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Geneva Auto Show cancels on coronavirus concerns

Work on the show floor was already underway for the media open tomorrow when the cancellation came

This past Friday, the organizers of the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show canceled the annual gathering scheduled for March 5-15. Following a decree by the Swiss government banning public gatherings of more than 1,000 people, there was no option, even as the show was mid-build.

GIMS now lines up alongside GDC, the Beijing Auto Show, and Mobile World Congress as one more trade show taken down by the bug.

Media previews were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, so work was already well underway at the Palexpo convention center. Swiss publication Radical recording the behind the scenes process, that will look all too familiar; most of us can imagine what it would be like to cancel a couple of days before a show starts.

But even before the Swiss called time on GIMS, attendees were reconsidering their plans. The OEMs expressed concern in having to quarantine key personnel upon returning from the show, and the press was already bailing.

Like other bricks and mortar shows, the scramble now shifts to doing the annual Geneva reveals online.

The next big car show on the horizon is the New York International Auto Show in early April, and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association has no plans to cancel yet, saying, “the Javits Center is taking precautionary measures inside the venue to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, and the New York Auto Show will follow its lead to protect exhibitors and attendees.”

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