NAIAS June 2020 – What You Need to Know NOW

NOTE! This is an editorial post and the views expressed do not represent the views of the staff, or the clients of AACS.  Also, please excuse the long-winded analysis.  I feel this is an important issue and needs to be properly addressed. Also, I don’t have an editor to make me more write in a more concise manner.   

My Facebook feed has been swamped the past few weeks as the Detroit Auto Dealers Association made the announcement that the Auto Show will be moving from its traditional January date in 2019, to June for the 2020 event.  The move is billed as “transformational”, something I cannot argue.  June Detroit weather is as far from January as you can possibly get considering they are 5 months apart.  Unfortunately the move triggered my spidey-senses.  Through a ton of conversations with industry insiders and experts I respect, I have put together the following analysis which, if you are a supplier, should be serious food for thought.20180115_085626 Continue reading

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Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment San Francisco

“The best part of the name Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment, is the ‘Experiment’ part, because it allows us to do pretty much anything with the event” says founder Brook Banham.  Started in 2012, the event changed significantly when Frank Schwartz and AACS came on board in 2014.  Over the past few years the event has evolved from a small local get together to an evening party held during the Detroit and Los Angeles International Auto Shows and the SEMA event in Las Vegas.  For our first San Francisco event the team behind the Sketchbattle joined with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and The Transportation Research Board (TRB) to bring the live design competition to the engineers and policy makers attending the Automated Vehicles Symposium.6X9B8922 Continue reading

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Protected: NAIAS 2018 – Detroit, The Good, The Bad and The Details

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Posted in On The Road

Who is the newest Sketchmaster? Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit 2018

Many people consider Detroit the center of the automotive design universe because for all practical purposes it was invented here.  There are those who argue that California may now be the center of advanced design considering how many studios are located there.  But no where on earth is there the amount of concentration of design as here, right in our backyard.  2 Design Schools, 7 OEM Design Offices and many, many more supplier design studios mean that Detroit has the highest concentration of automotive designers of anyplace else in the world.  So it is only fitting that Detroit and historic St. Andrew’s Hall was host to the penultimate round of the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™


Photo Credit: Ingo Rautenberg

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NAIAS 2018 – Where’s the Engagement?

EDITORIAL – As soon as I hit the floor Monday morning, I could tell something was off at this year’s NAIAS (North American International Auto Show).  Initially, I thought it was just my typical pre-event exhaustion, as the team at AACS usually spends the week working late nights and long hours preparing for our annual Sketchbattle and working on our annual client strategic plans.  But it soon became clear that others in the industry felt the same way.  through the past week their tweets and Facebook posts, editorials and articles confirmed my worst fears. The pre-public part of the auto show is dying, and in Detroit they are replacing it with a trade show.

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Meet the Themes – Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit 2018

In the beginning, boxing fights continued until one fighter quit or was knocked out.  Brutal but effective.  In the 1920’s 15 rounds was adopted as the norm for championship fights. Still brutal.  It was reduced to 12 rounds in 1982 after an especially sad event.  The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ has knockouts, but thankfully no designers are injured during the event (provided you don’t consider their egos).  Yet the fight is only 3 rounds long.  Why?  Because we have 3 great themes and even more great partners.T7__8090 Continue reading

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Meet the Judges – Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit 2018

Professional and student sketch-battlers will be vying for the title of World Champion Sketchmaster when the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ presented by BASF comes to Detroit.  The “Fight Club of Design” party features a live sketching competition, great music and greater cars on Tuesday, January 16th from 7-11:30pm at world famous Saint Andrew’s Hall.  Over the years the event has been judged by a unique cross-industry of experts and design luminaries such as Camilo Pardo, Ralph Gilles of FCA, Doyle Letson of Ford, Bregt Ectors of GM and many others.  The panel gets to choose who receives the $2500 top prize by BASF.  For Detroit 2018, Jim Fleming of Cadillac will be the Chief Judge, and will be joined by Mark Trostle of FCA and Michael Smith of Ford of Tesla, along with guest judges for each themed round.IMG_1176Jon Adams Photo LtoR Frank Schwartz, Ian Bass student winner, Brook Banham, Destiny Driftmeyer ring girl, Camilo Pardo, Casey Swasenger winner.jpg Continue reading

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