The Detroit Auto Show as we know it will soon be a thing of the past. Having, organizers on Monday officially canned the , which will be replaced by a new, outdoor program called Motor Bella.
Motor Bella will run from Sept. 21-26 with press and industry previews taking place from Sept. 21-23. The show will open to the public on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 23, and will run through Sunday, Sept. 26. This is a significantly shorter timetable than previous Detroit Auto Shows, which were historically open to the public for at least a full week.
Motor Bella is being billed as “a bridge to the future” as organizers reconsider the traditional auto show formula. It’s no secret thetook quite a toll on public events around the world, and Motor Bella is Detroit’s way of reimagining the whole auto show experience.
To that end, Motor Bella will take place completely outdoors at the M1 Concourse motorsports facility in Pontiac, Michigan, which organizers say is “centrally located in the metro Detroit area” (though locals will likely disagree with that statement). The event will have 1.6 million square feet of “dynamic vehicle and technology display space,” according to an official press release, and M1’s 1.5-mile test track will be used for vehicle demonstrations.
Up until the pandemic, the North American International Auto Show was always held in January at Detroit’s Cobo Center (which was recently renamed the TCF Center, but as a native Detroiter, I refuse to acknowledge this). The show was going to be overhauled in a big way last year, moving from its ass-freeze-athon January dates to June in order to better make use of the city’s outdoor space. As the coronavirus showed no signs of letting up, the event was eventuallybefore being scrapped outright.
“The traditional auto show model is changing,” Detroit Auto Show executive director Rod Alberts said in a statement. “We cannot ignore the major disruptions caused by the pandemic and the impact it has had on budgets. As such, we will be providing an amazing experience to the media, the auto industry and the public in a cost-effective way.”
Fingers crossed it takes place as planned.