Washington Auto Show

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The Washington Auto Show (WAS) is an annual local auto show held in Washington, D.C. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center usually in late January. It is among the largest auto shows in North America, trailing only the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (NAIAS), the LA Auto Show, the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) and the Chicago Auto Show in size. It is sometimes also referred to as the D.C. Auto Show. The event has evolved to emphasize and showcase the latest innovations in sustainable automotive technologies. Since 2008 the winners of the Green Car Vision Award are announced during the show.[1]


Designated one of the nation’s top five auto shows by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, The Washington Auto Show includes cutting-edge exhibits, latest model cars and displays of historic vehicles. Often referred to as the “Public Policy Show” on the auto show circuit, the 10-day public show is preceded by two Public Policy Preview Days of special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media.

The Washington Auto Show is also the largest public show in Washington, D.C. Over the course of its many years this beloved and historic D.C. tradition has attracted Washingtonians of all stripes – and political affiliations. On display are more than 700 new models from over 42 manufacturers.

Advanced Technology Super Highway exhibition floor at the 2010 show

MobilityTalks International®[edit]

MobilityTalks International[2]® is a forum designed for governments from around the world to exchange ideas on best practices related to the emerging trends in transportation surrounding connected and autonomous vehicles. The changing landscape of transportation presents lawmakers and regulators with unique challenges and opportunities that can be more effectively addressed through partnership and collaboration.


In 1921, a group of 20 Washington-area car dealers and distributors planned the first show to sell the public on the virtue of the horseless carriage. From that humble beginning, The Washington Auto Show has been on the fast track for growth and popularity. Housed in a variety of area venues, the show was staged for 18 years in the National Guard D.C. Armory. The show has gone on hiatus twice – once for war and once due to poor economic conditions.

After a break in the 1970s, the Washington Convention Center and The Washington Auto Show opened together in early 1983. By this date, the auto show had grown to require every available foot of display space, covering nearly eight acres – almost four times the physical size of the Armory shows, with three times as many models.

In 1988, The Washington Auto Show began using the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day as its annual time frame, garnering a tremendous base of loyal fans and establishing its reputation as a family destination. The event was later moved to late January to coincide with Congress’ return from recess, enabling the show to capitalize on the business of Washington.

The show’s early planners, who sought every imaginative twist to draw attention to that newfangled mode of transportation, would be amazed to witness today’s incarnation.

The show features a full slate of entertainment, contests, interactive displays, exhibits on futuristic technology and family activities that can actually offer visitors a break from all those cars! And at the same time, The Washington Auto Show has firmly earned its title as one of the industry’s most prominent and pivotal events.


This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Washington Auto Show. The 2017 show will run from January 27 through February 5, 2017. This year's show brings cutting-edge exhibits, latest model cars and displays of historic vehicles, VIP Tours with Auto Experts, in addition to celebrities and sports personalities. Green Car Journal will announce finalists for its prestigious Washington Auto Show 2017 Green SUV of the Year™, Connected Green Car of the Year™, and Luxury Green Car of the Year™ awards at a Green Car Awards press conference held at LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA, on November 17, 2016. Winners of the three awards will be announced in Washington, D.C., during the 2017 Washington Auto Show’s Policy Day on January 26. These coveted awards recognize the best-of-the-best in three of the fastest-growing “green” segments in the automotive field. The Washington Auto Show Delegation is also hosting a series of industry discussions and a forum called MobilityTalks International® prior to the show opening to the public.


The 2016 show ran from January 22 through January 30, 2016. The 2016 show featured VIP tours led by award-winning automotive writers and a special exhibit area for live painting of “art” cars. There will be onsite visits from sports personalities and mascots, a Family Fun Zone and a beer garden, presented by Samuel Adams.


The 2015 show ran from January 23 through February 1, 2015. It attracted over 400,000 visitors over several days. The 2015 Keynote Speaker was Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.


The 2014 show ran from January 23 through February 2, 2014.


The 2013 show ran from February 1 through February 10, 2013.


The 2012 show ran from January 27 through February 5, 2012.


The 2011 show was doubled in length, from five days to ten. The 2011 show ran from January 28 through February 6, 2011.


The 2010 show ran from January 25 through January 31, 2010. Public Policy Days from January 25 to 26, and Public/Consumer Days from January 27 through 31.[3]


The 2009 show ran from February 4 through February 8, 2009.[4]


The 2008 show ran from January 23 through January 27, 2008.[5]

Notable Celebrities and Politicos[edit]


Bryce Harper, Olaf Kölzig, Alexander Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Nicklas Backstrom, Roger Penske, Brooks Robinson, Darrell Green, Sonny Jurgenson, Joe Jacoby, John Riggins, Mark Mosley, Gabby Douglas


Carroll Shelby, Rick Hendrick


President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Representative Bernie Sanders, Mike Kelly (R-Pa), Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md), Minority Leader Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Fred Upton (R-MI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Representative John Lewis (D-Ga), Governor of Florida Rick Scott, United States Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, United States Department of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz


Roman Reigns, John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Sadie Robertson, Gaby Espino, Snooki


  1. ^ "Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell Wins Green Car Vision Award". The Auto Channel. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  2. ^ "MobilityTalks International | Washington Auto Show". www.mobilitytalksinternational.com. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  3. ^ "The 2010 Washington Auto Show Press Timeline". The Auto Channel. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  4. ^ "Washington Auto Show 2009". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  5. ^ "Washington Auto Show 2008". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-09-26.

External links[edit]