It seems like the aftermaths of the global coronavirus epidemic have started becoming evident as one of the most anticipated and prestigious events in the automotive universe, the Geneva International Motor Show was called off by the organisers as the Swiss government has banned all public gatherings of more than 1,000 people until March 15 because of the widespread virus that originated from China.
The organisers of the Geneva International Motor Show or GIMS released a statement that said, “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.”
Automotive trade analysts are seeing this as a big setback for the already recession struck automotive industry as the motor show being the holy grail of automotive exhibition, promised a host new car reveals and launches along with a look into the future of mobility. The press release also mentioned the status of the arrangements that had to be taken back and said, “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.”
With more than 160 exhibitors left stranded that were scheduled to exhibit their cars and services at the 90th Geneva Motor Show, here are the alternative strategies that some of the biggest automotive brands would be implementing to showcase their products according to Reuters:
“BMW and Mercedes-Benz said they would use live-streaming to present the BMW Concept i4 and a revamped Mercedes E-Class respectively. Ferrari does not plan to arrange alternative events, and Fiat Chrysler said it had no plan B, but that it was considering ways to show off a new electric Fiat 500. French brand DS, part of PSA Group said it was seeking a venue near Paris to showcase a new concept car and was rescheduling interviews with executives by telephone. Audi said it would seek to use digital channels to launch its Audi A3 sportback and Audi e-Tron S.”