Covid-19‘s impact on the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been far reaching, leaving the event with its future in doubt. Following the cancellation of this year’s event due to the pandemic, its organisers have announced that the 2021 edition has also been cancelled. The decision has also been made to sell the event off to Palexpo SA, which provides the venue for the event.
In a statement, the committee and the foundation board overseeing the Salon International De L’Automobile said that the decision to not organise an event in 2021 came after results of a survey revealed that “a majority of GIMS exhibitors stated that they would probably not participate in a 2021 edition in and that they would prefer to have a GIMS in 2022.”
With time still needed to recover from the effects of the pandemic, the organisers felt it was far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organisation of an event that would draw more than 600,000 visitors.
The organisers said that the cancellation of this year’s show resulted in losses of around 11 million Swiss francs (RM49.5 million), and the foundation had approached the canton of Geneva for financial support to cover those losses.
A loan of 16.8 million Swiss francs (RM75.5 million) was approved, but under the condition that the show had to be held in 2021, and with the first repayment of the loan to be made in June 2021. Given the decision to not run the event next year, the organisers have not accepted the loan.
The organisers said that the objective of the sale is to find a solution that will ensure the continuity of the show, which was first held in 1905 and is a major fixture in the global motor show calendar. It added that GIMS is the largest public event held annually in Switzerland, and its economic impact on the canton of Geneva is estimated at some 200 million Swiss francs (RM899 million) per year.