The coronavirus pandemic has really gripped the world, bringing nearly everything unrelated to health, food, water, basic utilities, and primary government services to a standstill.
That means all kinds of motoring events are either postponed indefinitely or canceled outright, especially motor shows. One such event was one of the world's Big 5: the Geneva Motor Show which was slated to happen earlier this month.
Now, another one of the Big 5 has been canceled.
Organizers have said that they have decided to cancel the June 2020 staging of the Detroit Auto Show, officially known as the North American International Auto Show or NAIAS. But compared to Geneva's cancellation which was more precautionary, Detroit's reason is more direct: the venue of the event could become a field hospital.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, backed by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in this time of crisis, has designated the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan as a feasible site for a field hospital. Being a large convention center provides FEMA with a location to augment their already overwhelmed hospital network.
Currently, there are about 140,000 confirmed cases of patients with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the subsequent Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the United States; the country with the highest number of cases the world after they surpassed China's 81,000+ cases a few days ago.
NAIAS is the premier auto show in North America and serves as a launchpad for the latest models and concepts of American automakers such as Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler. All three major U.S. automakers are now shifting their production to medical equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPEs), ventilators, and the like.
Detroit, Tokyo, Germany (formerly Frankfurt Auto Show), Paris and Geneva are the world's 5 most prestigious auto shows. Detroit and Geneva have both been canceled. The motor shows in Tokyo and Germany are slated for 2021, though the commercial vehicle show of Germany is still slated for later this year. Paris still hasn't been canceled but is slated for October 2020.