Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have really played hell with our daily lives, forcing us to make some drastic changes particularly with regards to hygiene, social distancing, and staying at home.
But one field that is really going to be severely affected are events, particularly trade shows. These large gatherings of people will, in all likelihood, be postponed or canceled outright to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. And one of the larger types of trade shows is motor shows.
Earlier this year the Geneva Motor Show was canceled due to the outbreak in Europe. Locally, the 2020 Manila International Auto Show that was supposed to have been held in early April was postponed by event organizers; as to the date, we don't know yet.
There is, however, one more domestic motor show that is scheduled for 2020: the Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) organized by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI). And given the current situation with COVID-19 in the country, the 2020 edition of PIMS is now in a kind of limbo.
“We are seriously studying whether to push through or not,” said Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, CAMPI president.
The Philippine International Motor Show is held every other year and is the major launch pad for new models from the biggest players in the domestic auto industry under CAMPI. The organization's regular members include Honda, Kia, Foton, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Daewoo Bus, BMW, and Toyota, along with associate members such as Mazda, Ssangyong, Peugeot, BAIC, Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen.
The statement from CAMPI's president doesn't confirm whether or not PIMS is canceled, postponed, or pushing through as planned, and we think there are three key reasons why they haven't decided yet.
The first is that there is still some time between now and the dates for PIMS. The event is usually scheduled late in the third or fourth quarter of the year, every other year. Past editions of PIMS were typically held in September or October. We don't know what developments will happen at that time; by then the situation could have improved, or at the very least stabilized.
The other reason is likely the venue: World Trade Center Manila in Pasay City. It's currently being used as a quarantine site for COVID-19; a We Heal As One center. We're not sure how long it will be in use as a quarantine site; that will all depend on how the pandemic progresses.
And third, but definitely not least, is the fact that the industry has a lot of work ahead of it to recover; how much work will depend on the state of the industry (and the economy) once the quarantines have been relaxed.
“The coming months of 2020 will be focused on relief and recovery efforts. Adjustments on the new normal will definitely change our way of doing things,” concluded CAMPI's president.