Published March 05. 2021 08:40PM
The 2021 Lehigh Valley Auto Show has been canceled.
Instead, a taped event will be presented on WMFZ-TV in conjunction with website information.
The event was to have taken place May 12-16, after having been postponed from March 17-21.
It’s the second year in a row that the in-person event has been canceled because of concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association, which presents the annual auto show, was recently informed by Lehigh University, where the event is held in Stabler Arena, Rauch Fieldhouse and large tents on the Goodman Campus in Saucon Valley, Bethlehem, that university officials are prohibiting outside events from being held on campus this spring.
WFMZ-TV will produce a 30-minute TV show featuring videos supplied by auto manufacturers. The auto dealers plan “an expanded virtual show,” according to a Feb. 27 press release that announced the cancellation.
“Our dealers planned to follow all state and local guidelines, and had put in place extra measures so that they could safely present a show,” said Tom Kwiatek, Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Executive Director.
“However, we understand Lehigh’s first responsibility is to its students and so we must abide by the university’s decision,” Kwiatek said.
WMFZ is to air the auto dealers’ TV program May 12. It will include interviews with Lehigh Valley auto dealers highlighting 2021 vehicles and products available on dealers’ lots. The program will be rebroadcast several times.
The buyers’ guide will have shorter videos by area dealers highlighting vehicles in particular market segments, including compact SUVs, sports cars and sedans. Potential buyers can compare manufacturers’ vehicles.
The segments may include dealer specials and offers in conjunction with the virtual auto show, according to the press release.
Dealers’ websites will be linked to the segments. Customers can learn more about vehicles or schedule appointments to see vehicles in person.
The segments will be on the websites until information about the 2022 auto show is available.
Audio portion of the videos will be converted to podcasts and compiled in the “Lehigh Valley Car Talk” program. More information on the podcasts is to be announced.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) canceled the 2020 Lehigh Valley Auto Show and Preview Gala, March 18-22, 2020.
Even so, the Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association presented a $25,000 check to Good Shepherd Pediatrics, designated beneficiary of the 2020 gala at a Sept. 2, 2020, press conference at Good Shepherd Health & Technology Center, Allentown.
The theme of the 2021 Lehigh Valley Auto Show was “Back on the road again.” The in-person auto show is a four-day event featuring more than 145,000 square feet of new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, vans and cycles. The 2021 event marks its 24th anniversary.