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2021 NAIAS Cancelled, Motor Bella to Host Detroit Auto Show in Pontiac

Citing concerns over hosting a large, indoor event, the 2021 North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s TCF Center has been cancelled and in its place, an event called Motor Bella will be held at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, allowing automakers to display their vehicles out in the open air for a week in September.

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) was set to hold its first summer event in 2020, but that was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At first, it was expected that the NAIAS would return in the summer of 2021, but it was announced a while back that the big Detroit new car show was being shifted to September. However, with Covid-19 pandemic continuing, the organizers of the NAIAS have decided to cancel the indoor event altogether for 2021 rather than risk jamming a bunch of people into Detroit’s TCF Center.

Although the 2021 NAIAS is off, the folks at the Detroit Auto Dealers Association wanted a way to give automakers a chance to show off their new vehicles to the crowds of vehicle-loving Michiganders. That event, being called a “bridge to the future”, is named Motor Bella and it will be held in September at the M1 Concourse road racing facility in Pontiac, Michigan.

What is Motor Bella
If you are not familiar with the M1 Concourse, it is a road racing facility covering a large piece of land in Pontiac, Michigan, right along Detroit’s Woodward Avenue. The M1 Concourse has hosted the popular Roadkill Nights by Dodge events over the course of the past few years, so it is familiar to locals beyond the road racing crowd. In addition to the 1.5-mile road course track, the M1 Concourse has scores of multi-level private luxury garages.

It seems that at Motor Bella, the vehicles will all be sitting outside in open air, with plenty of room for people to avoid each other and reduce the chances of spreading Covid-19. Motor Bella plans to introduce the next generation of vehicle debuts on September 21 through 26, so the media and attendees will have less time to see all of the vehicles, but a short show is better than no show. It seems that in using a new name, the organizers are showing that this outdoor event isn't NAIAS and it is not replacing NAIAS, but instead, serving as a stand-in for the NAIAS until Covid-19 is under control.

With any luck, in addition to the static displays, a portion of the M1 Concourse will be used for live performance demonstrations, but in any case, it will be nice to get back to some form of big auto show. M1 is a beautiful facility with loads of space, so there should be plenty of room for automakers to spread out and showcase their new products.