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New York international auto show gets canned again

Two-zero: For the second year in a row, COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of the New York international auto show, but organisers say it’ll be back in 2022.

Rapidly increasing COVID Delta cases see off the New York auto show for 2021

6 Aug 2021

JUST as some parts of the world – and industry – were starting to breathe a sigh of relief, the crushing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have come smashing back and forced the cancellation of the New York international auto show, just two weeks out from its opening.


Having been initially postponed and then cancelled in 2020, this is the second consecutive year the show has been axed with organisers this year citing an alarming increase in the COVID-19 Delta variant and the local restrictions implemented by state and city officials.


The announcement was made on Wednesday by show president Mark Schienberg who said the planning team was “committed to providing a safe environment for everyone” who attended the show.


“Over the past few weeks, and especially within the last few days, circumstances have changed making it more difficult to create an event at the high standard that we and our clients expect,” he said.


“At the onset of planning for the August show, we were increasingly excited at the prospect of hosting the event as the number of vaccinations in New York continued to climb and mask-wearing reduced the spread in the city. 


“All signs were positive, and the show was coming together stronger than ever, but today is a different story.


“The COVID pandemic has challenged our city, the country and the entire world, but just like the automobile industry, we know that the New York Auto Show will rebound and be bigger and better than before.”


More than 100 different models from 22 different manufacturers were set to be displayed, with some of the big-name brands including Rimac, Bugatti, Porsche and Koenigsegg.


Often the launch pad for global debuts, this year’s event was to be used by Nissan to finally reveal its production-spec 400Z while Subaru was primed and ready to show off its new-generation WRX.


According to a Nissan Australia spokesperson, the world’s most hotly anticipated sportscar in years will still be debuted on August 17 in the US, albeit digitally.


“While we may have a small in-person presence at our reveal event, we are adhering to all CDC, local area and event venue rules,” they said in a statement.


Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley told GoAuto that global executives had already returned to the drawing board to try and find an alternative way to launch the newest iteration of the all-paw rally icon.


Jeep was also set to debut its plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee 4xe along with the rest of the new-generation range in detail, with a local spokesperson confirming to GoAuto the brand was “currently assessing new alternatives to reveal the full range of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, including the 4xe plug-in hybrid version” and to “stay tuned”.


While the various brands scramble to come up with plan B for their big reveals, Mr Schienberg was confident the show would go ahead next year “bigger and better than before” with the added sweetener of it returning to its traditional April run date.

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