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New York Auto Show Canceled Due to Delta Variant

Tradeshow Organizers Cite Public Health Concerns Due to COVID-19 Fourth Wave

New York Auto Show

Today, organizers behind the New York Auto Show officially pulled the plug on this year’s event. In a press release issued today, Mark Schienberg, president of the auto show, cited new regulations and public health concerns over the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic:

It is with great disappointment that the upcoming 2021 New York International Automobile Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has been cancelled due to the growing incidences of the Covid-19 Delta variant and the increased measures announced recently by State and local officials to stop its spread.

Originally slated for August 20-29, this year’s Auto Show isn’t the first event casualty of the COVID-19 Delta variant and likely won’t be the last. There are now concerns over the fates of IAA Mobility in Munich (September 7-12), Motorbella in Detroit (September 21-26), and the LA Auto Show (November 19-28).

2021 New York Auto Show Canceled

Adding to the disappointment of today’s announcement is the cancelation of major unveilings and industry-changing innovations.  The New York Auto Show has long been held as a beacon of innovation for the auto industry. This year, organizers worked with nine automakers and various contractors to dedicate most of one floor in the Javits Center to EVs.

The exhibition was to include five indoor test tracks, show stalls for more than two dozen automotive innovators, the New York Power Authority, Charge NY, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYERDA), and charging partners committed to educating consumers and encouraging EV adoption.

Also on deck at this year’s event? Camp Jeep — an outdoor test track and obstacle course featuring an 18-foot-tall “Jeep Mountain,” as well as the Micro Mobility Track and exhibit for e-bikes and electric scooters.

Economic and Industry Implications

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the New York Auto Show's 2019 event.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the New York Auto Show’s 2019 event. Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock

2021 is the second year in a row that the 121-year-old international auto show won’t go on. Traditionally held in April, hosts moved last year’s show back to August 2020 before ultimately canceling it altogether.

Given the universal nature of lockdown last year, calling off of 2020’s New York Auto Show came as little surprise — even if show organizers could have legally proceeded with the event, attendance would have been too minuscule to justify it.

Cancellation in 2021, however, might come as more of a shock to some attendees, especially after the near-return to social normalcy much of the world experienced just a couple of months ago.

In fact, in June, Governor Andrew Cuomo lauded the show’s return to “full, pre-pandemic attendance levels.” He prematurely celebrated this year’s return as “a sure sign that New York is coming back stronger and better than ever.” A statement issued by the Governor’s office on June 2 outlines the impacts of the New York Auto Show on the state’s economy:

The return of the New York International Auto Show means significant benefits for New York’s economy, generating over $300 million to the local and State economies … The event also supports 72,000 jobs at local retail new car & truck dealerships whose economic imprint exceeds $53 billion a year.

To read the New York Auto Show’s full press release, click here.

Jilli Cluff
About Jilli Cluff

Jilli is a contributor and editor brought up on four-wheelers and country roads. Her true introduction to the automotive world came in 2006 with the purchase of her first car — a near-mint 1972 VW Squareback. In 2016, she obtained motorcycle licensure and bought her first bike — a humble Honda Rebel. She's been enamored with bikes ever since. Jilli is currently based out of Austin, Texas, where she takes up residence with her one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.