Two months ago, the organizers of the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) announced that they have postponed this year's show to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally slated for April 10 to 19, the annual motor show event has been rescheduled to take place from August 28 until September 6. Press days, meanwhile, will be on August 26 and 27.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic still heavily affecting the State of New York, the organizers of the NYIAS have decided to cancel this year's event altogether. With it, the annual motor show will instead return next year and will take place on April 2 until April 11, 2021. The press days for next year's event will be on March 31 and April 1.
According to Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, they have worked closely with the New York Governor's Office, along with the officials of the Javits Convention Center where the annual motor show is held.
With the state of New York still having the highest number of cases in the country at 371,193 confirmed, the officials of the convention center have decided to transform it into a field hospital, thus closing it to all types of events. To date, there are no COVID-19 patients yet admitted at the Javits Convention Center, though the facility remains active and is currently in standby mode for the foreseeable future.
“We are extremely proud of the role the Javits Center has played during this difficult time, and we understand the need for it to remain ready to serve. We also understand the immense planning needed for the automakers and their exhibit partners to construct a show of this magnitude. Because of the uncertainty caused by the virus, we feel it would not be prudent to continue with the 2020 Show and instead are preparing for an even greater 2021,” said Schienberg.
It's not just this 2020 NYIAS that had to be canceled due to the global pandemic. Earlier this year, the Geneva International Motor Show, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), as well as the Concours d'Elegance have all been canceled for this year.
Meanwhile, the country's very own Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) might be canceled as well since the World Trade Center where it is held biennially has been converted into a quarantine site for COVID-19 patients. On the other hand, this year's Manila International Auto Show has been postponed and there are no dates yet as to when it will take place.
With more and more auto shows getting canceled or postponed, we won't be surprised if some automakers shift towards full digital launches of new vehicles. Just recently, Ford Philippines and Jeep Philippines held virtual launches for the 2020 Everest Sport and the 2020 Renegade/Compass models, respectively. Perhaps this will be the new normal for the launching of vehicles until the local and global situation improves, or until vaccine has been developed and distributed worldwide.