Motor Bella is on for Thursday despite heavy rainfall

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Detroit Auto Dealers Association is going ahead Thursday with the first public day of Metro Detroit's newest auto event, Motor Bella, despite a wet forecast and heavy rains pounding M1 Concourse event grounds in Pontiac from Tuesday evening through much of Wednesday. 

Motor Bella, the DADA's replacement for its North American International Auto Show, is a mostly outdoor event that gives consumers a chance to experience vehicles through test drives, product showcases and off-roading tracks. 

People make their way through the rain at Motor Bella at the M1 Concourse car club in Pontiac, Mich. on Sept. 21, 2021.

The event kicked off Tuesday for the press and industry professionals, but the second industry and press day on Wednesday was canceled because of the rain. The public days for the event last through Sunday. 

Over 24 hours starting Tuesday evening, 3.14 inches of rain was recorded at Detroit Metro Airport, while Pontiac received 1.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service. 

Teams at M1 Concourse worked throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday to get the grounds ready for the public. Rain is expected to continue into Thursday.

“Obviously, the rain has continued, and our teams worked exceptionally hard to get to this point, but we’ll continue working through today and tonight to be ready to go at 9 a.m. tomorrow,” Rod Alberts, DADA executive director, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “People will be able to experience the ride-along events — including those on the KeyBank Track — and check out more than 350 cars, all while enjoying this great location. We’re looking forward to a great weekend.”

A rain-soaked Camp Jeep area at Motor Bella at the M1 Concourse car club in Pontiac, Mich. on Sept. 22, 2021.

One of Ford Motor Co.'s exhibit tents was damaged in Tuesday's storm, but company spokesman Mike Levine said the automaker was working on repairs and would have all of the vehicles that were on display during media days available to the public. None of the vehicles Ford has on site — which include models of the Bronco and Mustang Mach-E — were damaged, he said.

Spokespeople for General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. reported no damage to their displays. 

Staff Writer Jordyn Grzelewski contributed.

Twitter: @bykaleahall