Geneva International Motor Show

The Geneva Motor Show Will Return in 2023 After a 3-Year Absence

The Geneva Motor Show Will Return in 2023 After a 3-Year Absence

The Geneva International Motor Show is finally coming back.

One of the automotive industry’s biggest events will return in 2023, following a three-year absence. Comité Permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile, which runs the Swiss event, made the announcement in a very straightforward “Save the Date” message posted to the show’s website on Monday morning. “We are very happy to confirm you that the Geneva International Motor Show will be on from February 14th to February 19th 2023 in Palexpo, Geneva,” it reads in its entirety. The event was last held in 2019.

Back in February 2020, the Geneva Motor Show was canceled days before it was scheduled to begin after the Swiss government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people because of the then nascent coronavirus outbreak. In the years since, organizers have chosen to be cautious. The 2021 event was canceled in June of 2020. Then, in November of 2021 the plug was pulled on the 2022 edition.

Of course, plans to move forward with the auto show could still be subject to change amid a coronavirus that has produced multiple variants and  case surges. Indeed, Monday’s statement came just hours after it was announced that another major car event, the Beijing Motor Show, was being postponed indefinitely, according to Motor1.com. Organizers of the biennial event, which was set to run from April 21 through the end of the month, said that the event was being delayed because of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in China, which is currently experiencing its biggest jump in cases since the start of the pandemic. It is unknown whether the show will be held later this year, which is what happened after the 2020 edition was postponed.
The  return of the Geneva Motor Show will certainly be welcome among auto industry insiders. The nearly week-long event is one of the crown jewels of the automotive calendar, with brands from all over the world lining up to show off their most outlandish vehicles. In 2019, this included the McLaren Speedtail, Ferrari F8 Tributo and, what was at one point the world’s most expensive new car, the one-off Bugatti “La Voiture Noire.” Amazingly, all those cars went into production. We’re still waiting on the all-electric Pininfarina Battista, though.

The Geneva Motor Show Has Been Canceled for a Third Straight Year

The Geneva Motor Show Has Been Canceled for a Third Straight Year

The third time will not be the charm for the Geneva International Motor Show.

Organizers announced on Thursday that next year’s event, which was scheduled for March, has been canceled because of ongoing issues related to Covid-19. It will mark the third time the show has been canceled due to the pandemic in as many years.
A statement from the Comité Permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile, which runs the show, made clear that, while the health and safety of attendees is a priority, it wasn’t the only reason for the cancellation. Issues directly and indirectly related to the pandemic, like travel restrictions and supply chain issues, are also to blame. The latter has led to a worldwide shortage of semi-conductor chips, something that has affected the entire industry and looks likely to continue well into next year.

The 2020 Geneva Motor Show was canceled days before it was set to begin after Switzerland banned large gatherings because of the then nascent coronavirus outbreak. Months later, as Covid-19 cases spread and increased worldwide, the 2021 event was also canceled. Organizers had hoped to return next year, but a spate of recent cancellations made clear that wasn’t possible.

The Pininfarina Battista at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2019 

AP Images

“In these uncertain times, many brands are therefore unable to make a commitment to participate in a trade fair that would have taken place in just over four months, the show’s CEO, Sandro Mesquito, said in a statement. “When considering all the factors, it became clear that it was necessary to postpone the show, and to announce the news sooner than later to avoid canceling at short notice.”
In the absence of a number of major international auto shows, virtual car unveilings have become increasingly popular over the last two years. Still, they can’t quite capture the feel of congregating with thousands of auto enthusiasts to see the year’s most exciting cars in the flesh (or carbon fiber, as it may be). That’s why Comité Permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile isn’t giving up on Geneva just yet. The group said it will return in 2023.

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