The 90th edition of the Geneva Motor Show, which was supposed to welcome the media from 2 March and the general public from 5 to 15 March 2020, is canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus.
This is the decision of the Swiss government 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.
According to the organizers, roughly 220 exhibitors attend the annual car show, along with 10,000 journalists and roughly 660,000 visitors.
The Geneva Motor Show was called off after Swiss authorities reported 15 coronavirus cases. Italy has at least 650 infections and 17 deaths, while French officials have reported 38 cases and two deaths.
“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 Geneva Motor Show.
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.
Geneva Motor Show is the second big European show to get the axe following the coronavirus outbreak. In the tech world. Mobile World Congress, a huge tech summit in Barcelona that typically attracts more than 100,000 people, was called off earlier this month. Facebook’s F8 developer conference. Some sporting events have been cancelled, too.