Organizers are carefully observing the situation, but it appears the show will go ahead.
As one of the major events on the annual motoring calendar, the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) is as highly anticipated as any other, where we've previously been introduced to amazing supercars like the McLaren 720 Spider. A cloud of uncertainty surrounds this year's event, however, due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus (officially named Covid-19 earlier this week). The alarm bells first sounded when reports started circulating of the Beijing Motor Show's likely postponement.
Together with this and the confirmed cancellation of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest global phone show, we reached out to GIMS to find out what the event's status is. In short, the event is still going ahead and the organizers are said to be "carefully observing the situation and its possible implications for its employees, exhibitors, and visitors."
A representative for GIMS further elaborated to say that "we are in contact with the General Directorate of Health of the Republic and Canton of Geneva and its medical advisor to develop a sanitary action plan adjustable in real time." Such a plan would include the cleaning and disinfection of "public highpoints" like handrails and catering areas.
While there are no known cases of coronavirus infections in Switzerland, an event like GIMS which attracts thousands of international visitors obviously poses a risk. With less than a month to go before exciting supercars like the Rimac C_Two, Bugatti Chiron R, and Bentley Bacalar are unveiled alongside more mainstream models like the VW Golf GTI and Kia Sorento, it would be a major blow to the motoring industry if GIMS were to be canceled.
Thankfully, the organizer has confirmed that "we did not have a cancellation because of the Coronavirus epidemic."
Of course, curtailing the spread of the coronavirus trumps a motor show, but it just demonstrates that the outbreak leaves no industry unaffected. In January, China auto sales decreased by 18 percent compared to last year. Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, is the location for about 10 percent of the country's car manufacturing plants, many of which have been forced to down tools in recent weeks.
For now, Geneva 2020 is set to go ahead as planned and seemingly won't have to go the way of Beijing and cancel the whole thing. Still, we'll be keeping a close eye on the potential impact on one of the world's biggest motoring events, set to run from 3-15 March.