Nissan withdraws from Brussels Motor Show
Nissan Belgium is withdrawing from the Brussels Motor Show (BMS), scheduled from 14 till 23 January 2022. In a short statement on Wednesday, Nissan said it acknowledges the organizer Febiac’s efforts to limit the risks of Covid-19 during the show but decided nevertheless to cancel its participation to minimize the risk for its employees, suppliers, and partners.
The importer of the Japanese brand in Belgium came to this conclusion after an operational evaluation of Nissan’s preparations for the upcoming motor show. But it says in a press release it is working now on an alternative during the show.
No easy decision
“The Brussels Motor Show is always an important date on the automotive calendar in Belgium, so the decision to no longer participate was not easy,” said Nissan Belux Country Director Charbel Abi Ghanem.
“ We believe it is our duty to minimize activities that could endanger our employees and those of our suppliers and partners. Since the pandemic’s beginning, we have taken extra thorough measures to protect our employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. We remain committed to playing our part in minimizing the spread of Covid-19. We look forward to exhibiting our full range at the 2023 edition of the Brussels Motor Show.”
Fourth corona wave
The corona pandemic is clearly in its fourth wave in Belgium, like in other European countries, and the daily figures are alarming. On Wednesday, the latest report of the Belgian Health Institute, Sciensano, shows an average of 15 890 people testing positive daily in the last seven days (+54%), with 289 being transferred to the hospitals (+22%). There are 3 327 people hospitalized now (+24%) and 656 in intensive care (+18%).
The Belgian government issued stricter measures beginning this week but still allows indoor events to be organized when a Covid Save Ticket (CST) as proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative PCR test is shown, and mouth masks are worn at all times.
Reserving time slots
Febiac, the BMS organizer, aims to mitigate the significant surge of people toward the show palaces on the Heyzel by letting people reserve a particular time slot in advance. The question remains if current measurements will counter the pandemic in time for the show still to be allowed or more participants are throwing in the towel.
Earlier, D’Ieteren, Belgium’s biggest importer representing all the Volkswagen brands, decided not to participate in the BMS 2022, except for the Cupra brand. Stellantis Group hesitated but decided to participate, saving the BMS 2022 at the final moment.
In January 2021, there was still Covid-19. The BMS was canceled, and manufacturers and importers had to find other ways to reach the customer. For some, like BMW, organizing their own restricted and targeted motor show in their headquarters worked very well. They will be organizing this ‘Phygital’ event again, whether or not there will be a motor show in Brussels.