To the surprise of no one, the 2020 edition of the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) that was originally planned for early April before being postponed for late August over coronavirus concerns has been cancelled for this year.
Organizers said that the next show would take place from April 2 – 11, 2021, with press days scheduled for March 31 and April 1.
The official explanation for postponing the New York Auto Show until next year is that the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center that hosts the event remains closed for all expo business due to its role as a field hospital for COVID-19 cases. “Although it currently has no patients, the facility remains set-up as an active hospital and is in standby mode for the foreseeable future,” read the statement from the NYIAS organizers.
While that may hold true, we can’t help but think that it would also have been too soon and ill-advised to open up such a large event in a city that has been hit the hardest in the USA from the novel coronavirus – not to mention possibly financially catastrophic as we doubt automakers and even New Yorkers would want to participate this time around.
That was reflected in the comments of Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the organization that owns and operates the New York Auto Show
“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.
“As representatives of automobile retailers, we know when this crisis passes there will be enormous pent-up demand for new vehicles in this region and across the country. We also know how important the Show is for consumers navigating the process,” he added.
Is that it for 2020?
This begs the question if the two other main automotive events in the United States that are planned for this year after the cancellation of the NY and Detroit shows this summer, the SEMA aftermarket show and the Los Angeles Auto Show in early and late November respectively, will actually happen. If you’re asking us, with all the restrictions in place for the foreseeable future and the risks involved with holding such big gatherings, we have our doubts even for next year’s events, but we shall see.