The organizers of the Detroit Auto Show cancelled the 2021 event, in favor of an outdoor, enthusiast-focused show called Motor Bella.

The carnage of car shows continues as the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which organizes the North American International Auto Show, cancelled this year’s event.

The show, which was last held in 2019, has been cancelled and rescheduled multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, instead of shutting the entire event down, the group is scaling it back to make it a more enthusiast-focused show at the M1 Concourse, a private racetrack north of Detroit.

Describing it as a “bridge to the future,” the new event is called the Motor Bella and will be held Sept. 21-26 at the 87-acre racetrack and vehicle storage facility. It will allow exhibitors to showcase vehicles outdoors while more easily enforcing safety procedures for the pandemic. They plan to a more traditional type of auto show in 2022.

(Detroit Auto Show organizers moving NAIAS again: Fall 2021.)

The event will feature 1.6 million square feet of dynamic vehicle and technology display space, plus a 1.5-mile hot track on the grounds for technology and vehicle demonstrations. Originally envisioned as an event to take place alongside the auto show in downtown Detroit, it will now become the primary show.

The Motor Bella will be held at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, north of Detroit.

“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,” DADA 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.”

The Motor Bella schedule, which will include a charitable component like the original NAIAS and its black-tie charity preview, is:

  • Press Preview, Tuesday, Sept. 21
  • AutoMobili-D, Tuesday, Sept. 21 through a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23
  • Industry Preview, Wednesday, Sept. 22 and a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23
  • Public Show, Thursday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 26

(“Whichever way is necessary,” the Detroit Auto Show will be back in 2021, organizers say.)

Not the only auto show to be cancelled in the wake of the pandemic, the Detroit show has been particularly hard hit because it was already in the midst of moving to a new date.

Detroit Auto Dealers Associate Director Rod Alberts and NAIAS Chair Doug North said the new show will act as a bridge to the 2022 Detroit Auto Show.

The annual event was previously held in early January, but due to competition with other auto shows and the Consumer Electronics Show held just prior, organizers elected to move the event to mid-June to give themselves some breathing room while coinciding with a slew of other auto-related events in the Detroit area during that time like the Detroit Grand Prix and the Woodward Dream Cruise.

“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,” Doug North, the event’s chairman said in a statement.

(Los Angeles Auto Show moved from November to May 2021.)

“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.”

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