The annual Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) may not be the largest of its kind, but it has always been one of the most significant given the number of world premieres it usually plays host to. It would’ve been no different this year, the 90th edition, but with the coronavirus outbreak in full force in Europe, the show had to be called off for reasons beyond the organisers’ control.
It follows the banning of public events with more than 1,000 participants by the Swiss government last Friday (28th February) and this ban is supposed to last until 15th March 2020.
GIMS 2019 attracted over 600,000 visitors last year and would have been underway tomorrow for the international media before opening its doors to the public from 5th to 15th March. On the same token, the world’s most eminent watch fair, Baselworld 2020, is also affected and has been postponed until January 2021.
The cancellation of GIMS 2020 is particularly painful in that it happened on the eve of the show and that pavilions and booths would’ve already been built at the venue, the costs believed to run into hundreds of million (USD), but due to the unforeseen circumstance caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the money spent is unlikely to be recouped.
While car fans won’t be witnessing the physical debuts of the all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI, the facelifted Mercedes-Benz E-Class and new compact class plug-in models, the 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo, the yet named Yaris-based compact SUV from Toyota, the new Hyundai i30 and the updated Honda Civic Type R – all were expected at GIMS 2020, but thanks to the connected world which we live in today, manufacturers will no doubt be busy setting up live stream launches so you can catch them online.