A hat-trick of Geneva motor shows have now been axed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Overnight the organising committee announced it will cancel the show originally planned for February 2022 “due to industry-wide issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The organisers are trying to be upbeat, saying, “While February 2022 will be cancelled, the steps already taken to evolve the platform will continue to be implemented, allowing for a more impactful show in 2023”.
With the vaccination rate at almost 75 per cent for adults, it was hoped next year’s event would go ahead, but the flow-on effects of the pandemic have put paid to that.
In addition to the global semiconductor shortage, which has forced practically all manufacturers to drastically cut production, automakers are also dealing with shipping and logistics bottlenecks, and sudden factory closures due to Coronavirus outbreaks.
The 2020 edition was the first motor show cancelled after an explosion of cases in nearby Italy saw Switzerland close the borders with its southern neighbour.
While all motor shows struggled in the years leading up to the pandemic, the Geneva show was in a particularly parlous state.
After the 2021 show was called off, poor finances saw the show sold to Palexpo, the exhibition centre where the motor show is held.
At the end of August, Geneva motor show committee announced it would be launching a spin-off event in Doha, Qatar. The first Qatar Geneva International Motor Show, as it will be known, will take place in either late 2022 or some time in 2023.
Most motor shows were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, and many this year too. Forced to improvise, the majority of last year’s global car launches took place exclusively online.
China — where the heavy hand of the government has been able to squash outbreaks — has hosted a few motor shows this year.
More recently the Munich motor show was the first major event of its type to take place on the Continent since the phrase ‘PCR test’ passed into common speech.