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Student-Run New Car Show

Student-Run New Car Show

Are you in the market for a new car, but can’t find one in dealer inventory?  With vehicle shortages due to various supply chain challenges, good luck finding one close to what you want on the dealer’s lot. 

You are likely going to have to order your next new car, so it’s important to actually touch one before making your decision.

Car shows are a great alternative to the challenge of finding a car to check out at a dealership.  If it’s the right show, you can open the doors, get behind the wheel and crawl through the car looking at all of its features. 

I just visited the Detroit Auto Show, which runs through September 25, 2022.  Unlike past Detroit shows, there was more room to walk around and get in the cars.  Sadly, that’s because fewer manufacturers were represented at this year’s show.

Quite frankly, the Detroit Auto Show was a big disappointment.  It’s unlikely the car you want to see is on display.  Do not fret, as there is a really good auto show on the horizon:  The Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS).

Related article2021 Northwood University Auto Show

Largest Outdoor New Car Show:  100% Student Run

For the past 59 years, Northwood University has hosted the nation’s largest, outdoor exhibition for aftermarket companies and automotive brands. The Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS), held at the beginning of each academic year, has been completely student-led since its founding in 1964.  

For 2022, they expect to have over 500 vehicles from 65 manufacturers, plus a “Dream Car” collection powered by the Winkelman collection that will feature a Bugatti Chiron, Pagani Huayra and McLaren Speedtail.

According to show General Chairman, Ethan Schad, “This year’s theme is ‘DREAM’ because we want to inspire others to live their dream and find their dream car. 

Also, plenty of businesses are solely based off of a dream, and we wanted to incorporate Northwood’s role in that; honor businesses that contribute to the show; and remind everyone that it all starts with a dream. Come on out to watch our dream come alive.”

Show Details

Listed below are the dates and times for the new car show and the Cars and Coffee events:

New Car Show

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022:  12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022:  12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022:  9:00 am – 1:00 pm

No tickets or registration are needed for the main auto show.  Show attendance and parking are FREE.

I attended last year’s show, and consider it one of my favorite new car shows.  This year should prove to be even better, as Ethan and his team added the following elements to the show:

  • Dream Cars​ (Bugatti Chiron, Pagani and McLaren Speedtail)
  • Food Trucks​ (first time for the show)
  • Live music​ On Saturday
  • Interactive booths​ – learn more about show elements from the students involved
  • Tavern 59​ – Beer garden on campus
  • New Mall Walk (this was under construction last year, so the campus should be especially beautiful for this show)

Cars and Coffee

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022:  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

For years, the Northwood University International Auto Show has hosted a classic car show on the Saturday of their show weekend. This year, in an effort to include not only more vehicles but more guests, they are opening the registration to any type of vehicle. The students encourage guests to not only bring their classic cars but new vehicles as well.

Be sure to reserve your spot for the Cars and Coffee by completing the registration form HERE. No pre-registration is needed to attend the main auto show, just the Cars and Coffee.


Northwood University

4000 Whiting Drive, Midland, MI 48640 

Campus Map  

The layout of the show can be seen on the map below:

campus map

Northwood University Automotive Programs

Northwood University is a private university in Midland, Michigan.  They have around 2,000 students for a wide variety of marketing and management programs.  

Two of those programs are dedicated to the automotive industry:  Automotive Marketing and Management and Automotive Aftermarket Management.  Both programs do a great job of preparing students for careers in the automotive industry, whether it be with an auto manufacturer, dealer, aftermarket suppliers or any number of agencies.

I plan to be at the show on Saturday, and hope you can attend this year’s event to see these students in action.  They are working hard to produce an auto show that will give you a chance to see more new vehicles in one setting than anywhere else at this time. 

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1 Comment

  1. Kent MacDonald

    This is a great review. We are proud of our students…. They learn by doing. Logistics, procurement, marketing, finance/accounting, management, security…. It is fully operated by students. I hope you are coming back….! All are welcome on our “campus in the woods”!


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