New York Auto Show organizers pull plug on 2020 event.
Last March, the organizers of the New York International Auto Show, scheduled as every year for the first week of April, postponed the event until late August because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
At the time the decision was made, the number of cases in the Big Apple and across the U.S. was still low and it was hoped that the pandemic could be stopped, or at least brought under control.
The direction of the pandemic since then has made it increasingly clear that it would be impossible to hold the show in August. News of the 2020 event’s cancellation thus comes as no surprise.
Most immediately, the usual host for the auto show, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center located on 11th Avenue in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, remains set up as a temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients.
In fact, the logistical uncertainty of using the convention center makes planning and setting up a show there impossible. Even if the situation were to miraculously improve over the next few weeks, the risk for organizers was and is just too great – both safety-wise and in terms of logistics.
"Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have worked closely with the Governor's office and with Javits officials to protect our attendees. We are extremely proud of the role the Javits Center has played during this difficult time, and we understand the need for it to remain ready to serve.
We also understand the immense planning needed for the automakers and their exhibit partners to construct a show of this magnitude. Because of the uncertainty caused by the virus, we feel it would not be prudent to continue with the 2020 Show and instead are preparing for an even greater 2021."
- Mark Schienberg, president, Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association
The hospital was effectively shut down at the beginning of May and is currently not treating any patients, but it will remain in place until federal and state authorities give the go-ahead to dismantle it, leaving the availability of the centre in limbo.
The 2021 New York International Auto Show will be held from April 2 to 11.