Earlier this year, one of the most highly anticipated international motoring events was canceled just days before its doors opened to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS). As it was impossible to postpone the show to a later date, the organizers announced earlier that the next event will be held in 2021. This is similar to what other motor shows organizers around the globe are doing… well except for the Bangkok International Motor Show, which announced that they will hold their 2020 event on July 15 to 26.
Now, it seems even the 2021 GIMS has been canceled as well. And no, this time it is not mainly due to the ongoing pandemic. According to organizers, a survey showed that exhibitors “would probably not participate” in a 2021 edition of the GIMS. Instead, they would rather participate in a 2022 event.
“The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Furthermore, it is far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organization of an event attracting more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists next spring,” organizers said in a statement.
On top of canceling the 2021 event, the show itself is even up for sale. Organizers have announced plans to sell the show’s assets to the owners of the Palexpo conference center in Geneva where the event is held annually. According to them, the sale of the show is the “preferred solution”.
There is no doubt that the last-minute cancelation of the 2020 GIMS heavily impacted organizers financially. The state of Geneva even offered a loan of CHF 16.8 million (Php 883 million) to help out, on the condition of the staging of the 2021 event. But, with next year's event canceled, organizers have declined the loan.
With the 2021 Geneva Motor Show canceled, it raises questions whether other major global motor shows will push through next year. Manufacturers are also now holding online launches, which are undoubtedly more cost-efficient than setting up a booth at a big convention hall.