HomeCar NewsGeneva Motor Show 2020 cancelled due to Coronavirus scare

Geneva Motor Show 2020 cancelled due to Coronavirus scare

Just 3 days before the start of the Geneva Motor Show 2020, the organizers have announced that the show has been cancelled

In a bid to tackle the rising concerns over Coronavirus pandemic, the Swiss government has decided to implement a temporary ban all public events in the country which will see participation of over 1,000 people. The ban will stay effective till March 15, thereby bringing the shutter down on the Geneva International Motor Show 2020 (GIMS) before it even began. The most prestigious automotive show in the world was originally scheduled to take place between March 3 to March 15.

The 90th edition of the Geneva Motor Show was set to stage numerous high-profile world premieres like the previous editions. The exhibitors, most of them global OEMs, have been working for several months on products and concepts to be showcased at the Geneva Motor Show. The last minute cancellation is going to be a huge loss for PalExpo (venue of the show), exhibitors, visitors who have made travel plans, local hotels and businesses that have made arrangements based on the sudden inflow of people for the expo.

2020 Geneva Motor Show cancelled.
2020 Geneva Motor Show cancelled. Stock image from 2019 GIMS.

Even before the Swiss government’s decision to prohibit large public gatherings, the stakeholders of GIMS 2020 have been making extra-ordinary arrangements to reduce the chances of Coronavirus infection. All most all exhibitors had opted to cut down the staff presence at their stalls to absolute minimum. The show organizers had vowed to do their bit to tackle the pandemic by issuing warning to the attendees, increasing the rate of cleaning and disinfection. However, given the rising concern over the outbreak in Italy, a country with which Switzerland shares border, going ahead with the automotive show would have been extremely risky.

Speaking about the cancellation, Maurice Turrettini, Chairman of the Foundation Board of organizers, said, “We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors’ top priority. This is a case of force majeure and a tremendous loss for the manufacturers who have invested massively in their presence in Geneva. However, we are convinced that they will understand this decision”.

Media room at the GIMS 2019
Media room at the GIMS 2019

2020 Geneva Motor Show Tickets Refund

The authorities have announced that the tickets which are already purchased will be refunded and more details about this process will be available on the show’s official website. The construction of the stalls at the venue have very nearly have been completed by now. OEMs put a lot of money, time and thought into designing and constructing the show stalls, so the losses are going to be staggering.

So what happens to the world premieres that are scheduled to take place at the GIMS 2020? Well, as expected, the car makers will resort of live streaming of the event, mostly from alternate venues. For example, BMW has already announced on Twitter that it will carry out the program as planned, including the world premiere of i4 electric concept, through live streaming from Munich.

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