Vehicles | March 11, 2020 11:20 am

New York Auto Show Postponed Four Months Due to Coronavirus

First Geneva, now NYC. What’s next?

The entrance to an auto show in New York City
The New York International Auto Show has been postponed from April until August.
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Automakers around the globe were dealt another blow from the coronavirus Tuesday night when organizers of the New York International Auto Show, one of the most important industry events in North America, decided to postpone the event four months due to the spread of the virus in the region.

“For 120 years, ‘the show must go on’ has been heavily embedded in our DNA, and while the decision to move the show dates didn’t come easy, our top priority remains with the health and well-being of all those involved in this historic event,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the organization behind the show, in a statement.

“We have already been in communication with many of our exhibitors and partners and are confident that the new dates for the 2020 Show will make for another successful event,” Schienberg said. That sounds well and good for the organizers, but this will be a much more difficult prospect for automakers who were planning on debuting new models in April and now must weigh the pros and cons of waiting until the latter half of 2020 to do so.

The new dates have already been set: August 28 to September 6, with two press preview days on August 26 and 27. Unlike the Geneva International Motor Show, which was canceled at the last minute in February, the plan is to hold the same scale event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, just four months later. They don’t want to resort to online car debuts.

Will this plan hold up? It depends on how the coronavirus spreads in New York and the rest of the U.S., in the ensuing months. On March 7, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency. The city of New Rochelle, only a few miles from New York City, is being called the “epicenter of the state’s outbreak” and is currently under containment.

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