DETROIT – Last week would have been a big week in Motown, the North American International Auto Show opening its doors to the public for the first time since abandoning its traditional winter timetable in January 2019.
The move aimed to revitalize what long was considered one of the world’s most important car shows, typically drawing over 700,000 visitors through its turnstiles while, in its heyday, as many as 70 new cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts would make their debut. The last few years saw sharp declines at NAIAS, however. What was once three hectic days of product debuts shrinking to barely five hours. Sponsors had hoped a new spring timetable, allowing the show to spread to surrounding park space, would give it a kick-start. But the pandemic forced cancellation of the debut event.
The Detroit auto show isn’t the only one struggling. Attendance at the Frankfurt Motor Show, once the biggest global events, was so weak last year sponsors called it their last. Now, as the coronavirus scrubs most major public events, the question is whether car shows can survive the pandemic.
To read more of Paul Eisenstein’s column, click on https://www.businessinsider.com/covid-19-threatens-destroy-car-shows-2020-6