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2021 Geneva Motor Show Canceled Over “Financial Consequences”

Like any other event of this scale, the Geneva Motor Show needs to make money in order to survive. Because the 2020 edition has been canceled and a loan from the State of Geneva hasn’t been accepted, GIMS will not be held in 2021 either.
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But the financial side isn’t the only problem. “A majority of exhibitors who took part in a survey stated that they would probably not participate in a 2021 edition and that they would prefer to have a GIMS in 2022.” Given that most exhibitors are automakers, and automakers have been hit hard as well, we’re not surprised.

The Foundation Board of the Geneva Motor Show asked for 11 million Swiss francs in financial support from the government, and even though the Canton and State of Geneva agreed, one condition of the loan failed. Alas, the turnaround plan fell flat on its face. “The reason for this is that the Foundation would be obliged to make a repayment of 1 million Swiss francs as early as June 2021,” which isn’t possible given that next year’s show has been canceled.

The thing is, manufacturers ranging from volume brands to exotica such as Lamborghini aren’t too fond of auto shows nowadays. Renting an exhibition area and construction the stand are costly affairs, sometimes clocking in at hundreds of thousands of euros if not more depending on the complexity of the setup.

It’s also worthy of mentioning that automakers have started to ditch auto shows in the past five years or so thanks to live streaming, social media, and less expensive ways of promoting a new car. Take BMW as a prime example of this trend.

The 2011 model M5 was revealed in Frankfurt alongside 40-plus debuts. The sixth-generation M5, on the other hand, first appeared in Need For Speed Payback. It was then exhibited at a gaming convention and esports convention before coming to the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2018.

Turning our attention back to GIMS, the Foundation has also decided on selling the show to Palexpo SA. “The aim is to find a solution that will ensure the regular organization of an International Motor Show in Geneva.”

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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