The 2020 Geneva Motor Show has been called out due to the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus in northern Italy and other parts of Europe.
Perhaps the biggest event on the motoring calendar, the 2020 Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled due to the continued spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. This announcement comes after several confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Geneva and other parts of Switzerland.
The Coronavirus originated in China and since then, there has been a substantial outbreak in northern Italy recently, with cases announced in a number of other European countries as well. The organizers initially insisted on continuing with the motor show as it is the biggest event in the automotive calendar. However, recent moves by authorities in Geneva and Switzerland to try to limit the spread of Covid-19 finally led them to pull the plug.
The organisers cited “force majeure” when announcing to the exhibitors that the event would not go ahead. They even ruled out the possibility of postponing the event for a later date on grounds that the motor show’s size would make it unfeasible. The 2020 Geneva Motor Show was scheduled to open to press on Tuesday 3 March before opening to the public from 5-15 March. Around 602,000 people attended the show last year.
On Friday morning, the Swiss government banned large gatherings. In a statement, the cabinet said: “In view of the current situation and the spread of the coronavirus, the Federal Council has categorised the situation in Switzerland as ‘special’ in terms of the Epidemics Act. Large-scale events involving more than 1,000 people are to be banned. The ban comes into immediate effect and will apply at least until 15 March.”
Several companies had already changed their plans in the days leading up to the confirmation. Audio firm Harman pulled its stand earlier this week, with EV start-up Byton following suit last night. According to sources, several firms had expressed concerns over the show continuing, and were in the process of reworking their plans for the event.