The display stands are nearly finished and the show was to begin Monday, March 5, but a decision taken Friday by the Federal Council of Switzerland means the 90th Geneva International Motor Show will not take place.
The council ruled that no events involving more than 1,000 people will be allowed in Switzerland until after March 15, which would have been the final day of the show.
“We regret this situation, but the health of everyone involved is an absolute priority for us and our exhibitors,” Maurice Turrettini, president of the motor show board of trustees, said in a statement. “This is a case of force majeure.
“For the exhibitors who are massive in their presence, investing in Geneva is a huge loss, but we are confident that everyone affected will understand this decision, and we thank everyone who has worked to implement this 90th edition. GIMS 2020 could have been a great event.”
Show officials said the construction of the various and often massive automaker display stands was nearly completed. At a news conference a week ago, show officials said there was nothing to suggest the show should be delayed.
However, that changed with the first confirmed illnesses from the coronavirus in Switzerland and led to the decision of the Federal Council’s decision.
“The dismantling must now be organized,” show officials said in a statement. “The financial consequences for everyone involved in the event are significant and will be assessed in the coming weeks. One thing is certain: The tickets sold for the event will be refunded. The organizers will provide information about the procedure on their website as soon as possible.”
Among the major new-car unveilings that were scheduled for the 90th edition of one of the world’s major auto show was the 8th-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI, Citroen’s electric Ami, the Apex AP-0 concept car, the 2-seat Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, the Pininfarina Battista, the high-performance Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne, the new Skoda Octavia, the DS Aero Sport Lounge, the Rinspeed MetroSnap, the Czinger 21C hypercar, and many others.
Also scheduled for the show was an appearance by the Tesla-powered 1949 Mercury “Derelict” American-built coupe by Icon 4×4.
Porsche was to unveil its new 911 at the show, but has announced that instead it will do a livestream web presentation of the car on March 3 at 10:10 a.m. Central European Time.