2021 North American International Auto Show in Detroit canceled

(WWJ) The 2021 North American International Auto Show in Detroit has been canceled, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Announced Monday afternoon, the show -- which typically draws hundreds of thousands of people from across the U.S. and the world -- will not be held this year.

This comes after the 2020 show was canceled for the same reason.

The 2021 NAIAS had been planned for September.

"Organizers cite a number of concerns, including the impact on budgets," WWJ's Jeff Gilbert reported. "They say they will have a bridge to the future until the show's return in 2022."

Chairman Doug North said canceling the show was not a hasty decision, and that organizers considered all options.

"Viewing all the safety protocols and all of the things that really impact something like this, it really became clear in recent months -- but really crystal clear in the last couple of months -- that, look... Hopefully this vaccine will do well, but it's not gonna be done, and 2021 is still going to be dramatically impacted by (the virus)," North said.

"(The pandemic) also hampered a lot of our partners, OEMs, suppliers, community partners, citizens, you know whether they were going to be able to come, or had a desire to come, or whether their budgets were impacted by what's happened," he said. "...And so we came to the conclusion, and we're confident it's the right one, that we couldn't have had the kind of show that we really would want to, or that we had previously."

In place of the traditionally grand Detroit show, there will be a six-day all-outdoor event called "Motor Bella," which will be held at the M-1 Concourse in Pontiac, beginning on Sept. 21.

"It will include outdoor displays, even track experiences," Gilbert said, "and will also include things like technology, press previews and a charity preview."

The auto show is officially set to return next year.

Updates and more information about Motor Bella can be found at https://motorbella.com/.