New York Auto Show Cancelled Again

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) has been cancelled for the second year in a row over, you guessed it, COVID. Though things are a bit more complicated this time around.

Progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that New Yorkers will need proof of vaccination to do everything from going to the movies to dining out starting August 16th. While this doesn’t include a mask mandate, something he said was unnecessary, requiring thousands of people from out of state to furnish vaccination cards they likely already lost makes NYC hosting the auto show a difficult (if not impossible) proposition. NYIAS organizers announced their decision to cancel the event on Wednesday.

The press release reads a lot like the one we saw last year and wraps with a familiar promise that our would-have-been hosts “firmly believe” that the trade show will return in April of 2022.

“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,” stated NYIAS President Mark Schienberg.

“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.”

The event was supposed to play host to an entire floor of electric vehicles this year as part of “EV Test Fest” that would have allowed attendees to drive cars around indoors. While that was also scaled back ahead of the now-cancelled event, it sounded pretty ambitious and like the kind of thing that would have drawn in more attendees than usual.

“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,” said Schienberg.

As someone who lives here, that’s seeming less likely every single day. But here’s to hoping the New York Auto Show, or whatever name they decide to give it when it moves to a different locale, returns someday.

In the interim, don’t assume other events are safe from cancellations just because they’re scheduled to take place beyond the confines of Manhattan. Mayor de Blasio has suggested his “NYC Pass” vaccination requirement is the best and only way to force literally every person to get vaccinated and should be adopted by other parts of the country.

“When you hear those words, I want you to imagine the notion that, because someone’s vaccinated, they can do all the amazing things that are available in this city,” he told the press this week, adding that those who had not been vaccinated need to be made aware that they will not be able to “fully participate in our society.”

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden agreed when asked if other cities should pursue the NYC Pass model and subsequent two-tiered system.

[Image: beka venezia/Shutterstock]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 63 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 05, 2021

    Eliminating in person auto shows was in the cards long before Covid-19 but it is happening sooner now because of it. Maybe instead of dwelling on the politics it would be more interesting to discuss how the auto buying experience is changing and the future of auto shows. Could there be more virtual shows and since there will be less opportunity to physically see, touch, and test drive new vehicles what will the dealers and manufacturers do when a customer wants to see and test drive a vehicle.

  • 96redse5sp 96redse5sp on Aug 06, 2021

    What’s NOT being cancelled is this year’s Sturgis Superspreader Rally. The spread of Covid in the Midwest after last year’s event was predictable, dramatic and terrifying. Expect to see reports of escalating numbers of Covid cases in SD, ND, WY, and MT starting on Tuesday August 17 (when the surge will start to become evident and the numbers will be processed) with increased reporting of hospitalizations starting about a week after that, and escalating Covid deaths being reported the week of Labor Day. It’s gonna be a horror show out there..,

  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • Aja8888 NO!
  • OrpheusSail I once did. My first four cars were American made, and through an odd set of circumstances surrounding a divorce, I wound up with a '95 Nissan Maxima which was fourteen years old and had about 150,000 miles on it.It was drove better, had an amazing engine, and was more reliable than any of my American cars. This included a new '95 GMC pickup that went through five alternators in under two years while the dealership insisted that there was no underlying electrical problem while they tried to run the clock on the warranty.That was the end of 'buy American'. I've bought from Honda and VW since, and I'll consider just about anything except American now.