Chicago Auto Show Delayed Until 'Spring'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
chicago auto show delayed until spring

The 2021 Chicago Auto Show will be delayed until sometime in the spring of 2021 because of the COVID-19 epidemic that has forced the entire world to pretty much cancel everything. Of course, we didn’t need to tell you that because the pandemic has been the default reason or excuse (depending on the situation) for literally every decision that has taken place in 2020.

Originally scheduled to be held between February 13th and 21st, the event will now be held sometime in the spring. The Chicago Auto Show’s official website has been updated to represent the change but lacks any specifics that might help people actually plan a trip to the venue. It only reads “Spring 2021” before listing the address and ticket prices, requiring some clarification from organizers.

Health concerns cancelled practically every sizable trade show in 2020 and the few that persisted became virtual events nobody bothered with. Meanwhile, organizers have massively rejiggered shows scheduled for 2021. The Los Angeles Auto Show has been rescheduled for late May (potentially creating conflict with Chicago, though Chicago organizers say they want to work around the dates for other shows), while the New York International Auto Show shifted to August and Detroit’s North American International Auto Show is now taking place in September.

The reasoning is often the same. Organizers and vendors don’t know if states will end up enforcing strict lockdown protocols and are understandably wary of commitment.

“At this point, with the recent increase in [COVID-19] cases, it doesn’t look like February is realistic,” Mark Bilek, senior director of communications and technology for the Chicago Auto Show, to Automotive News in a statement. “So we wanted to make sure that we let people know that we’re still very excited about trying to have a show in spring of 2021, at some point, be it in March, April or May.”

“We didn’t want to throw a date out there and then have to move it again,” he continued. “So we’re just, at this point, kind of in a holding pattern. And of course, being respectful of other major shows like New York and L.A. that have already announced dates. We obviously wouldn’t want to conflict with those. So we’ll work to make sure that we find an open spot on the calendar to host a safe and responsible Chicago Auto Show.”

When we reached out for clarification, organizers wanted to make doubly sure that we understood nothing had been established yet. The spring date is simply a placeholder while they work with the city of Chicago and state of Illinois to determine when it might be able to hold the public event without running into trouble. A proposal has been submitted, however, and they’re reportedly waiting on approvals.

[Images: Chicago Auto Show]

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5 of 19 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Dec 08, 2020

    In the future, you can test-drive all the vehicles at the auto show indoors, either on the road course or the off-road course. (With little noise and no fumes.)

  • C5 is Alive C5 is Alive on Dec 08, 2020

    Yesterday, organizers cancelled the Paris Air Show that had been planned for June 21-27. The event ("the largest air show and aerospace-industry exhibition event in the world" - Wikipedia) takes place mostly outdoors and dwarfs any auto show by several orders of magnitude in the amount of money on the ground. We'll be lucky if any sizable in-person trade event occurs before August. What an utter CF.

  • Jeff S I saw a You Tube on this recently that said this truck was going to be midsize and just an EV. I hope that this truck is a true compact and that it will have ICE and hybrid as well especially a plug in hybrid. Matthew please keep us informed of any additional information that is released about this truck. This is good to have more competition in the compact truck market with Toyota already planning to release the Stout and GM talking about a compact truck.
  • SCE to AUX Whoa, I like the looks of that thing.
  • ToolGuy Found this.
  • SCE to AUX Their splash was the sound of breaking through thin ice. It's a matter of time until they withdraw from the US.
  • SCE to AUX I've said for years that the NACS Tesla protocol should become the standard.I had hoped the Feds would settle it, but it's probably better for the industry to do it.Now let's see if Ford and GM will help fund further Supercharger expansion.