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The 2021 Detroit Auto Show Has Been Cancelled… Sort Of?

North American International Auto Show

Last year, the Detroit Auto Show was cancelled on account of the coronavirus pandemic, and it looks like history is about to repeat itself, with organizers pre-emptively cancelling the North American International Auto Show for 2021.

But all is not lost for car enthusiasts, as NAIAS show officials have revealed a “bridge to the future” with an auto-centric event called Motor Bella. The new event will bring next-gen mobility and exciting vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive fans’ world in a never before experienced way while also addressing continued COVID-19 concerns about indoor events.

Motor Bella will be held from September 21-26, 2021, at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan. Centrally located in the metro Detroit area, M1 Concourse, often referred to as an “87-acre playground for auto enthusiasts,” enables exhibitors to showcase key vehicles and technologies in an outdoor setting.

Plans call for 1.6 million sq. ft. of dynamic vehicle and technology display space including terrain ideal for showcasing off-roading capabilities. M1 Concourse also offers a 1.5-mile hot track on the grounds for technology and vehicle demonstrations.

Attendees can expect a multi-sensory experience at Motor Bella. “This all-outdoor venue, with adrenaline-pumping track activities and a full complement of OEM and technology exhibits, is going to offer the sights, sounds and even the smell of all that the new world of mobility has to offer,” said Executive Director Rod Alberts.

Event Chairman Doug North noted that the M1 Concourse was envisioned as part of the 2021 Motor Bella activities, so it was “a natural progression” to build upon it in light of the growing demand for experiential mobility shows and an increased appetite for outdoor events as a result of the pandemic. Motor Bella was originally conceived as a celebration of Italian and British supercars and classic vehicles and was to have debuted at the June 2020 NAIAS.

Jordan Zlotoff, CEO of M1 Concourse, said, “We are proud and honored to be hosting this world-class automotive event. Motor Bella will allow journalists, industry executives and the public to interact with vehicles in a fully dynamic and experiential format, well beyond the limitations of static displays. As the largest Private Garage community in the world, we at M1 Concourse share the enthusiasm for creating a unique automotive environment built specifically for car enthusiasts.”

Dates for the 2021 Motor Bella are:

  • Press Preview, Tuesday, Sept. 21
  • AutoMobili-D, Tuesday, Sept. 21 through a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23
  • Industry Preview, Wednesday, Sept. 22 and a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23
  • Public Show, Thursday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 26

This sounds like a promising event, and we’re hoping that things go off without a hitch. If so, we’ll be reporting from there come September, so stay tuned!

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