The coronavirus has caused a number of auto shows to either be pushed back (New York) or cancelled (Geneva). Add another show to the list as the Detroit Free Press is reporting tonight at the Detroit Auto Show has been cancelled.
In a memo that was sent to sponsors today, organizers of the show said that the TCF Center (formally known as Cobo Hall) has been designated as field hospital by Federal Emergency Management Administration [FEMA] for the next six months.
"The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount. TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time,” NAIAS executive director Rod Albert wrote in the memo obtained by the Free Press.
The news was confirmed by ABC affiliate WXYZ after speaking with the chair of the 2020 show, Doug North.
"The North American International Auto Show is officially canceled. TCF is working with FEMA to use the center to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak," said North.
Ford and General Motors also confirmed the cancellation to The Detroit News.
Michigan is becoming one of the hardest hit states with COVID-19. State officials announced today that there are 4,650 confirmed cases and 111 deaths linked to COVID-19. Wayne County, where the show takes place has the highest numbers of the state - 2,316 confirmed cases and 46 deaths.
This was going to be a big year for the Detroit Auto Show with the move to the summer. Plans included rides and drives; an off-road course, and demonstration of autonomous vehicles.