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Coronavirus sees off Detroit motor show

Cruel twist: 2020 was going to be the first year the NAIAS was held in June (summer) rather than January (winter) in the hopes of attracting more visitors.

Detroit motor show joins Geneva, New York and China in being called off or postponed

30 Mar 2020

COVID-19 HAS claimed another high-profile event scalp, with organisers of the 2020 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit announcing over the weekend that the event has been cancelled.


Originally slated to kick off on June 11, organisers took to the event website to announce the cancellation amid safety concerns and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s expected plans to convert the TCF Centre (would-be venue) into a makeshift coronavirus care centre.


“Although we are disappointed, there is nothing more important to us than the health, safety and well-being of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan, and we will do what we can to support our community’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak,” show executive director Rod Alberts said.


“One of the hallmarks of NAIAS since the very beginning has been our commitment to being socially responsible.


“Our thoughts continue to be with those whose lives have been impacted by this devastating virus. And, we support the city and state’s mission to help preserve life in the face of this challenging situation.”


More than 100 convention and exhibition centres around the country are under consideration to be turned into field hospitals as the ongoing pandemic continues to grip not only America, but the entire world.


As of 11.22am AEDT on March 30, there have been 141,854 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States including 2475 deaths and 4435 recoveries, with Michigan’s tally currently sitting at 5486 confirmed cases – the fourth highest of any state behind New York (59,648), New Jersey (13,386) and California (6204).


According to event chairman Doug North, planning is already underway for next year’s event with organisers keen to set about “literally redefining the auto show landscape”.


“The level of excitement for the 2020 show was extraordinary, and we deeply appreciate all of the support from our OEM partners and our more than 200 valued sponsors, as well as the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan,” he said.


“We will be ready to unleash this energy and enthusiasm when June 2021 rolls around to produce the absolute best show and experience ever.”


Earlier this year the coronavirus pandemic claimed what is still arguably its biggest motor show scalp, with the Geneva motor show called off by organisers just days out from its opening.


Auto China organisers soon followed suit and postponed the Beijing event indefinitely while the New York International Auto Show has also been postponed until August 28.


In a cruel twist of fate for the Detroit show, 2020 was going to be the first year the event was held in June rather than January in the hopes of attracting more visitors (summer vs winter conditions).

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