The North American International Auto Show is cancelling its June 2020 show in Detroit amid the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plans to repurpose TCF Center into a temporary field hospital.
More than 100 convention centers and facilities around the country are being considered to serve as temporary hospitals for treating the COVID-19 pandemic. TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo Center, outlined the plans for the huge building.
“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,” said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts in a statement.
The U.S. surgeon general said Detroit will be one of the epicenters of the disease in the coming weeks.
Sadly, the countdown clock on the event page is still ticking the seconds off and indicates the show is 75 days out. It was to be the show’s first time holding the event in June, instead of its traditional January dates.
Show officials are discussing plans for a fund-raising activity later this year to benefit the children’s charities that were designated as beneficiaries of the 2020 Charity Preview event.
The next scheduled auto show is the New York International Auto Show, which was moved from April to begin August. But that show’s fate hangs in the balance, despite being almost five months away.
A temporary medical station is being constructed at New York’s Javits Center to house non-COVID-19 patients and relieve the burden on local hospitals, according to a statement by the Javits Center.
An analyst tells Marketing Daily it’s likely the New York show will be cancelled. “They need a minimum of six weeks to set up for August,” the analyst says.
However, NYIAS organizers are full steam ahead.
“For 120 years, ‘the show must go on’ has been heavily embedded in our DNA, and the decision to move the show dates didn’t come easy,” Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, said in a statement March 10 when the postponement was announced.
The organizer’s top priority remains the health of all involved, he said.With more than $330 million in economic benefit attributed to the annual show, the event has a huge impact on the local and state economies, including the thousands of workers who build the show each year as well as the hospitality and related services industries that depend on it.
Hundreds of thousands of consumers attend the 10-day event and use the auto show to make decisions on their next vehicle purchase.