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2021 NYIAS cancelled – Covid-19 Delta variant causes concern


It’s official: The 2021 NYIAS has been cancelled this year due to fears over the growing number of Covid-19 Delta variant cases springing up around the country.

In a statement from the show, Mark Schienberg, president of the New York Auto Show, said the show “has been cancelled due to the growing incidences of the Covid-19 Delta variant and the increased measures announced recently by State and local officials to stop its spread.”

The 2021 NYIAS show was supposed to be in August and feature a new EV Test Fest, an entire floor dedicated to electric vehicles as well as four indoor EV test tracks.

Initially, they organizers were excited about the prospect of bringing the 121 year-old show back yet, the growth of the Covid-19 Delta variant was just too much to overcome.

Statement confirming 2021 NYIAS cancelled

Here is the official statement from Schienberg and NYIAS in its entirety:

“It is with great disappointment that the upcoming 2021 New York International Automobile Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has been cancelled due to the growing incidences of the Covid-19 Delta variant and the increased measures announced recently by State and local officials to stop its spread.

“We are enormously appreciative of the automobile industry’s tremendous response and commitment in participating in an August New York Auto Show, and especially for the overwhelming involvement in the new EV Test Fest, complete with an entire floor dedicated to electric vehicles and four indoor EV test tracks.

“Eight years ago, New York decided to introduce show attendees to electric vehicles by organizing its first EV test drive. Large scale adoption of EVs back in 2013 was questionable, but the program was a success and helped pave the way for future events. Auto shows have always been an opportunity to showcase an industry on the move and the New York Show is proud to be part of that heritage.

“As custodians of the 121-year-old New York Auto Show, we are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone including attendees, exhibitors, and the thousands of men and women who put the Show together. Over the past few weeks, and especially within the last few days, circumstances have changed making it more difficult to create an event at the high standard that we and our clients expect.

“At the onset of planning for the August Show, we were increasingly excited at the prospect of hosting the event as the number of vaccinations in New York continued to climb and mask-wearing reduced the spread in the City. All signs were positive, and the Show was coming together stronger than ever, but today is a different story.

“Each year, attendees rely on auto shows to help make important buying decisions, spending an average of almost five hours at the exhibition, with nearly 72% of those visitors indicating that they are in the market to purchase a vehicle over the next 12 months. We fully appreciate and acknowledge how important auto shows are to the automakers, retail new car and truck dealers and the public alike, and we strongly believe in the future of these valuable marketing events.

“The Covid pandemic has challenged our City, the country and the entire world, but just like the automobile industry, we know that the New York Auto Show will rebound and be bigger and better than before.

“We firmly believe that will be the case when the Show returns to its regular spring schedule in April 2022.”

The bottom line on the cancelled 2021 NYIAS

Thus far, the only major auto show to return for 2021 has been Chicago, which had an indoor-outdoor venue. Detroit has plans for an outdoor show called Motor Bella in September, which may make it through unscathed due to its completely outdoor venue. In fact, the cancelled 2021 NYIAS may be a boon for this small show.

Many manufacturers and auto shows have plans for this fall, and the growing Covid-19 Delta variant is going to cause a lot of disruptions to these plans. While we certainly hope this is the only show that will be cancelled, it is hard to imagine shows in hot-bed areas such as California with its November show will not cancelled.

Hopefully, we can turn the tide on the rising Covid-19 cases and get back to normal soon.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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