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2021 Geneva auto show is canceled due to virus

AFP
Geneva's auto show has been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, and organizers said they were also scrapping next year's show as the auto sector reels from the crisis.
AFP

Geneva’s auto show has been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, and organizers said they were also scrapping next year’s show as the auto sector reels from the crisis.

The executive committee of the foundation that runs the Geneva International Motor Show, a major event on the auto industry calendar, said that after polling exhibitors, it had given up the idea to organize a 2021 show.

“A majority of exhibitors have said they probably will not participate in a 2021 edition and that they would prefer taking part in a 2022 edition,” a statement said.

The GIMS Foundation noted the auto sector was “currently facing a major crisis, and the exhibitors need time to be able to invest in the show.”

It also said it was unclear whether the health and safety situation next March would allow for the organization of an event that usually draws more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists.

This year’s show was canceled after Switzerland banned large gatherings before introducing stricter lockdown measures to fight the novel coronavirus.

The wealthy Alpine nation has, like other European countries, lifted many of those measures, but still has restrictions on large gatherings.

The foundation said that in March, it had asked the canton of Geneva to provide financial support to help cover 11 million Swiss francs (US$11.6 million) it lost when the 2020 show was canceled at the last minute, and to help prepare for next year’s show.

The GIMS is the largest public event organised in Switzerland, and usually fills the Geneva region’s coffers with around 200 million francs each year, the foundation pointed out.

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