Detroit's new warmer-weather version of its longstanding North American International Auto Show just can't seem to catch a break.
The 2021 version of the show has now been canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, following the same fate as last year's show.
Typically held in January, last year was supposed to be the first time the NAIAS was to be moved to a new June slot that would have allowed it to sprawl beyond Detroit's TCF Center. But that show was canceled due to the arrival of the virus, and TCF Center was transformed, albeit briefly
, into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients.
The 2021 version of the show was moved to September, but that too is canceled as the virus is still out of control and vaccines for most of the population are still months away.
Instead, organizers will debut new vehicles at an outdoor event called "Motor Bella" at Pontiac's M1 Concourse, which will be held from Sept. 21-26.
"The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business," NAIAS executive director Rod Alberts said in a statement. "This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products."
Alberts added, "This all-outdoor venue, with adrenaline-pumping track activities and a full complement of OEM and technology exhibits, is going to offer the sights, sounds and even the smell of all that the new world of mobility has to offer."
"With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars and everything in between," NAIAS event chairman Doug North said in a statement. "It will be a mobility-filled event. One that will provide our show partners with a cost-efficient backdrop to share all of their brands, products and technologies in a fun and festival-like atmosphere that’s completely outdoors."
"We are proud and honored to be hosting this world-class automotive event," M1 Concourse CEO Jordan Zlotoff said in a statement. "Motor Bella with allow journalists, industry executives and the public to interact with vehicles in a fully dynamic and experiential format, well beyond the limitations of static displays. As the largest Private Garage community in the world, we at M1 Concourse share the enthusiasm for creating a unique automotive environment built specifically for car enthusiasts."
Motor Bella was already in the works as "a celebration of Italian and British supercars and classic vehicles and was to have debuted at the June 2020 NAIAS," according to a press release.
North said the event will be a "bridge to the future."
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