Currently reading: 2021 Geneva motor show could go ahead in modified format
Palexpo is plotting a media-only event mixing physical and virtual elements
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2 mins read
21 September 2020

The venue of the Geneva motor show is planning to host a modified version of Europe’s biggest car show in 2021, Automotive News Europe reports.

Following the last-minute cancellation of this year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) Foundation also cancelled the 2021 show, but the owners of the show's venue, Palexpo, are now said to be intending to go ahead with the event in an altered format.

Under the new plan, the show will be just three days long, instead of the usual 15, and will be open only to members of the press.

The reimagined event would be staged at the show’s usual Palexpo venue on the outskirts of the Swiss city, using a mixture of physical and virtual elements, including 30-minute press conferences held live and broadcast online.

In a promotional brochure seen by Automotive News Europe, Palexpo said: "This period of transition presents an opportunity for us to reinvent our profession, evolve our events and create new platforms for bringing people together both in person and virtually.”

Palexpo has pitched the event to car makers, offering three packages ranging from 150,000 francs (around £127,730) to 750,000 francs (£638,630), but no manufacturer has confirmed participation yet.

The 150,000-franc package offers a one-car show stand with access for 10 media guests and a stage with an LED TV wall, with capacity increasing to up to four cars and 100 media guests for the more expensive packages.

Another hurdle for the show is that local health authorities need to approve it. Recent events including London’s Concours of Elegance have gone ahead but taken place at outdoor venues with limited capacity.

Since the last-minute nature of the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva motor show left many car makers facing huge losses, the future of the event has been unclear. The show was axed for 2021 (in its usual format) because the bulk of usual exhibitors had indicated that they wouldn't attend.

The fate of Geneva has also raised concerns about the viability of motor shows more broadly. More and more car makers are experimenting with launching their cars through virtual platforms instead.

Earlier this year, Lamborghini announced that it would no longer attend high-profile motor shows. Instead, it will focus on bespoke events targeted directly at its customers.

Autocar has contacted the GIMS Foundation for comment.

READ MORE

2020 Geneva motor show axed due to coronavirus 

Geneva motor show axed for 2021 

2020 Geneva motor show: latest new cars – with video

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Mini2 21 September 2020

Don’t call it a motor show then

What they're effectively proposing is a glorified set of press conferences. Loses the magic without the public being able to attend. Will media folks even be bothered to attend if it's running online? If it's directly to limit contact with others then fine, but that's not a sustainable format to move forwards with indefinitely. 

harf 21 September 2020

Lamborghini

Aspiration and dreams have been cancelled by Lamborghini then. Probably THE manufacturer of cars that most appeared on kids bedroom walls have opted out of appearances accessible to the general public.

The Internet is all very well but it's really no substitute for seeing a car in the metal. Maybe, as an annual Geneva visitor, I'm in the minority but a motor show (Geneva especially) gives the most affordable accessibility to all sections of society - from dreamers to purchasers, of Minis or Rolls Royces. 

It's where you can think more of McLaren for giving everyone the chance to get on the stand and actually sit in the cars or be abhorred by the arrogance (and ignorance) of Jaguar to lock all of their cars, even the XEs.

And now I think less of Lamborghini, for turning their back on the general public, because we've not got enough money to buy one so we're not worth it.

tuga 22 September 2020

harf wrote:

harf wrote:

The Internet is all very well but it's really no substitute for seeing a car in the metal. Maybe, as an annual Geneva visitor, I'm in the minority but a motor show (Geneva especially) gives the most affordable accessibility to all sections of society - from dreamers to purchasers, of Minis or Rolls Royces. 

 

A minority maybe, but not alone; I was a regular at Geneva too ( had everything ready to go for this year ), and will very much miss the show. Even as a buyer, there's something about being able to sit in and touch ( feels like ages ago now ) the cars you are thinking of buying within minutes of each other, sometimes even side by side from each other. The internet is great, it's definitely the way to go currently, but it's no replacement for all the other sense besides sight.

 

Very much doubt that manufacturers will choose to invest in an online show like the one proposed. Why would they drop millions ( price of entry plus staff and transportation for everything ) in an online show, when they can just do it " at home ", in a controlled environment and with fewer restrictions? 

Peter Cavellini 21 September 2020

No need?

 Well, I could be that the days of walking miles round a car show looking at metal and picking up arms full of glossy brochures could be gone, if you can see it virtually in your own home, at a time you pick,and if you really want to see one, you'd wait till your local garage had one to look at, plus, car makers would save money albeit compared to what they make a year a small amount of cash, and, as we all doing now, we're reading it on a Car mag webpage.

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