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Geneva International Motor Show cancelled
2020 Geneva motor show canned as Swiss government bans all large-scale events
2 Mar 2020
THE 2020 Geneva International Motor Show has been cancelled just days out from its opening as the coronavirus epidemic continues to grip the world and cripple elements of the automotive industry.
The announcement comes just two days after event organisers confirmed to the world’s media that the show would proceed as planned, despite the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in Europe.
Addressing media on Friday, event chairman and president Maurice Turrettini said the 90th edition of the show had been abandoned as a preventative measure against the spread of the deadly virus.
“This comes as a preventive measure in response to the coronavirus epidemic raging in Europe and now in Switzerland and legitimated by today’s Federal Council injunction to cancel any event gathering more than a 1000 people until the 15th of March,” he said.
“We therefore regret to announce that the Geneva International Motor Show 2020 is now cancelled but the health of all those involved in this unmissable event should remain our top priority.”
Almost 80 different car manufacturers were due to appear at this year’s show, many of which had new models waiting in the wings to make their highly anticipated world debuts, including the Mk 8 Volkswagen Golf GTI, Czinger C21, Kia Sorento, Hyundai i30, Skoda Octavia RS iV, Bentley Bacalar, flagship Porsche 911 (thought to be the Turbo S) and a new yet-to-be-named McLaren supercar.
“We would like to thank the exhibitors who have shown their confidence in us and who have invested heavily in this event,” Mr Turrettini continued.
“We are convinced that they will understand this decision.”
Car-makers around the world have been forced to slow and in some cases even stop production due to the coronavirus threat, with some even going so far as banning staff from travelling to or from known virus hotspots including China, South Korea and northern Italy.
As a result of the cancellation, several car-makers will take to the internet and livestream their headline debuts, with one of the biggest reveals set to be made by Porsche which will unveil the flagship of its new 992 series 911.
Other brands following suit include McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Bentley and BMW.
“The financial consequences of this cancellation will have to be examined and evaluated in the coming weeks, but will obviously be important for all those involved in the event,” Mr Turrettini said.
“We can already announce that all tickets sold will be refunded.”
Last year more than 660,000 people attended the show and despite the Geneva show being arguably the biggest of event of the international motor show calendar, it is by no means the first high-level event to be impacted after next month’s Beijing auto show was postponed indefinitely last month.
Further afield and most recently, the first round of the 2020 MotoGP world championship – scheduled for this weekend – was cancelled this morning due to Qatar’s newly enforced travel restrictions.
“The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Qatar travel restrictions being brought into force that affect passengers from Italy, amongst other countries,” FIM, IRTA and Dorna said via a statement.
“As of today, all passengers arriving at Doha on direct flights from Italy, or having been in Italy in the past 2 weeks, will be taken straight to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.”
The Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix scheduled for mid-April has also been postponed while The Guardian is reporting question marks are also hovering over the fate of the Australian, Bahrain and Vietnam GPs.
To date (March 2) there have been 88,584 confirmed coronavirus cases globally, 3044 deaths and 45,104 recoveries.
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