Geneva Motor Show Officially Discontinued, Qatar Event Returns in 2025

2024 Geneva Motor Show 7 photos
Photo: Geneva International Motor Show/YouTube
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The Geneva Motor Show, one of the world's oldest and most prominent automotive events, has been canceled indefinitely. The decision comes after the Swiss location hosted the first auto show after a four-year hiatus in 2024. The organizers cited numerous uncertainties within the auto industry and challenging post-pandemic market conditions, both of which have diminished the appeal of European motor shows.
First organized in 1905, the Geneva Motor Show has been a staple in the automotive calendar and Europe's main annual event. The show was canceled for the first time in decades in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following two exhibitions were also canceled due to continued pandemic measures, but a replacement show in Qatar was originally scheduled for November 2022. The event was postponed to 2023.

The 2023 Geneva Motor Show was also canceled, citing uncertainties in the global economy, the ongoing pandemic, and the chip shortage. The event was finally revived in early 2024, but it included a revised format with reduced costs. With minor exceptions, the 2024 exhibit included small automakers and insignificant vehicles. It looks like last year's unsuccessful edition was the final nail in the Swiss-based event's coffin.

"This decision follows the recognition that market conditions in Europe are not conducive to the success of future editions," the Board of the Comité permanent du Salon international de l'automobile Foundation in Geneva said in a statement. In addition, President Alexandre de Senarclens also quoted competition from the Paris and Munich shows, which "are favored by their domestic industry."

It's a sad thing to hear about the auto show that brought us so many iconic automobiles over the years, but that's how the cookie crumbles in today's unstable economy.

The Geneva Motor Show saw the debut of many legendary cars. The Porsche 356 was introduced in Switzerland in 1949, while the Ferrari 250 MM debuted on the same floor four years later. The Italian firm showcased numerous iterations of the Ferrari 250 at the exhibition in the 1950s and 1960s.

Jaguar launched the E-Type there in 1961, while Lamborghini showcased its first-ever production car, the 350 GT, in 1964. Lamborghini also debuted the Miura prototype in Geneva in 1966 and the Countach LP400 in 1974. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, showcased both the 300 SEL 6.3 and 450 SEL 6.9 at the Swiss exhibition. The list of iconic supercars introduced in Geneva also includes the Ferrari 250 GTO (1984), Ferrari F50, and Lamborghini Diablo SV (both in 1995).

But even though the Swiss event is now part of the history books, it's not the end of the road for the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) entity. The name will live on through its sister event in Qatar. The next edition is planned for November 2025 in Doha.

"It's satisfying to realize that motor shows continue to appeal to brands in different parts of the world and that the Geneva International Motor Show has reinforced its appeal in the Middle East," said, on a more positive note, GIMS CEO Sandro Mesquita.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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