Michigan Governor Rick Snyder last week authorised Detroit – more than US$18 billion ($19.6 billion) in debt – to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, with the city's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, affirming it would be "unable to break the cycle of damaging cutbacks in municipal services and investments [without] significant restructuring of its debt".
NAIAS executive director Rod Alberts confirmed the bankruptcy had been anticipated for some time, however, and would not impact the running of next year’s Detroit auto show at the Cobo Center.
“The bankruptcy filing was a good decision, given the state of affairs of the city over the past decade, and will give Detroit an opportunity to move forward by relieving the city of a legacy of liabilities – giving it a fresh start,” Alberts said.
“Cobo Center is independent of the city and is managed and operated by a regional authority, so no funding from the city is needed for Cobo. The NAIAS is also an independent organisation and will not be impacted in our operation or funding, although we do work with all the city municipalities in the region, including the City of Detroit, and will continue to do so.”
Alberts said the city’s bankruptcy would have no effect on the show’s ability to provide a world-class venue that international car makers have come to expect, and anticipated next year’s event would once again have a positive economic impact of more than US$350 million ($380 million) in the southeast Michigan region.
He also confirmed that the third and final stage of the US$300 million ($326 million) Cobo Center renovation was still on track to be completed in the coming year, with the venue is funded by regional and state funds.
The 2014 North American International Auto Show is open January 13-26.