The future is looking shaky for one of the world’s largest and longest-running motor shows.

    The 2020 Geneva motor show was one of the first casualties of the COVID-19 crisis. It was cancelled before the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and preceded a long list of cancellations and closures.

    Now, the 2021 event has been called off, and the organisers have turned down a loan of 16.8 million Swiss francs ($25.8 million) from the canton of Geneva.

    According to the committee, the loan would have required a 2021 running of the show and the first million ($1.5 million) of the loan paid back by June next year.

    Rather than accepting the loan, the foundation behind the motor show is working to sell the rights to Palexpo SA, the company that owns the convention centre where the show is traditionally held.

    “A majority of GIMS [Geneva International Motor Show] 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,” show organisers said in a statement.

    “The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

    “Furthermore, it is far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organisation of an event attracting more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists next spring.”

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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