The organisers of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) have confirmed that the event has been canceled.
This follows the Swiss government’s decision to ban gatherings of more than 1,000 people over fears of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Swiss Federal Council said that “large-scale events involving more than 1,000 people are to be banned”. The ban comes into immediate effect and will apply at least until March 15, the Council added.
The 90th edition of Europe’s largest motor show was due to start next Tuesday and run until March 15.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Switzerland rose to nine yesterday (Thursday).
Following the news that the show has been cancelled, David Leggett, automotive editor at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offered his view. He said: “The public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has hit home this week with whole towns quarantined in northern Italy and the first cases confirmed in Switzerland.
“However, the organisers of the Geneva Motor Show stuck doggedly to the line that it could continue to take place and issued health guidelines for exhibitors and attendees on Wednesday (26th). This seemed unrealistic to many and exhibitors began to cancel or massively scale down their attendance plans.
“The decision to cancel the show at this late stage – press day scheduled for next Tuesday, March 3 – was finally forced by a Swiss federal government edict banning gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
“Many prospective exhibitors and attendees may well be disappointed that the event was not called off by the organisers earlier.”