Detroit Auto Show cancelled amid plans to repurpose its venue as temporary coronavirus field hospital

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The North American International Auto Show in 2019. North American International Auto Show
  • The North American International Auto Show, popularly known as the Detroit Auto Show, has been cancelled amid plans to use its venue as a temporary field hospital for COVID-19 patients.
  • The venue will reportedly be used as a hospital for at least six months, and the next Detroit Auto Show will be in June 2021.
  • Several other car-related events have been cancelled or delayed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, including the New York International Auto Show. Its usual venue has been converted to a 1,000-bed field hospital.
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The 2020 North American International Auto Show, set to take place in Detroit in June, has been cancelled amid the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plans to use its venue as a temporary field hospital for coronavirus patients.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the venue, the TCF Centre, will serve as makeshift hospital for at least six months.

The show’s organisers announced its cancellation over the weekend, with its executive director, Rod Alberts, saying in a statement that as many convention facilities in the US are being considered as sites for temporary hospitals, “it became clear … that TCF Centre would be an inevitable option to serve as a care facility to satisfy [the] community’s urgent health needs.”

“Although we are disappointed, there is nothing more important to us than the health, safety and well-being of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan, and we will do what we can to support our community’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak,” Alberts said.

The NAIAS, known as the Detroit Auto Show, has traditionally occurred in January, but the Detroit Auto Dealers Association moved the show to June starting this year in an overhaul of the event aimed at keeping car shows relevant. This summer would have been the first indicator of whether that decision was the right one, but due to the cancellation, the show’s first summer outing is now scheduled for June 2021.

The Detroit show is the latest car event to be postponed or cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Geneva International Motor Show was nixed in late February, while the Indianapolis 500 race has been pushed from Memorial Day weekend to August 23.

The New York International Auto Show has also been postponed to August from its planned dates in April. Manhattan’s Javits Centre, where the show was slated to take place, has been converted into a 1,000-bed field hospital to aid in the city’s COVID-19 relief effort.