In a recent announcement, the Swiss government has called off all public gatherings with more than 1,000 people till 15th March, forcing the Geneva Motor Show to be cancelled.
The 90th edition of the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) was all set to welcome media personnel from across the globe from Monday, September 2. The public days were to supposed to begin from March 5. However, due to growing concerns over the increasing number of Coronavirus cases being reported from Switzerland and neighbouring Italy, the former's Federal Office of Public Health has formally banned all public gatherings of more than 1,000 people in the country till 15th March at least. Therefore, this decision has forced the GIMS organisers to cancel the entire event just 3 days before its grand opening. The GIMS attracts close to 10,000 journalists and 6,60,000 visitors annually.
An official press release issued by GIMS states, '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.' The decision to cancel the show will inevitably affect all the participating manufacturers – Porsche, Audi, Renault, BMW, Seat, DS Automobiles, Skoda, Honda, Smart, Hyundai, Toyota, Kia, Volkswagen & Mercedes-Benz – alike.
As for the new products that were either slated to launch or be revealed at the 2020 GIMS, there is no clarity on whether carmakers will go ahead with them as per schedule. However, expect every reveal/launch to take place online only, as it's too late for the manufacturers to plan separate, independent events within the same timeframe. Reflecting on the financial consequences, the GIMS organisers said that 'the financial consequences for all those involved in the event are significant and will need to be assessed over the coming weeks.'
For now, the organisers have confirmed that all the show tickets that were purchased online will be refunded as soon as possible.
Image courtesy - GIMS