Next week would have been the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, home to debuts of lavish super and luxury cars. But organizers of the show announced yesterday that the show is canceled after the Swiss government announced that it would be banning gathering of more than 1,000 people due to Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
"We regret to announce the 2020 Geneva motor show will be canceled. This is force majeure," said a spokesman for the Palexpo show venue.
"The show cannot be postponed. It's not possible. It's too big. It's not feasible."
"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," said Maurice Turrettini, chairman of the Geneva Motor Show foundation board.
The announcement comes after a week of organizers being adamant that proper care and screening before traveling to the show, the virus wouldn't be a concern. A number of automotive executives and other officials weren't fully buying this and decided to skip the show.
What changed was the first reported cases of coronavirus in Switzerland that happened in the middle of the week. One of the confirmed cases was from someone that travelled to Italy - a place that is currently suffering one of Europe’s most extreme outbreaks of the virus. On Friday, Switzerland's Federal Council convened to decide a course of action on Coronavirus which amounted to the ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people. The ban will apply at least to March 15th.
It is unclear whether or not automakers were notified of the decision before being announced or not. What we are expecting is most of the debuts to take place online or at other auto shows.
If you want to know what was going to be shown at Geneva, Roadshow has put up a guide detailing the various debuts.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Geneva Motor Show
THE GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW IS CANCELLED!
The 90th edition of the GIMS, which was supposed to welcome the media from next Monday and the general public from 5 to 15 March 2020, will now finally not take place. This is an injonction decision of the Federal Council of 28 February 2020 that no events with more than 1,000 people are allowed to take place until 15 March 2020. The decision falls 3 days before the opening of the exhibition to the media.
The organizers accept this decision: "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," said Maurice Turrettini, Chairman of the Foundation Board. We would like to warmly thank all those involved in the organisation of the 2020 edition of GIMS.
A few days before the opening of the event, the construction of the stands was very nearly complete. A week ago, during the press conferences announcing the 2020 edition, there was nothing to suggest that such a measure was necessary. The situation changed with the appearance of the first confirmed coronavirus diseases in Switzerland and the injonction of the Federal Council on 28.02.2020. The event is cancelled due to this decision.
In the meantime, the dismantling of the event will now have to be organised. The financial consequences for all those involved in the event are significant and will need to be assessed over the coming weeks. One thing is certain: tickets already purchased for the event will be refunded. The organisers will communicate about this as soon as possible, via their website.