The Geneva International Motor Show has canceled its 2021 auto show, selling off the event amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The prestigious car show held in Geneva, Switzerland, was canceled in 2020 over concerns of the coronavirus just days before it was scheduled to open its doors. Now organizers have said that the “financial impact” of canceling the 2020 event has caused it to also cancel for 2021.
Beyond canceling the event, show organizers sold the rights and assets of the tradeshow to Palexpo SA after denying a loan that would have forced it to hold the tradeshow in 2021 regardless of the coronavirus.
Show organizers were unsure of how they could safely hold an event that typically attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year with coronavirus concern. The last-minute cancellation of the show, costed organizers and estimated $11.5 million – money that was needed to prepare for the event in 2021.
A loan of about $17.6 million was granted by the Grand Council, but the terms of the loan did not guarantee the event “long-term financial stability” of the event, the Foundation determined. Repayment of about $1 million would have been due in June 2021, and the event would have had to continue in 2021 under the terms of the loan.
Complicating the matter was the majority of exhibitors that said in a survey they would probably not participate in a 2021 show and would prefer the next event to be held in 2022. The next Geneva International Motor Show was slated for Spring 2021.
The auto show finds itself in the middle of a crossroads as the industry suffers from stalled car sales, delayed product launches, and a series of layoffs that have rifled through the automotive sector thanks to COVID-19. In recent weeks, General Motors, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, and McLaren have laid off thousands of workers as the coronavirus continues to take a bite out of their revenue.