WASHINGTON -- Organizers canceled the Detroit auto show, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
The show's venue is set to become a temporary field hospital.
The next show will now be held in June 2021. That would mean a gap of almost two-and-a-half years since the most recent show, which normally draws thousands of automotive journalists. The event was held in January until last year but was shifted to June subsequently.
The cancellation comes as the show, known as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), faces competition.
CES, one of the biggest events for consumer technology, has also branched into industries that would not have been considered “tech” a few years ago, showcasing self-driving technology, voice-connected software and electric cars. CES’s colonization of the auto world was partly why the Detroit show moved to June from January.
The cancellation has the support of automakers set to showcase their latest models and innovations.
"We fully support NAIAS organizers in their postponement," Ford Motor said in a statement. "The health and safety of our community and those working throughout the industry is our top priority."
The state of Michigan has been hard hit by the coronavirus and has reported 4,650 coronavirus cases and 111 deaths, including nearly 1,000 new cases on Saturday and 19 deaths. That's the third highest among U.S. states.
Automakers have been forced to temporarily cancel nearly all U.S. auto production in recent weeks and some are taking aggressive steps to cut costs or tap credit lines as auto sales plummet.
The New York auto show, which was supposed to be held in April, was postponed until August. The Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, where the show is held, is also being repurposed into a makeshift hospital.
The Geneva show was canceled in early March after the Swiss government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
Bloomberg contributed to this report