Guests gather for an event in summer 2019.
Guests gather for an event in summer 2019. (Facebook/M1 Concourse)

The new event will bring next-generation mobility and vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and automotive enthusiasts.

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is on hold for 2021 due to COVID, officials announced today in a press release. In its place, they revealed a “bridge to the future” with an auto-centric event called “Motor Bella” to be held at M1 Concourse in Pontiac Sept. 21-26.

The new event will bring next-generation mobility and vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive enthusiasts’ world in an outdoor event with adrenaline-pumping track activities and a full complement of OEM and technology exhibits.

Plans call for 1.6 million square feet of dynamic vehicle and technology display space including terrain ideal for showcasing off-roading capabilities. M1 Concourse also offers a 1.5-mile hot track on the grounds for technology and vehicle demonstrations.

“The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business,” said Executive Director Rod Alberts. “This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products.”

NAIAS officials say they have been reimagining the future of auto shows for some time. “The traditional auto show model is changing,” Alberts said. “We cannot ignore the major disruptions caused by the pandemic and the impact it has had on budgets. As such, we will be providing an amazing experience to the media, the auto industry and the public in a cost-effective way.”

Jordan Zlotoff
Jordan Zlotoff Daniel Lippitt

Motor Bella was originally conceived as a celebration of Italian and British supercars and classic vehicles and was to have debuted at the June 2020 NAIAS. “With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars and everything in between,” said Event Chairman Doug North.

Jordan Zlotoff, named CEO of M1 Concourse in 2019 said, “We are proud and honored to be hosting this world-class automotive event. Motor Bella will allow journalists, industry executives and the public to interact with vehicles in a fully dynamic and experiential format, well beyond the limitations of static displays.”

M1 Concourse also plans to open an event center and restaurant in September 2021 as well.

North added, “We see this outdoor experience at M1 as a bridge to the future. One that will continue to evolve as we explore new ways of presenting mobility and as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We are very cognizant of the importance and impact our show and our events have on the state and the entire Metro Detroit area. This will always be part of our considerations for the future.”