The 2020 North American International Auto Show has been completely cancelled for 2020, according to the Detroit Free Press, after the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that it has chosen the venue for the event, TCF Centre, to be used for at least the next six months as a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 victims during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Detroit has been one of the hardest-hit cities thus far in the pandemic, along with New York City, which has already seen the Javits Centre (host of the New York International Auto Show) converted into a 2,000 bed care facility for COVID-19 patients for the foreseeable future.
Javits currently looks like this:
The seemingly miles of beds being set up at Javits. It is absolutely unreal to see what the National Guard & first responders have put together here in just days. pic.twitter.com/dD0AQg4PO4
— Sarah Boxer (@Sarah_Boxer) March 27, 2020
A similar buildout is expected for TCF Centre. The NAIAS was originally scheduled to take place from June 7th to 21st, but with the loss of the venue entirely, event planners opted to cancel for 2020 entirely and resume the show in 2021. From the chair of the show himself, Doug North:
We fully support NAIAS organisers in their postponement. The health and safety of our community and those working throughout the industry is our top priority. We look forward to seeing the show’s return in 2021.
Michigan has already suffered over 100 deaths from the pandemic, with the largest one-day increase in confirmed cases coming yesterday, at over 1,000. Michigan’s first confirmed case was on March 10th. Yesterday, the state government declared a state of disaster caused by the pandemic, which the president approved today.
With automakers who have shut down currently planning to extend their closures as the pandemic worsens, it would have been a bleak show, even if the United States even began to recover by then. Now, hopefully the space can be used usefully to help those ill as hospitals begin to fill and any space that can be procured could be of use.