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Wayne County Commission calls for North American International Auto Show's return

TCF Center Is New Name for Detroit’s World-class Convention Center
Posted at 8:30 AM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 08:30:59-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Wayne County Commission has unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Detroit Auto Dealer Association to continue hosting the North American International Auto Show at the TCF Center in Detroit after the auto show was canceled earlier this month because of COVID-19.

The TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo Hall, was the sight of the North American International Auto Show for years. The show was canceled this year because of COVID-19, but now the Wayne County Commissioners say they want it back and say the show can still go on with the right safety protocols in place.

"This is an important part of downtown, an important part of our economy," says Wayne County Commissioner Jonathan Kinloch.

Kinloch sponsored the resolution to bring the North American International Auto Show back to TCF Center this year, after the show was canceled twice due to COVID-19. But, Kinloch feels the show can still go on at TCF.

"We are hoping that a large number of our population will actually have the vaccination by this summer/early fall. So, with all of that taken into account, I think that there are measures that could be put in place to ensure that you have this type of even,t but also put in practice what we have all become accustomed to as far as social distancing and continuing to wear masks and operating safely," he says.

The auto show moved out of town to Pontiac, called Motor Bella and billed as “a bridge to the future” set for September 21-26 on the M1 Concourse.
"To move it temporarily, it brought some concern because often times organizations, events move to a location temporarily it because permanent," says Kinloch.

I spoke with Doug North chairman, of the North American International Auto Show.

He tells me he “appreciates the concern and passion of the commission for the event to be held in Detroit."

North says “the circumstances surrounding the pandemic has forced the association to put a pause on the auto show and continue to have an event in Pontiac, that is not an auto show but an event for car enthusiasts."

North says “the association is hoping to have the event next year at the TCF Center.”

Commissioner Kinloch says he’s concerned the event may not come back to Detroit.

"That’s why we wanted to send a strong message to the dealers that this relationship, this event is something that we want to make sure does not become a permanent move," he says.

Also worth noting is the Detroit Auto Dealers Association has kept all dates reserved at the TCF Center through 2026, and that the event is not leaving Detroit.