2020 Geneva Motor Show cancelled over coronavirus fears

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The 2020 Geneva International Motor Show has been canceled by organizers following a directive from the Swiss Government that has banned all large events that draw a crowd of over 1,000 people.

The show, which sees automotive manufacturers from around the world exhibit their latest models and technology was scheduled to take place at the Palexpo from March 5-15, with press days on March 3-4. However, it was announced on Friday 28 February, three days before the opening of GIMS that the show will not take place and exhibitors will have to begin the process of dismantling their stands.

Some of the world’s largest OEMs such as Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen were all due to be at the show along with startup companies with the majority of manufacturers debuting the latest in hybrid and full electric technology. The Swiss government declared an injunction to ban all large events with crowds of over 1,000 people to help combat the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The ban comes into effect immediately and will apply until at least March 15.

The organizers of the Geneva Motor Show released a statement that accepts 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 injunction 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.”

Press conferences from OEMs that were set for Geneva Motor Show are now likely to be held online, with more news coming out in the coming days.

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