On February 28, President of The Geneva International Motor Show Maurice Turrettini announced the global auto show would be cancelled.
“Based on the decision rendered by the Swiss authorities, we have had to cancel the Geneva Motor Show. This was not our responsibility, it was up to the federal decision, we were expecting this decision hence why the last two days have been a bit difficult.”
And, with that, the plug was pulled.
This follows the coronavirus outbreak, which has prevented other major events such as Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress from going ahead. Although there had been some speculation surrounding an alternative event later on in the year, GIMS representatives announced that the show would not return until 2021.
Leading companies such as Harman and Byton both pulled out of the show ahead of the cancellation, but many were planning to announce significant products, such as Volkswagen with its new Golf GTI and Polestar with its Precept EV.
But what does this mean for the auto industry?
Well, Lukas Neckermann of Neckermann Strategic Advisors believes there are two sides to focus on.
“Many motor shows have been struggling to maintain relevance in an age of Smart Mobility. Huge investments simply stopped being as relevant, especially as they still positioned OEMs too much in the old world of automotive. Geneva was going to be – perhaps – a notable exception, with an increased focus on mobility, and a continued focus on more innovative concepts. No more,” he says.
“The short-notice cancellation of a motor show such as Geneva will be a true test of the OEMs’ flexibility and adaptability. Who will do the best digital product launches and virtual events? Will we see AR-enabled press conferences? If these approaches are successful, the real impact will be felt in 2021.”
Gary Leung, co-founder of Apex Motors, which was set to unveil its electric sports car in Geneva, is shifting his focus over to Instagram for a virtual showcase. This is just one example of the alternative approaches exhibitors are taking in order to make the best out of a bad situation.
“While we are tremendously excited to show the world the new AP-0 Concept, we understand the nervousness felt by some journalists about travelling to the motor show next week. To ensure that nobody misses out, and so that media can fully enjoy our launch programme, we have extended our media activity accordingly.”
We have already seen multiple companies prepare virtual press conferences, to share their products with the world. So make sure to check out the Geneva Motor Show section on Auto Futures for all press releases and live streams as they happen.
For everything else at the Geneva Motor Show, visit DMA Media’s The News Market.