Coronavirus Kills Geneva Motor Show. What Now for Car Makers?

Coronavirus claimed another victim this week as Swiss authorities banned gathering of 1,000 people or more. Geneva Motor Show is seen as one of the most important exhibitions, and has effectively been canceled.

We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors’ top priority,” said GIMS chairman Murice Turrettini. “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.”

Auto makers spend vast amounts of money preparing for auto shows, and Geneva is one of the biggest and the best. The 90th Geneva Motor Show was due to start Monday. Last year, 600,000 people attended.

Car shows see concept cars like BMW’s i4 Concept and Hyundai’s Prophecy concept.

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Palexpo, show promoter, had been saying the show would go ahead with increased cleansing, but it was not to be.

McLaren has announced a virtual press conference, with other brands to follow.

As Coronavirus spreads and markets begin to falter, we can expect more mass gatherings to be canceled.

The fallout from this event cancelation is a knockout for Geneva, but those concentered insist that safety comes first.

Whether car makers will go ahead with launched planned for Geneva remains to be seen. Citroën, Ford, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Subaru, Tesla, and Volvo were not exhibiting this year, so the show was to be smaller than in previous years.

Palexpo said the show could not be postponed as it was too large.

Switzerland reported 15 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. It borders Italy which has the largest cluster of cases in Europe.

The next major motor show is due on the 8th of April and it remains to be seen as to whether it too will fall victim to the pandemic.