The Beijing motor show in April will be postponed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, an official announcement has confirmed.
In a statement posted to the event's website, the show's organisers said: "To ensure the health and safety of exhibitors and participants, we, on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the 2020 (16th) Beijing International Automobile Exhibition (Auto China 2020), have decided to postpone the event which was initially scheduled at the new and old venues of China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) in Beijing from April 21 to 30 this year. The rescheduled date will be notified separately."
This latest move follows the postponed Formula 1 race in Shanghai and the cancelled Mobile World Congress technology show in Barcelona.
With travel bans in place, international flights on hold and the streets of Beijing being regularly treated with chemicals in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus, the decision makes sense.
When rumours began to circulate of the show's postponement last week, Autocar attempted to contact the organisers in Beijing, including show chairman Wang Xia, but his email address, plus those of two press relations executives, was mysteriously not working, while a fourth executive failed to reply.
Questions to the Paris-based organisation OICA, The International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, under whose umbrella the international motor show circuit is organised, were referred to Beijing. “You need to ask the organisers,” we were told.
Postponement of the show will be a blow to a Chinese car industry that's struggling to recover from two successive market drops in 2018 and 2019.