Ford Takes Auto Show Fun to Next Level


The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) allows guests the opportunity to see new and future models. It’s like getting your own sneak peek into the designer’s studio.

The 2020 Ford Explorer, 2020 Shelby Cobra Mustang GT500, & 2019 Ford Ranger / Lasco Press Photo

Manufacturers compete to attract visitors to their displays. Giveaways, fun interactive experiences, and pretty fashion/car models, excuse me “product specialists,” vie for your attention. The event is as competitive as the sales competition between dealerships.

Lasco Press Photo

But, what if you could ride in a future model before it even comes off the assembly line. How about checking out the amazing technology that makes driving safer and accidents less likely. Or even experience a new vehicle introduction with all the glitz afforded the automotive media members. Sound like fun? Come to the Ford display at this year’s show.

Minor Spoiler Alert

Let your imagination run wild. That’s what Ford Motor Company did. Ford’s Auto Show display this year features high tech vehicles coming in 2020. The presentation of the new car & SUV models is high tech in its own right.

The 2020 Ford Explorer ST / Lasco Press Photo

Meet the folks from Imagination. Ford contracted with the brilliant minds behind this creative company to give attendees at the 2019 NAIAS a memorable experience.

Ford Field Transformation

For the introduction of the new 2020 Explorer, Ford Motor Company choose Ford Field to host the event. The venue provided the opportunity for Ford to reveal the new product to its employees, dealers, and the media.

Bill Ford Jr. Takes the Stage at Ford Field to Introduce the New 2020 Ford Explorer / Lasco Press Photo

How do you take the enormity of a football stadium and make it an intimate experience for thousands of people in attendance? That’s where the technical wizards from Imagination come in. Erecting a massive video screen and carpeting the Southwest half of the field provided a huge canvas for a story to be painted on.

Ford Field Transformed into an Auditorium via the Magic of Imagination / Lasco Press Photo
Lasco Press Photo

Combining stunning graphics and live action blended with the background, the presentation engaged viewers.

Lasco Press Photo

Projected roadways and rolling vehicles gave those in the audience a sense of watching a cross country trip unfold before their eyes.

Lasco Press Photo


Lasco Press Photo

The Official Start of the NAIAS

Fast forward to Monday, January 14, 2019, and the Press Preview on the first official day of the Auto Show. Imagination engineers shrunk the presentation down to the confines of the Cobo Center.

Where Ford followed up the reveal of the 2020 Explorer with the introduction of the Hybrid and Sport (ST) models.

Lasco Press Photo

Culminating with the New Shelby Mustang GT500 being lowered from the ceiling of the building.

The All New GT500!

Posted by The Lasco Press on Monday, January 14, 2019

Your Visit to This Year’s Auto Show

Enter Ford’s display at the 2019 NAIAS.

Lasco Press Photo

On the wall to the right is a close-up look at Imagination’s technology. The truck mounted to the wall provides the optical illusion of movement.

Lasco Press Photo
Lasco Press Photo

The center rear of the exhibit runs shows through-out the day with VR technology displayed. See what the industry media experienced during the Monday press conference.

Even enjoy a ride in the GT500 complete with the drop from the ceiling reveal. Viewer tip, sit at the top of the viewing area for the best angle to see the special effects.

Take a Virtual Reality Ride in the 2020 Ford Explorer

In the far left corner of the Ford Pavilion treat yourself to a virtual reality ride in the 2020 Ford Explorer.

We had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Imagination’s technical development team. Jananthan Kandasamy, Jack Condon and Jason Pannecouk were on-hand in Detroit to manage the show’s most impressive exhibit.

The vehicle you ride in travels along a track, elevation changes during the ride make it a true 4-D experience. Sensors around the track trigger the VR scene scape appropriate to the vehicle’s position. Professional drivers negotiate the course and narrate through the vehicle’s 14 speaker entertainment system. The air conditioning system provides a chill as the scene changes to a snow-covered vista.

Jason shared, “It took 4 months to bring the project together. Having never been done before, we were proud to bring this experience to life on behalf of Ford.” Jack stressed, “The technology is leading edge, there are redundant systems built in. Most importantly the experience was built with safety first in mind. On-site safety personnel continuously monitor all functions of the ride. It’s performing perfectly.”

Tell Us What You Think

Visit the Show and give us your feedback by emailing to Hours and ticket prices for the 2019 NAIAS are as follows.

Saturday, January 19 – Saturday, January 26, 2019
9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (no admittance after 9 p.m.)

Sunday, January 27, 2019
9 a.m. – 7 p.m. (no admittance after 6 p.m.)

Ticket Pricing
– Adults: $14 per person
– Seniors: $7 (65 and older)
– Children: $7 (7-12 years old; 6 and under free with a parent or guardian)

Can’t make it to the show, check out our photo gallery. Also, you can view the Ford Field 2020 Explorer reveal in its entirety. The video is posted at the end of this article.

NAIAS Ford Display Photo Gallery