By Vishwas Shankar, Research Manager, Mobility and Melek Ozturk, Industry Analyst, Connectivity & IoT, Frost & Sullivan

We were there in 2018 and we’ve got front row seats this year as well. Get ready for the latest in vehicle design, performance and electrification at the North American International Auto Show 2019 to be held next week at the Cobo Center in Detroit. This year’s Detroit Auto Show will showcase over 30 new models. Also on the agenda are OEM #throwbacks, putting a new spin on old models with the latest production technologies and enhanced vehicle comfort. The event slated to run from January 14 to January 27, 2019 marks the last time it will be held in the Motor City’s bone chilling winter. Starting 2020, it will move to a summer slot on the calendar.

The main focus at this year’s show will be on:

  • New SUV offerings
  • Performance cars that are ever more powerful and street legal
  • Next generation electrification
  • Revival of customized, limited editions of legendary models
  • New partnerships in the OEM arena

SUVs in the Spotlight

SUV sales are setting a scorching pace. Last year, they accounted for over 30% of the new vehicles market, grabbing share from passenger cars. OEMs are expanding and fine-tuning their SUV line up to reflect customer demands for luxury SUVs that make family trips more comfortable. Ford is going to heat up the SUV three row segment with its new Explorer that will have hybrid and high performance options for the first time. Cadillac’s XT6 will be introduced in the show, as will the Kia Telluride which has a new concept interior design by fashion designer Brendon Maxwell. GAC’s GM6 will bring touch screen and voice recognition technologies to its infotainment system.

Performance Cars on Fast Track

Performance car addicts will have a great week, since the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is coming back with a performance that’s set to be twice as good as before. Lexus has made a significant move to show off its limited version, high performance model – RC F Track Edition. Both offer increased vehicle power and faster speeds that are track ready. Luckily, they also remain within street legal production limits, and conform to vehicle specifications for street driving. Subaru is overhauling its WRX and showcasing its limited edition STI 209 at the Auto Show. This is only a curtain raiser of things to come.

Next Gen Electrification

What will next generation electrification look like and what lies beyond? The answers to these questions are likely to be found at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Nissan EVs are geared to flex their considerable muscle. The Japanese automaker has consistently inspired with its Infiniti Q series, introducing new terminology into the automotive vocabulary with ‘magic carpet’, a mini gasoline engine that charges battery packs. The compact crossover has also done away with its traditional front grill, gaining a more futuristic look.

Throwback to Legendary Models

This is going to be a year of revivals. Toyota is bringing back its Supra model after a gap of almost two decades. Ford Ranger is returning to the roads, along with the legendary Mustang GT500. Lincoln is rebooting its Continental model in honor of its 80th anniversary this year. The style is distinctly retro and brings back memories of the 60’s with a coach door edition that opens from the center. It’s a more updated version though, incorporating 2019 technology with Active Motion seats. The vehicles will come with customized badges and will be sold only to black label dealers.

A Year of Announcements

Last, but definitely not the least, Volkswagen and Ford are expected to make an announcement about their potential partnership in the self-driving vehicles space. While there’s no official confirmation yet, these OEM heavyweights are also anticipated to collaborate with leading companies in technology verticals in the domain of car-as-a-service. This will definitely result in the addition of new, user friendly features in many passenger cars.

What’s More

Car aficionados rejoice. The Detroit Auto Show will start with a glamorous, ultra-luxurious automotive event corralling the latest jaw dropping offerings from Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Rolls Royce, among other marquee automakers.

On the other end of the spectrum, a definite reveal is expected from the pickup segment. Anticipate upgrades, in terms of more engine options and enhanced safety features, to existing pickup models.

Volkswagen is all set to display its new sedan model.

Apart from the displays themselves, there will be a host of panel discussions centered on a range of key themes—connected technologies, autonomous vehicles, and urban transportation networks, among them—in mobility.

Experts from Frost & Sullivan’s mobility team will be attending the North American International Auto Show 2019 in Detroit. If you would like to set up a meeting with them either at or after the event, please reach out directly to:

Veerender Kaul, Global VP, Commercial Mobility:

Vishwas Shankar, Research Manager, BSIG:

Melek Ozturk, Industry Analyst, Connectivity & IoT:

For any further inquiries, please contact Francesca Valente, Global Corporate Communications Director at


Rajalakshmi Rajendran, Content Manager - team

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