2020 NAIAS canceled as TCF Center expected to become temporary hospital

Detroit’s annual North American International Auto Show to resume in June 2021

Detroit’s 2020 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has been canceled as FEMA is expected to convert the TCF Center into a temporary hospital amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

DETROIT – Detroit’s 2020 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has been canceled as FEMA is expected to convert the TCF Center into a temporary hospital amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates in Michigan, the TCF Center could be chosen by FEMA for a temporary hospital to assist the state’s response to the outbreak for at least the next six months.

As of Saturday night, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan has risen to 4,658.

The annual auto show was scheduled to take place during the summer in Detroit. Event organizers say the auto show will resume in June 2021 and will include the events planned for this year.

The following statement was sent by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association to NAIAS partners:

Hospitals, like Beaumont, are already nearing capacity, and Gov. Whitmer issued a stay-at-home order for the state.

President Donald Trump approved Michigan’s disaster declaration Friday and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected.

“The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount," said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts. "TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time.”

“Our primary concern is the health and well-being of the community and all of our partners are supportive of trying to help get this virus under control," said 2020 NAIAS chair Doug North.

North added that the organizations that would have benefited from the 2020 NAIAS Charity event are still expected to be taken care of as a new fundraising event is being discussed.

“We’ve also begun planning to try and come up with some type of event or fundraiser that would allow us to support those charities before next year," North said.

All tickets purchased for the 2020 NAIAS show, including tickets for the Public Show, Industry Preview and Charity Preview will be fully refunded. Charity Preview ticket holders will be given the option of a refund, or the opportunity to donate the proceeds of their refund to one of the nine designated Charity Preview beneficiaries.

“One of the hallmarks of NAIAS since the very beginning has been our commitment to being socially responsible,” Alberts said. “Our thoughts continue to be with those whose lives have been impacted by this devastating virus. And, we support the city and state’s mission to help preserve life in the face of this challenging situation.”

Ford Motor Company expressed their support of the auto show’s postponement amid the national outbreak.

“We fully support NAIAS organizers 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,” Ford officials said in a statement.

Terry Rhadigan, a representative for GM, said the company had “big plans” for the event.

“We had big plans for the show but that seems completely insignificant in the scheme of things now,” Rhadigan said. “With our headquarters so close, we had exciting things planned to help showcase the city but that’s fine -- We will focus on what’s important now and we will be back to support the show and the city next year. We fully support Rod Alberts and the DADA. We will be there when things get better.”

FCA released the following statement:

“We understand and support the decision at this difficult time.”

The newly announced 2021 show dates are:

  • Motor Bella: Friday, June 11 – Monday, June 14
  • The Gallery: Monday, June 14
  • Press Preview: Tuesday, June 15 – Wednesday, June 16
  • AutoMobili-D Powered by PlanetM: Tuesday, June 15 – Thursday, June 17
  • Industry Preview: Wednesday, June 16 – Thursday, June 17
  • Charity Preview: Friday, June 18
  • Public Show: Saturday, June 19 – Saturday, June 26

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About the Authors:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.