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New York Auto Show Falls Victim to Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus, which is fast spreading across countries, has dealt a particularly heavy blow to the global auto industry, with shutdown of factories, dealerships with less customer traffic, supply-chain disruption and delay of annual motor shows. The latest motor event to be postponed amid the pandemic is the New York International Auto Show. Notably, the New York Auto Show, one of the biggest events in the auto industry's annual event calendar, has been rescheduled for the first time since the Second World War.

New York continues to witness a surge of coronavirus cases, with 173 confirmed cases as of Tuesday. In an attempt to protect the attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the deadly virus, the organizers have postponed the show, which is likely to deliver more than $330 million boost to the local economy. The show, which was set to commence early next month, has now been rescheduled to late August. The show will now be held from Aug 28 to Sep 6. 

This is notably the third big ticket auto show to be cancelled amid the health hazard. The high-profile annual auto show in Beijing, which was scheduled to begin on Apr 21, had been postponed around three weeks back. The 2020 Geneva Motor Show, supposed to be held last week, was also cancelled after the Swiss government banned large gatherings of more than 1,000 people to prevent further spread of the virus.

Various automakers had planned to debut their vehicles at the New York Auto show, including EV startup Lucid Motors, and auto biggies like Ford F, Volkswagen VWAGY and General Motors GM. While the show is still considered one of the premier annual events of the auto industry, it has indeed lost a bit of its appeal like many other auto shows. The craze for auto shows have somewhat started to fade due to logistics and cost issues. With automakers trying to connect with buyers through online advertising and social media campaigns, carmakers have been scaling down their presence in auto shows.

Notably, Daimler’s DDAIF Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen’s Audi Group had already decided to skip this year’s event. German auto biggie BMW AG BAMXF had pulled out of the New York Auto Show in 2019.Both Daimler and BMW carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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