Pencil the new dates in your calendar.
Given how the pandemic is still raging across America, canceling the Detroit auto show was inevitable. The event was rescheduled from last year and was planned to run in downtown Detroit from September 24 to October 9. However, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that organizers have decided to rename the event "Motor Bella" and move it to a smaller outdoor location in Pontiac, Michigan, from September 21-26. According to the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Motor Bella will act as "a bridge to the future" of the auto show. A sign that the auto show as we currently know it may be over.
There's no guarantee the pandemic will be over by September, so we're going to pencil the new event into our calendar very lightly and with optimism. The new event, however, will be completely outdoors at a racetrack venue called M1 Concourse, which could be a smart move in preparing for a post-Covid world. As well as traditional auto show displays, the inclusion of a track will allow automakers to to show off vehicles' performance and technology. It's also a stark contrast to the previously planned festival originally planned in downtown Detroit to take advantage of streets and public areas, including parks.
"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," Rod Alberts said. "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."
Maybe we're overly-optimistic and looking for any sort of silver lining to the pandemic. Still, it could help finally move auto shows on from stuffy indoor affairs to more dynamic and exciting events. If everything goes as planned, we'll be considering booking our tickets to bring you coverage. Hopefully, we might even get to see cars like the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette Z06 or the next Ford Raptor hooning around rather than just static on a show floor.