The organizers will try a "profound reinvention."
It has been a rough year for auto shows due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Auto shows are, obviously, far less important than the loss of human lives, yet this pandemic is clearly having an adverse effect on the automotive industry. This situation isn't showing signs of going away quickly, as yet another major auto show was just canceled as a result: the 2020 Paris Motor Show. The event was scheduled to take place in September.
As far as the timeline goes, Beijing and Geneva were the first global auto shows to be canceled. Shortly after, the 2020 New York Auto Show was also postponed. The event was set to be held in April, but has been pushed back until August (as least for now). And instead of showing off cars next week, the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan is being used as an infirmary, as confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise.
Just before the grim news that the Paris Motor Show became official, the 2020 Detroit Auto Show, which was scheduled for June, was officially canceled over the weekend. This is because TCF Center (formally Cobo Hall) will now be used as a remote hospital center, just like the Javits Center in NY.
The show's organizers released a statement saying the auto show will be canceled "in its current format" due to the "economic shock wave" of the Covid-19 outbreak. Some of the reasons cited for the decision to cancel include uncertainty over movement and other restrictions to host such a large event.
"We will study all the alternative solutions. The profound reinvention of the event, with a festival dimension based around innovative mobility and a strong B2B component, could offer an opportunity," the event organizers said. "Nothing will be like before, and this crisis must teach us to be agile, creative and more innovative than ever."
Does this imply a similar model to what Detroit was trying to do before it was given the axe will be implemented? It certainly sounds like it.
The Paris Motor Show, which alternates every year with the Frankfurt Motor Show, has already struggled in recent years as automakers have been pulling out of global auto shows in favor of smaller, private events. At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, there was only a handful of important reveals including the Infiniti Q60 Project Black S, BMW 3 Series, and BMW Z4 among others. Organizers of the Frankfurt show have already made the decision to move to Munich in 2021 but this coronavirus situation may have a devastating and lasting impact on global auto shows as we know them.