Detroit Auto Show Cancelled, Switched to Outdoor Pontiac Event

The 2021 North American International Auto Show has been cancelled and moved to Pontiac.

Auto enthusiasts hoping to catch a glimpse of the newest, hottest cars in the automotive world in Detroit this summer are going to need to reprogram their GPS.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association Monday announced the cancellation of the 2021 North American International Auto Show, originally scheduled for Sept. 24 through Oct. 9 in downtown Detroit, over fears of a still-raging coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, DADA officials said in a statement Monday they’re planning a scaled-down, outdoor auto event, called Motor Bella, at M1 Concourse in Pontiac Sept. 21-26.

According to a press release DADA issued Monday, Motor Bella “will bring next-generation mobility and exciting vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive enthusiasts.”

NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said in a statement that the pandemic “has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined.”

“We all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business,” Alberts said in the 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 NAIAS hasn’t been held since January 2019. Organizers tried to host it in June 2020 at the TCF Center, but that got shot down when the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it would use the center for overflow patients from area hospitals.

Jordan Zlotoff, CEO of M1 Concourse, said he’s “proud and honored” to be hosting what he called a “world-class automotive event.”

“As the largest Private Garage community in the world, we at M1 Concourse share the enthusiasm for creating a unique automotive environment built specifically for car enthusiasts,” North said. “We see this outdoor experience at M1 as a bridge to the future, one that will continue to evolve as we explore new ways of presenting mobility and as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We are very cognizant of the importance and impact our show and our events have on the state and the entire metro Detroit
area. This will always be part of our considerations for the future.”

Motor Bella will open with a press preview on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Other events include:

  • 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

A charity initiative will also be part of the six-day Motor Bella.