It'll be something very different than the usual show at Cobo Hall.
The 2021 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is canceled. Instead, a multi-day event called Motor Bella at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, will replace it. The new dates will be September 21 through 26, but the public will only be welcome there from September 23 to 26.
Moving to the M1 Concourse will allow the event to take place entirely outdoors, which will possibly be beneficial for mitigating coronavirus concerns. In addition, the site's 1.5-mile track will be available for technology and vehicle demonstrations.
The organizers are positioning Motor Bella as a more exciting alternative to the traditional auto show by providing a more festival-like atmosphere. The chance for people to see performance vehicles on track or to witness their tech on display could make this something very different than the normal static displays.
At this point, the NAIAS organizers aren't discussing what automakers are signing up to display vehicles at the show. As of this writing, it's just far too soon to know what could be there.
"The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business," said Executive Director Rod Alberts in the new announcement. "This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products."
The NAIAS event hasn't happened since January 2019. Following that year, the organizers planned to reschedule it to a summer show to happen in June 2020. Then, there was the COVID-19 pandemic that forced a delay. Eventually, the planners decided on the dates from September 28 through October 9.