After being canceled for 2020, the Detroit Auto Show will push back yet again to Fall 2021 due to Coronavirus concerns and improved scheduling. The North American International Auto Show, which typically takes place in January, was moved to June of this year to inject some newfound excitement with an outdoor event. But Coronavirus canceled it, like other notable automotive events such as SEMA and the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Originally, the plan was to carry forward in June 2021, but it’s hard to say what the pandemic situation will be like that time next year. The June date also created scheduling concerns with other major U.S. auto shows. The New York Auto Show was already set for March 31-April 11 2021, and the Los Angeles Auto Show recently moved from November 2020 to May 19-30, 2021. The New York and LA shows are already close together, and throwing Detroit at automakers just a month later would have been challenging. Furthermore, Detroit may be left without any notable product launches, and automakers would be scrambling to set up the next display. That’s not a great look for what is supposed to be the premier U.S. auto show.
Fortunately, the move to fall 2021 works out better for everyone. Many automakers reveal products for the next calendar year over the fall, and there aren’t any other major U.S. auto shows in that time period. Plus, the weather is still great to continue with the outdoor theme planned for June. Certainly better than the bitter cold January dates of the past.
The format will follow an almost identical schedule to the summer plan. From NAIAS:
- Motor Bella: Sept. 24 – 26
- The Gallery: Sept. 26
- Press Preview: Sept. 28 – 29
- AutoMobili-D: Sept. 28 – 30
- Industry Preview: Sept. 29 – 30
- Charity Preview: Oct. 1
- Public Show: Oct. 2 – 9
Pushing the date back, however, means there will be a 33 month gap between the 2019 NAIAS and next fall’s event. This is a serious blow to Detroit restaurants, hotels and businesses that benefit from the show, and car enthusiasts in Michigan. Still, the more interactive format promises to breathe new life into not only the Detroit Auto Show, but auto shows as a whole.