2020 was supposed to be a big year for the Detroit Motor Show, shifting from its usual January slot to June. As the coronavirus crisis has deepened, however, the first-ever summer holding of the North American International Auto Show looked under threat, and now its fate has been sealed.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has chosen the show’s venue - the TCF Centre - as a field hospital to treat Covid-19 patients. With the 220,000-square meter facility to fulfil this important role for at six months, there’s no chance of postponing until later in the summer.
The Detroit Free Press reports that exhibitors were sent a memo informing them of the cancellation. In it, by NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said: “The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount. TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time.”
The show is yet to publically confirm the news, and wouldn’t comment when contacted by the publication.
The dropping of the 2020 Detroit show follows the last-minute cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show and the postponement of the New York Auto Show, now set to take place in September instead of April.
NAIAS also isn’t the only major car event to have its venue turned into a makeshift hospital. The London ePrix is supposed to be taking place on 25 and 26 July in and around the Excel Centre, but that now seems extremely unlikely since the Docklands exhibition centre is currently being transformed into the 4000-bed ‘NHS Nightingale’.