Not that people have any leftover hope of enjoying what was once considered a normal life, but the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) is moving entirely online for 2021. It’s French Canadian equivalent Salon International de l’Auto de Montréal (MIAS) has also been relegated to the digital world as a way to kick off another year of absolutely nothing happening.
Obviously, this is being done to protect the world from itself and ensure the country remains on the mend indefinitely. But some provinces are said to be easing lockdown restrictions and reopening schools, suggesting the world may not be a practical joke played entirely at our collective expense. There’s a palpable fear among event organizers, however, especially if theirs happens to be indoors and include words like “international” in the title. Nobody wants to be the person who relaunched COVID-19 around the world, even if contagion rates have dropped and hospitals have better ways of treating the virus.
Spending the last three months chronicling every every single cancellation related to the coronavirus hasn’t been any more enjoyable than reading about it. And, while we apologize for putting you though that, there honestly isn’t much else to report on when every manufacturer on the planet suddenly enters into a panicked lockdown. Thankfully, we seem to be nearing the end of being forced to issue updates on the latest cancelled soirée you had your hopes set on attending.
Despite automotive trade shows being canceled in Detroit, Geneva, and Paris this year, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show scheduled for November is still on. We may also see the New York Auto Show, which was rescheduled, take place in August — assuming the Javits Center remains underutilized for COVID patients through the summer and NYC doesn’t see a sudden spike in infection rates. However, SEMA is the first major event that seems like a sure thing in the automotive realm and, boy, are we glad to hear it.
If you were hoping to browse the mouth-watering classics at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, don’t break out the collared shirts just yet. The event has been cancelled for the same reason everything else you wanted to do is now impossible. Pebble Beach officials have decided to nix the show, originally scheduled for August 16th, rather than risk the health of entrants, judges, and volunteers.
“My heart goes out to all of the people who are involved in the Pebble Beach Concours and who are impacted by this decision,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button for the announcement. “Many of our entrants have been working on a special car for years, and this was to be their moment. Some of our overseas entrants were nearing the point of putting their cars on boats and planes, and their own travel arrangements have long been made. The same is true for many of our international cadre of judges.”
Automakers are reassessing the number of employees they’re willing to send to next week’s Geneva International Motor Show. While plenty are simply exercising their right to snub the show, with over a dozen giving advance notice that they will not be in attendance, others are reconsidering what’s prudent as a viral outbreak grows in Europe. Overall, the industry is scaling back on the number of people it feels comfortable sending to the show.
New coronavirus cases in Switzerland have left some worried that the trade event will be cancelled at the last minute.
“The coronavirus public health crisis alone puts a big question-mark next to this year’s show,” David Leggett, automotive editor at data and analytics specialists GlobalData, told The Telegraph this week.
On Thursday, Toyota said it plans to send only business-critical staff to Geneva, specifically those responsible for operations in Europe and nobody else. Volkswagen Group also plans to send only those deemed mission critical, according to Automotive News — and that’s just for starters.