For as long as I can remember (at least going back to after I graduated from college), it became an annual tradition to attend the New York Auto Show with a couple of my friends. It was nothing special, but something a couple of my guy friends and I would do – get together, explore all the vehicles, then go out and grab a bite to eat. We always liked to argue which was the “better” car or the “coolest” vehicle and even picked out cars if any of us suddenly came into a ton of money. As we got older and started leading separate lives, we continued this tradition – even though it became harder to plan. Unfortunately, we all know that this year was a tad different. The New York Auto Show (like every other event) was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and honestly, it did make me a little sad that we could not continue our little tradition.
I have never been to the Detroit Auto Show – though it may be cool to one day – but of course, they were canceled this year. Both shows have plans to return next year in 2021, but they might be slightly different from what we are used to. In an article from Automotive News, the Detroit Auto Show has policies in place for next year that follow social distancing guidelines similar to what we have now. The primary purpose is to obviously ensure the safety of all those who enjoy these events. Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the event, and contactless payments will also be available. Organizers will utilize both indoor and outdoor spaces at the TCF Center so attendees can be more spread out and have room to explore.
I’ve always thought the auto shows were a great way to experience all these vehicles. Seeing a vehicle online is not the same as seeing it in person – especially when you take in aspects like touching the vehicle, exploring the inside, and something even as simple as seeing the color you like in real life. Now I’m not entirely sure what all the new rules will be for next year – perhaps touching the vehicle will not be allowed – but at least it will be back on.
The New York Auto Show hasn’t announced exactly what they will implement for next year’s show, but I can only assume they will do something similar to Detroit. The social distancing, limited contact, decreased indoor capacity, etc. will be a part of our lives for a long time. We’ve been living it for the past couple of months, and it is something we are somewhat getting used to (although I have run back into my car for my mask on more than one occasion). By next year, this will all be second nature to us, and honestly, parts of it I don’t mind. No matter when you go, the auto show has always been a packed event, making it difficult to walk around or get a closer look at a specific vehicle without ten other people looking at the same thing you are. So maybe next year, with particular rules in place, it will be easier to navigate through the Jacob Javits Center (and, of course, the TCF Center in Detroit). That can’t be too bad, can it?