The 2021 Detroit Auto Show has been canceled

An event is still happening, though
by Drei Laurel | Jan 12, 2021
PHOTO: Ford

COVID-19 has claimed another car show. This time, it’s the 2021 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), also known as the Detroit Auto Show.

This is the second time in the past two years that the event has been canceled due to the pandemic. While NAIAS 2021 is no longer happening, organizers have announced the industry staple will merge with a different event to serve as a “bridge to the future.” It’s called Motor Bella, and it will be taking place from September 21 to 26 in the metro Detroit area.

“The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business,” Motor Bella executive director Rod Alberts said in a statement.

“This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products.”

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While some car shows, including this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, have opted to take their automotive showcases online, Motor Bella will still be taking place as a physical event. The setup, though, will be completely outdoors and is planned to take place at over 1.6 million square feet of space. Visitors will also be treated to track activities on top of the usual car-industry displays.

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“While auto shows remain an important platform to promote new mobility innovations and to help people make major vehicle purchase decisions, the traditional auto show model is changing,” Alberts added.

“We cannot ignore the major disruptions caused by the pandemic and the impact it has had on budgets. As such, we will be providing an amazing experience to the media, the auto industry and the public in a cost-effective way.”

The times they are a-changin’. Do you think organizers are making the right call here or should NAIAS 2021 have shifted its event online instead? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Ford
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