First June Detroit Auto Show Cancelled as Venue to be Used as Temporary Hospital

The 2020 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) that was scheduled to happen this June in Detroit has been cancelled due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The TCF Center, formerly the Cobo Center, will likely be repurposed into a temporary field hospital in preparation for the increased need for urgent health care.

“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,” NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said in a press release. 

“With the more than 100 convention centers and facilities around the country being considered to potentially serve as temporary hospitals, it became clear to us that TCF Center would be an inevitable option to serve as a care facility to satisfy our community’s urgent health needs,” he said. 

The 2020 event was supposed to be the first time the Detroit auto show would be held in June. Traditionally, the Detroit auto show was held in January, but was moved to the summer in an effort to rebrand and breathe new life into the show after numerous automakers pulled out and attendance dropped. Moving to the summer would allow patrons to do test drives and demos outside, which would not be possible in the cold of a winter show. The vision for the new Detroit auto show was that it would be more like a festival than a traditional auto show.

As events and auto shows all over the globe are cancelled in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more automakers are debuting their new cars via online livestreams.

Similarly, April's New York International Auto Show was also postponed to late August and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is also being converted into a temporary hospital.

The new public dates for the Detroit auto show are Saturday, June 19 to Saturday, June 26, 2021. Press preview days have been scheduled for June 15 to June 17.

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The TCF Center (formerly Cobo Center) may be repurposed into a temporary emergency field hospital. 3/29/2020 4:21:11 PM