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COVID-19 scuttles Geneva motor show for 2021

Long wait: The Geneva International Motor Show will not be held until 2022.

Geneva motor show pulls plug on 2021 as latest event to fall victim to COVID-19

1 Jul 2020

ORGANISERS of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) have announced that the 2021 edition of the show will not be going ahead, while the committee and council of the foundation running the event has expressed its desire to sell the motor show to Swiss convention centre Palexpo.


In making the decision to cancel GIMS for 2021, organisers surveyed exhibitors to gauge their willingness to participate next year, with the majority responding that they would probably not attend, preferring to wait until 2022.


This, in conjunction with the uncertainty that the event will be able to host over 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists in March next year, were significant factors in the decision to scuttle the event next year.


The desire to sell the event came from the financial fallout of not hosting an event in 2020, with the event’s foundation unable to reach an arrangement it deemed satisfactory.


Losses caused by the 2020 cancellation – estimated to be 11 million Swiss francs ($A16.8m) – caused the foundation to request financial support from the Canton of Geneva, with a loan of 16.8m francs ($A25.7) being approved in June.


However a stipulation of the loan stated that the foundation would be obliged to repay 1 million francs ($A1.5m) by June 2021 – at least nine months before the organisation has the ability to generate any revenue from the show.


Instead, the foundation refused the loan and decided to sell to Palexpo SA, and will aim to find a solution that will ensure the regular organisation of GIMS. All organisation rights will be transferred to Palexpo upon a sale.


GIMS is currently the largest public event in Switzerland, with an estimated economic benefit of 200 million francs ($A306m).


In other news, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has decided to cancel Autocare 2020, an expo based around aftermarket parts, service and repair.


In March, the AAAA made the decision to postpone the convention until October, however the idea of hosting an event this year has now become untenable, with the 2021 show now the primary focus.


AAAA CEO Stuart Charity said the decision to cancel the 2020 event was not made lightly.


“Cancelling Autocare 2020 was a difficult decision for all of us, however we believe it was the right

decision to make and one we had to make now, for all involved,” he said.


“The health and well-being of speakers, exhibitors and attendees comes first and foremost. With so many unknowns, including the status of COVID-19 moving forward, restrictions on international and domestic travel, potential venue capacity restraints and general sentiment that may affect attendance, these factors culminated in our decision to cancel.”


In a similar vein, the National 4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo has been cancelled, with both iterations in Brisbane and Melbourne consigned to the scrap heap.


After considering moving the event to later in the year, organisers have instead opted to start afresh in 2021 for both cities.


The Brisbane show will now be held from March 19-21 next year, with the Melbourne show to follow from August 20-22.

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