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Motor Bella ends Detroit auto show drought

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The reimagined 2020 Detroit show was supposed to feature some of the outdoor displays and experiences envisioned for Motor Bella but was canceled last year because of the pandemic. Organizers then planned for a June 2021 show before pushing it back to the fall. They later canceled it altogether, opting to host Motor Bella in its place.

Organizers say there’s 1.3 million square feet of usable space at the M1 Concourse site. There will be two press and industry days followed by four public days. Alberts has said he’d like to see 150,000 attendees.

The Chicago Auto Show, held in July, likely provides a good clue as to some of what attendees in Pontiac will see this week. Stellantis and Ford offered customers rides in Jeeps and Broncos, and they’ll do so again this week.

Beyond that, a 25,000-square-foot pavilion will house mobility technologies, and performance brands will utilize the site’s 1-mile track.

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Alberts said many of the features are likely to be replicated during a larger show next year. He also has not ruled out keeping parts or all of Motor Bella as a standalone event to supplement the regular show.

“During this time of change, if you’re just sitting on the sideline and waiting to see what happens, I think that’s a major mistake,” Alberts said. “The shows around the world looking to do something new and different and willing to embrace the change in the industry are going to be the winners. Nothing is the same anymore, and the embracing of that is key.”

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