Welcome to the latest edition of Things That Have Been What Could Generously be Called “Disrupted” by the COVID-19 pandemic. This time around, it’s the New York Auto Show. As we previously reported, the showcase — which regularly pulls in more than 1 million attendees per year — was postponed to late August. Now, we know that the show will not occur in any form in 2020. According to a tweet by the New York Auto Show’s official Twitter account and subsequently corroborated by Andrew J. Hawkins for The Verge, the event has been pushed all the way back to April 2-11, 2021. The cancellation makes a lot of sense considering the continued impact of the novel coronavirus on public gatherings — especially in New York, which was one of the hardest-hit cities anywhere in the world.
There’s still a lot to feel good about
While it’s natural to be disappointed by the cancellation of yet another hotly-anticipated event, there are still plenty of positives to hold onto. In terms of community outreach, The Javits Center, which plays host to the show, is being held in reserve as a field hospital for COVID-19 patients. While The Verge reports that there are currently no patients in the facility, its good to know that a space like that is available in case people need it.
In regards to the cancellation, Mark Schienberg, the president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association — the group that hosts and funds the NY Auto Show — had nothing but good things to say. “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.”
Additionally, Schienberg expects that the cancellation of the 2020 show will only fuel the public’s hunger for its 2021 return, reportedly using the phrase “enormous pent-up demand for new vehicles in this region and across the country.”
While it’s possible that Schienberg was simply referring to people’s desire to witness the unveiling of exciting new cars, it’s also worth mentioning that many experts expect to see an increase in demand for personal vehicles. According to a recent Harris Poll, more than half of the people involved in the study feel safer in their own cars than they do using public transportation or ride-sharing services.
The 2020 New York Auto Show was going to play host to the debuts of several thrilling vehicles, including a number of exciting new EVs like the Cadillac LYRIQ EV. As we all continue to process the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — especially as it pertains to the automotive industry — it’s worth remembering that these vehicles haven’t been canceled; just the shows we were meant to meet them at. All we have to do is wait a little longer to feast our eyes on the next set of boundary-pushing rides.