What was the only major car show left for 2020 has now pulled the plug, organizers acknowledging that holding the New York International Auto Show this year is “unfeasible.”
One of the four tier-one shows in the U.S., typically attracting close to 1 million visitors and dozens of new product introductions, the NYIAS was originally scheduled to take place during the first half of April, starting with a two-day media preview. As COVID-19 outbreak began sweeping across the country and much of the U.S. went into lockdown, organizers decided to reschedule for late August and into September. But that plan was put into doubt when New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center was converted into an emergency hospital to help handle the city’s massive outbreak.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic we have worked closely with the Governor’s office and with Javits officials to protect our attendees,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Great New York Automobile Dealers Association, which sponsors the annual show which was set to mark its 120th anniversary this year..
Even though Javits currently has no patients on site, said Schienberg, “we understand the need for it to remain ready to serve” in the event of a second wave of infections. “Because of the uncertainty caused by the virus, we feel it would not be prudent to continue with the 2020 Sho and instead are preparing for an even greater 2021,” Schienberg added in a statement.
New York was the U.S. city hardest hit by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Since the first outbreak of the coronavirus hit China late last year, public events all over the world have been scuttled. That includes virtually every major global auto show but for the big Chicago gathering in February. That includes the Geneva International Auto Show which was supposed to take place in Switzerland in early March, while organizers soon pulled the plug on the North American International Auto Show that was to take place in June in Detroit. That was a particularly frustrating development for NAIAS organizers as this was to mark the event’s big shift from its traditional January timeslot.
Organizers have so far just rescheduled this year’ Beijing Motor Show but it was widely expected that it will be canceled, as well. The same is anticipated for the Los Angeles International Auto Show currently on he calendar for November. The Paris Motor Show this coming autumn has already been pulled off the calendar.
Other automotive events have also been scuttled, including classic car shows like the Concours of the America in Detroit and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that was o have taken place in August. That granddaddy of antique auto events was to have anchored a week-long blitz of shows and classic car races across California’s Monterey Peninsula.
The lack of car shows, both big and small, could have a significant impact on an industry that has already suffered a major slump in sales. A sizable share of those that attend such events are in the market, research has shown, NYIAS organizers noting that 72% of those who walked through the turnstiles at the Javits Convention Center last year said they expected to buy or lease a new vehicle within the next 12 months.