2020 Detroit auto show canceled due to coronavirus

The Ford Motor Co. Mustang Shelby GT500 vehicle is displayed during the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan,.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The 2020 Detroit auto show has been canceled as its venue will be used as a field hospital for the Federal Emergency Management Administration, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

The event is the third large-scale auto show to be canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. The Geneva auto show was canceled last month, followed by a postponement of the New York International Auto Show, which was scheduled to begin next month, to late-August.

The next Detroit show, officially known as the North American International Auto Show, will take place at the TCF Center in June 2021, according to the sources who did not want to be identified because the news wasn’t public. The show typically takes months to set up due to large, multimillion dollar displays and massive video screens from dozens of auto brands.

Show officials confirmed the plans Saturday night: “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,” said Rod Alberts, executive director of the show, in a release.

Michigan is becoming one of the major epicenters in the U.S. for coronavirus cases. As of Saturday, state officials had reported 4,650 cases, including 111 deaths, in Michigan.

The cancellation of the show comes at a precarious time for the auto industry, which has been dealing with vehicle production and supplier disruption issues as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak for months. It also adds to challenging times for auto shows, many of which

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