure it doesn’t recur.

Detroit may need to change its rules around storage of heavy materials, Duggan said while speaking about the incident around Fort and Dearborn streets during an interview Tuesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Experts have told the city they’ve never seen anything like this, where the road mounded upward in two areas, also causing a building to heave up and require demolition. An investigation into the cause is ongoing and no final analysis is near release, according to a city spokeswoman. It may be a week or more away.

Duggan stopped short of directly disclosing the theory for what happened, but said Tuesday that he has an idea of what needs to come next.

“I think we have a very good idea of what happened, but we’re going to let the final reports come out,” Duggan said. “But this is the second time in three years that we’ve had a major soil issue in southwest Detroit. A couple years ago you had a good chunk of soil fall into the Detroit River.”

Survey finds support for education funding

Nearly two-thirds of Michigan residents surveyed in a recent poll said they would support increased public funding for children and youth to counter inequities and COVID-19 pandemic-related ills.

Detroit-based Skilllman Foundation and Michigan’s Children, a Lansing-based advocacy group working to reduce disparities in child outcomes from cradle to career through policy change, commissioned the poll, which was released late Monday afternoon at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

Washington, D.C.-based Lake Research Partners conducted the poll of 800 residents (and likely general election voters) from all regions and demographics July 27-Aug. 3.

Among other results, 62 percent of those surveyed said they supported increased public funding for children and youth for issues spurred by the pandemic, including disrupted learning and impaired mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and ADHD.

“This is a moment for Michigan,” Skillman President and CEO Angelique Power said in the release. “Despite polarizing times, Michiganders across race, ethnicity, gender, economics, and geography are loudly saying we must all invest in children. To me, this isn’t a request, it’s a full-throated mandate.”

View the original article.

‘Maybe this is the future’: Detroit auto show leaders reimagine event that draws 800,000

Sept. 23, 2021
Taylor DesOrmeau

Electric vehicles are on the rise. Self-driving vehicles might not be far behind.

Automakers are investing heavily in both paradigm changes – or they risk becoming obsolete once the new technology becomes the norm.

It’s not so different for auto shows.

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is one of the most famous industry exhibitions in the world, drawing more than 800,000 people most years during the 16-day event. Its economic impact on the area is roughly $450 million per year, industry leaders estimate.

“In 2005, when Detroit hosted the Super Bowl and the auto show, it was like the equivalent of hosting two Super Bowls,” said Claude Molinari, president and CEO of Visit Detroit, the city’s travel bureau. “That’s what it means to the region.”

Attendance dipped into the 600,000s during the recession, but topped 800,000 every year from 2014 through 2018. The crowd thinned in 2019 to 774,179.

Detroit’s auto show was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 – but changes were already on the horizon, with plans to move parts of the event outdoors, and to hold it in June, rather than the dead of winter.

Organizers opted for more dramatic changes in 2021. This year’s event was scaled down under the name “Motor Bella” and is being held this week, Sept. 21-26, outdoors at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, rather than the traditional location in downtown Detroit.

With unique driving and ride-along experiences being offered, organizers hope to draw 150,000 to the six-day Motor Bella event, said Rod Alberts, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which puts on the show.

Auto shows worldwide are rethinking their purpose as manufacturers get more comfortable unveiling new vehicles virtually – and concept cars wane in popularity.

“I don’t think attendees have lost their appetite for auto shows,” Molinari said. “But I do think the OEMs may have lost their enthusiasm for some of the large displays where they’re trying to outdo their competition and put all that money into an event with an arbitrary date.”

Stationary displays thrived in the pre-internet era. They don’t offer as much when auto enthusiasts can watch vehicle unveilings from their phone.

To survive, auto shows have to pivot to a new draw – or risk becoming little more than a dealership showroom.

The answer could be offering “experiences,” Alberts said.

“The inside (portion of the auto show) is nice. You can look around and you can sit in a car,” said Tammy Carnrike, COO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “But for a lot of folks, being able to actually experience the vehicle and what it can do is a really extra opportunity.”

Consumers like interaction. And manufacturers can use activations to showcase new technology – like electric and self-driving cars – to help people to buy in.

“This is a time where (auto technology) is changing so quickly – how do you make people comfortable with it?” Alberts said. “That’s what we want to help out with.”

Vision for the 2022 show

Organizers are planning the 2022 Detroit auto show for September, Alberts said.

The traditional January date won’t work, since DADA wants an outdoor component. The June idea wasn’t popular, Molinari said, since many conventions already book up the summer in Detroit.

Expect a hybrid of the 2019 show with the 2021 Motor Bella show.

“Being outdoors opens new opportunities,” Alberts said. “You can get imaginative.”

This year’s show has more than a dozen “activations,” with various free ride-along opportunities – like flying over jumps in a Ram truck or plunging through mud and climbing hills in a Ford Bronco. Some manufacturers also allow test driving new models on Woodward Avenue, which runs parallel to the property.

Visitors can ride along in luxury cars like Lamborghinis and McLarens, too, at the M1 Concourse racetrack.

“You’re going to hear cars going around the track. You’ve got all the sights, sounds, smells and just the feel of the product. The energy level is going to be huge,” Alberts said before the event. “Maybe this is the future … (for) where we’re headed.”

There are benefits to the inside component of the show. Some manufacturers still prefer the traditional method of showing off their products, DADA organizers said.

Indoor displays also avoid weather problems.

Organizers are in talks with Detroit’s TCF Center to bring the event back downtown in 2022. But they’re also considering having experiences at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, too. Or possibly closing some downtown Detroit streets to set up the activations there and in Hart Plaza, Alberts said.

Future auto shows could feel more like festivals, multiple industry leaders said.

“It’s really an intersection of auto shows as we know it, cultural events – like a South by Southwest – and also a technology event – like a Consumer Electronics Show,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director of MICHauto, the statewide mobility industry association.

The success of Motor Bella will play a big role in how the 2022 show looks. Organizers are even considering hosting it on two separate weekends, Alberts said, with one weekend indoors at the TCF Center and the other at the M1 Concourse.

Also in question – what will the event be called? That’s still to be determined, Alberts said, noting the show was renamed “Motor Bella” for 2021 to give it a different feel.

The first iteration of the show was in 1907, and was called the Detroit Auto Show. It was renamed the North American International Auto Show in 1989, as it embraced foreign auto manufacturers.

A flourishing auto show drives tourism dollars for the Detroit area. It helps manufacturers engage with potential customers. And it gives Michiganders an additional entertainment option.

But it also generates pride for Detroit and cements its claim as the epicenter of the auto industry, city business leaders said.

NAIAS typically draws 5,000 credentialed press members and 35,000 industry experts from dozens of countries.

“They walk away with a new view of Detroit,” Carnrike said. “It’s a way to show the world what we really have here in Detroit. And that helps our employers to recruit talent, to find new opportunities for customers, etc. because their name just gets out there.”

Detroit business leaders want to show off the city’s transformation from the past decade. The Detroit auto show helps change the narrative.

“There’s a perception change,” Molinari said. “It’s not a 180 (degree) perception change – but it’s like a 150. And getting closer.”

View the original article.