Motor Bella
Image by: CBS Detroit

This week, the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan is abuzz with activity as the first-ever Motor Bella outdoor event kicks off, with the highly anticipated auto show featuring 350 vehicles made by over 30 brands. Some of the exciting new vehicles to be included in the exhibition are Ford’s compact Maverick truck, new Jeep Cherokee models, and the lesser-known Lucid Air. The show has promised this will be one of the most interactive yet, offering the public test drives in electric cars, and high-speed rides with professional drivers.

The M1 Concourse prides itself on being the “pinnacle experience for every kind of automotive enthusiast” and is mostly known for its unique, state-of-the-art 30-feet wide, 1.5-mile course that features special asphalt and an impressive elevation change of 25 feet. The venue also refers to itself as an “87-acre playground for auto enthusiasts” and offers private parking garages and driver training year-round. 

Motor Bella is organized by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. Executive director Rod Alberts stated the event will be “different and dynamic,” as it will maintain COVID-19 safety measures but still “put people in cars” and allow them to go for rides and test drives. This is a unique twist to previous auto shows where visitors could sit in vehicles but not actually experience them in motion.

Of course, spectators can watch incredible off-roading and see some of the newest, most advanced vehicles. Numerous vehicles are set up for viewing, including the new Ford Bronco that has created some hype for auto enthusiasts who enjoy the nostalgia of the Bronco models from the 1960s to the 1990s. Lucky visitors may even be able to get a ride in one of them.

As it seems to be the trend in the past few years, automakers are expected to utilize more video and audio technologies instead of having “breathtaking” and dramatic reveals of their vehicles.

Even though extra safety protocols still have to be put into place, the auto show is expected to be much different than previous low-key events. Doug North of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association chairs the event and told news outlet ClickOnDetroit, “We’re thrilled to be here. We’re thrilled that it could happen and really excited to put a little bit of normal but a little bit more traditional routine into southeast Michigan that we all know and love.”

Motor Bella day events were scheduled for Tuesday through Sunday, with a spectacular 15-minute drone show preceding the event on Monday evening. Despite Motor Bella stating that the show would go on “rain or shine,” all of Wednesday’s events were canceled due to rain. The rest of the schedule, which includes the events open to the public Thursday through Sunday, is expected to continue as planned.

Related: GNYADA Pres. Mark Schienberg on the decision to postpone the New York Auto Show

Visitors can purchase tickets online or when they arrive. The cost for adults is $15 Thursday and Friday and $20 Saturday and Sunday. Seniors and children between the ages of 7 and 12 receive a discount, and children age 6 and under get in free. Motor Bella also offers weekday and weekend family passes ($40 and $50, respectively) that include tickets for two adults and three children.

Ultimately, dealers can greatly utilize visitor feedback from auto shows. Visitors who are intrigued by certain vehicles and are in the market for new ones may boost dealership visits afterward. The auto show’s test drives could boost this even further, as visitors who get behind the wheels of vehicles there may want to take longer, more traditional test drives that may lead to sales. While auto shows give customers a wide variety of options (meaning auto market competition), dealers may want to view Motor Bella as an indirect sales tactic, as interested customers may be much more inclined to visit their dealerships after assessing various vehicles up close.

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