Is this a sign that motor shows are losing relevance?
The cancelation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show due to the coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly have huge repercussions. Financial losses are inevitable and smaller automakers rely on the motor show for exposure. But some automakers are now questioning if motor shows are still relevant when they can still generate exposure online at a fraction of the cost.
Before this year's show was canceled, automakers such as Lamborghini, Ford, Maserati, Nissan, Infiniti, and Volvo had already pulled out of the show to reduce costs. Instead, each company hosted a private event, saving money and resources while also gaining more exposure since companies weren't sharing the spotlight like they would at Geneva.
Most of the new models that were supposed to debut at Geneva were revealed online during livestreams watched by thousands of fans such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S, Aston Martin V12 Speedster, and Bentley Bacalar. This year's Geneva Motor Show won't be rescheduled, meaning the next show will be held in in March 2021. According to Autocar, Bentley and Aston Martin are already considering pulling out of the 2021 Geneva Motor Show since many automakers successfully hosted their own events after this year's show was canceled.
Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark told the publication it could be "not absolutely necessary to attend" the Geneva Motor Show in the future if feedback is positive and Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer shared similar sentiments.
If this happens, Aston Martin and Bentley probably won't be the only manufacturers that pull out of the 2021 Geneva Motor Show judging from previous years. It was only a couple of years ago when Volkswagen Chairman Dr. Herbert Diess declared that traditional auto shows are dead, and at this rate, he could be right.
The next event on the auto show calendar is the 2020 New York Auto Show, which is expected to host the world debut of the new Ford Bronco. Originally, the show was scheduled to kick off in April, but has been delayed until August to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.