Ford Motor Co. was among the automakers that helped guide the Detroit Auto Dealer Association's decision to move the auto show to June, and as part of that effort it promised to reveal a vehicle at the event.
While the company hasn't said what it planned to unveil, it had many options, especially among electrified and autonomous vehicles.
The venue, not far from Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant, could have been ideal to showcase the future of its profit-hauling F-Series pickup line. The automaker was expected to show its redesigned F-150 in May but could have unwrapped a hybrid variant or offered a first look at its upcoming electric F-150.
Until plans changed last month, Ford promised to launch an autonomous vehicle for commercial use in 2021. An autonomous-vehicle concept, or even a production model, could have been a star at an event that is increasingly geared toward the future of mobility.
The show also would have been the first chance for many to see the upcoming Bronco SUV and Bronco Sport crossover in person. Reveals planned for this spring were postponed.
The automaker likely would have crafted a shipping-container display, a design it has used at indoor and outdoor events, including the Los Angeles Auto Show and Woodward Dream Cruise.
"We continue to look forward to the fresh new festival-style approach within the Detroit community, and we have made investments in new Ford displays that can make the most of new-vehicle reveals," a spokesman said in a statement.