A report suggests that had the Detroit Auto Show gone ahead next month as planned, Ford may have used the show to debut its F-150 hybrid or all-electric F-150.
Ford Motor Company was a part of the push to move the annual North American International Auto Show from January to June. That move, originally scheduled to have taken effect this year, will wait until 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA converted the TCF Center where the show would have taken place to a 1,000-bed field hospital, which closed last week after discharging its last patient.
According to Automotive News, Ford promised the Detroit Auto Dealer Association that it would reveal a new vehicle at the 2020 North American International Auto Show were it to move to June. Plans were said to be in place to reveal the new 2021 Ford F-150 sometime this month, and it’s surmised that the F-150 hybrid or F-150 electric may have followed at the Detroit Auto Show.
Ford was one of the automakers eager to move the show from its traditional January spot, hoping that a summer show would create a more contemporary, party-like atmosphere. The revamped show would have included live demonstrations and test drives — including demos of autonomous vehicle technologies — as well as live music and food trucks.
“We continue to look forward to the fresh new festival-style approach within the Detroit community, and we have made investments in new Ford displays that can make the most of new-vehicle reveals,” a Ford spokesperson said in a statement to Auto News.
Ford still set to show off next-gen F-150, Bronco this year
The spread of the coronavirus across the globe hasn’t just postponed NAIAS for a year, it’s also pushed back other reveals outside of the show. It was rumored that Ford had planned to reveal its all-new, much-anticipated Bronco at a special event in March and follow that with the debut of the Bronco Sport in New York. The Bronco reveal was delayed until further notice, and the New York International Auto Show has been moved to August.
Ford will resume manufacturing in North America next Monday, and CEO Jim Hackett says he doesn’t expect significant impact on any major product launches. The Bronco, Bronco Sport, next-generation F-150, and F-150 hybrid are all still expected to debut sometime this year.