The 2020 Geneva International Motor Show won’t be happening. To curtail the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus - of which there are over 84,000 cases of worldwide at the time of writing - the Swiss Federal Council has banned all gatherings of 1000 attendees or more until 15 March at least.
In a statement, it said (translated):
“The Federal Council is aware that its decision has major consequences for the population in Switzerland. However, it allows effective protection of the population and public health. With this measure, the aim is to stem the spread of the coronavirus in Switzerland.”
Geneva show organisers have confirmed that - just a few days before the start of the event - it is indeed cancelled. It won’t be rescheduled due to the logistical challenges associated with putting on such a large show. Currently, we’re working under the assumption that all of the planned Geneva reveals for next week will still be going ahead virtually as scheduled - no manufacturers have told us otherwise thus far.
Switzerland reported its first cases of the virus earlier this week, leading to speculation that GIMS would be axed, although the organisers have previously insisted it would still go ahead.
The move from Swiss authorities follows the cancellation or postponement of a number of major events worldwide, including the Chinese Grand Prix. The virus has so far claimed the lives of 2867 people, with the largest proportion of fatalities occuring in China, Covid-19’s point of origin.