Is no Geneva Motor Show the culmination point?
160 exhibitors are already breaking up their costly Geneve exhibition stands. The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been canceled this year. The loss for the organizers is estimated at 30 million Swiss Francs; all the exhibitors have to pay their costs themselves.
For a long time, the GIMS organizers insisted on the fact that the show would go on. But Friday morning, the Swiss federal authorities prohibited events gathering more than 1 000 people until the 15th of March. Exit the Geneva motor show.
The perfect storm
The canceling can be seen as the culmination point of the perfect storm that is starting to hit the car industry. For years, all manufacturers will have to invest huge sums of money in electrification and the autonomous car.
At the same time, sales are shrinking, especially in China. To cap it all, there is now the coronavirus. The Chinese car market is practically reduced to zero at this moment; all manufacturers suffer from ruptures in the supply chain. Almost all of them have (especially electrical) parts manufactured in China.
GIMS in danger?
Already months ago, a lot of brands decided not to come to the Geneva show this year. Eleven major brands were among them. Fifteen others were there and wanted to show something new and special. They will now rely on digital communication.
If they see that this sort of communication has enough power to achieve the goals, manufacturers won’t be eager to pay huge sums anymore for costly exhibitions at motor shows.
The GIMS is somewhat different from other shows because it attracts many luxury brands and their buyers. But those (usually small) companies have put all their money in their appearance in Geneva, to see it canceled. Will they all be able to come back next year?
Worldwide, all motor shows are suffering. Frankfurt saw its final edition last year in September; the German car industry is still searching for a worthy successor.
The Mondial in Paris is having some difficulties too and is trying to evolve in something more contemporary. The Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) has moved from January to June, hoping this will attract more people and attention.
The Tokyo Motor Show has become a local event. It will depend on the Chinese recovery from the coronavirus if there will be a Chinese Motor Show in Beijing or Shanghai this year. Perhaps this is a new start of things and the death of the classic motor show as we have known it for almost 100 years.