2020 Detroit auto show cancelled, site to be used as coronavirus field hospital

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Organizers for the annual North American International Auto Show held in Detroit announced on Sunday that this year’s show, scheduled to run the week starting June 8, has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Not only is the show being cancelled due to restrictions on public gatherings and travel, but the planned site of the show, Detroit’s Cobo Center, is due to be repurposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a temporary field hospital.

“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,” said Rod Alberts, executive director of NAIAS.

This year’s running was meant to be the first to feature a major revamp for the Detroit auto show that would see the event transformed into a festival with several outdoor events. Central to this was a decision to move the show to summer from its traditional date in January.

2020 North American International Auto Show teaser

The plan now is to prepare for the next show scheduled for June 2021. Pre-sold tickets for the 2020 show will be refunded and ticket holders for the charity preview event have the option of donating the proceeds of their refund to one of the nine charities supported by the event.

This year has already seen the Geneva International Motor Show cancelled due to the coronavirus. Auto shows in New York and Beijing scheduled for April have been postponed but could also be cancelled given the state of the pandemic. As a result, new car reveals are being held online.

It’s not just auto shows that are missing out. Motorsport events have also been cancelled or postponed. You can view our evolving list here.

Most major automakers have also ceased production across the globe though many have said they will resume operations by mid-April, assuming it is safe to do so.

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