We’ve barely made it halfway through 2020 — a year rocked by the novel coronavirus — and yet its effects are already rippling into 2021. On Monday, the organizers of the Geneva International Motor Show announced they will not put together an event next year, after this year’s show was cancelled in late February.
The 2021 show was scheduled for March 4 – 14, but automakers said that would probably not take part in that event.
As it stands, the entire car industry is reeling from the economic impacts of COVID-19, and the Geneva Motor Show is no exception. The foundation “Salon International de l’Automobile” said in an official statement, “A majority of GIMS exhibitors who took part in a survey, stated that they would probably not participate in a 2021 edition and that they would prefer to have a GIMS in 2022.” To that end, the organizers also claimed to have lost 11 million Swiss francs ($11.5 million) as a result of cancelling the 2020 Geneva Motor Show.
The canton (state) of Geneva did approve a 16.8 million franc ($17.6 million) loan to the organizers to stem those losses, but the terms saw to it that the foundation would have to begin repaying the loan in June 2021. As there will not be a 2021 show, the foundation said in its statement that it “does not see the terms of the loan as a guarantee of the long-term financial stability of the Foundation in its present form.”
Because of the dire financial situation and the continuing effects of coronavirus on international travel, the organizers decided to sell the rights to the Geneva Motor Show to Palexpo SA, a semi-private foundation. The organization is hosting a livestream on Tuesday, June 30 to provide more information on the decision.