After years spent trying to reinvent itself as an indoor and outdoor event that would fill downtown Detroit with new cars and auto celebrations, the North American International Auto Show is folding its 2021 tent, moving to the M1 Concourse, a small development consisting of a race track surrounded by luxurious garages in Pontiac.
The new offering, which has been renamed Motor Bella, will be a “bridge to the future” for the auto show, according to a statement from the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which runs the auto show.
Motor Bella will have a shortcut from September 21-26, which is significantly lower than the original plan for events in downtown Detroit from September 24 through October. 9. The name “Motor Bella” would have been used for the street fair displaying Italian and English luxury and performance models near the Detroit stadium area.
“This year will be flexible with schedules of events like 2020, especially as the vaccine rollout is slower and more difficult than desired,” said Michael Krebs, analyst at Cox Automotive.
Sources cited concerns that COVID-19 is still rushing to move to the smaller venue, which is located entirely in the open air. In addition to vehicle displays from automakers, the M1 Concourse will allow the display of vehicles’ performance and technologies.
The smaller event will still contain a charity component to offset the cancellation of Charity Preview, one of Detroit’s most prestigious and multi-million dollar doers for groups across southeastern Michigan.
“This all outdoors venue, with adrenaline-pumping track activities and a whole host of original equipment and technology exhibits, will provide the sights, sounds and even smells of everything the new mobility world has to offer,” director Rod Alberts said.
The move is a major downsizing just three months ago, when the show’s organizers announced the splendor of autumn at the TCF Center and the surrounding streets, parks and public areas throughout Downtown Detroit.
“While auto shows remain an important platform for promoting new mobility innovations and helping people make major car buying decisions, the traditional auto show paradigm is changing,” said Rod Alberts. We cannot ignore the huge disruptions the pandemic has caused and its impact on budgets. As such, we will provide an amazing experience to the media, the auto industry and the public in a cost-effective manner. “
In addition to a 1.5-mile track, the M1 provides a space to demonstrate off-road vehicle capability. Motor Bella will feature 1.6 million square feet of shows and demos.
This marks the second year that major US auto shows have been in chaos due to COVID-19. The Chicago Auto Show, traditionally held in February, is seeking government approval to hold it in April. The Los Angeles show, which announced the fall-to-spring transition a few months ago, may be on thin ice as Los Angeles remains a virus hotspot. The Los Angeles Show is currently scheduled for May 21-31.
If the Detroit decision is any clue, the 2021 New York Auto Show, slated to be held at the Javits Center in Manhattan from August 20-29, could also be in danger.
Impact on the city center
Show organizers won’t say anything about the future, or whether the North American International Auto Show name will continue.
“We are aware of the significance and impact of our show and events on the state and the entire Metro Detroit region. This will always be part of our considerations for the future. This will always be part of our considerations for the future. The auto show has been a major driver of business in restaurants, hotels, and other businesses in the city center.
The show’s economic impact has been estimated at up to $ 450 million annually as hotels and restaurants fill up with visitors, including workers who spent weeks building detailed fairs, journalists and automobile executives from around the world. The show is also known to attract around 800,000 pay customers to its public days.
While M1 covers 87 acres bordering Woodward Avenue on Pontiac’s southern border. It lacks road infrastructure and parking in downtown Detroit, virtually guaranteeing smaller crowds than previous auto shows.
Dates for Motor Bella 2021 holiday
- Press preview, Tuesday, September 21
- AutoMobili-D, Tuesday, September 21 through Thursday, September 23rd
- Industry Preview, Wednesday, September 22 and half, on Thursday, September 23
- Public Show, from Thursday 23 September to Sunday 26 September