Currently reading: Geneva motor show axed for 2021
Organisers say decision not to run was made after bulk of exhibitors said they would not attend

The Geneva motor show, one of the biggest events on the car industry calendar, will not take place next year - with organisers saying that the bulk of exhibitors had indicated they would not attend.

This year’s running of the Swiss event, due to take place in March, was cancelled at the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic. That left organisers facing a major financial shortfall.

The Foundation of the Geneva International Motor Show (FGIMS) has been considering plans for the future, and had been in talks with the State of Geneva over a loan to shore up its future. But after surveying exhibitors they have now scrapped plans for next year.

In a statement FGIMS said: “A majority of GIMS exhibitors who took part in a survey stated that they would probably not participate in a 2021 edition in and that they would prefer to have a GIMS in 2022.

“The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Furthermore, it is far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organisation of an event attracting more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists next spring.”

The FGIMS added that it would now refuse the 16.8 million Swiss franc (£14.1 million) loan from the state of Geneva, because it had been contingent on an event being organised in 2021.

In order to ensure the long-term future of the event, the FGIMS has also decided to sell the motor show to Palexpo SA, the firm that runs the Geneva exhibition centre it is held in.

The coronavirus pandemic has proven a major blow to several already struggling motor shows. As well as Geneva, this year’s Paris, New York and Detroit shows have all been cancelled, while the Beijing show was delayed from April until September.

Paris organisers have already indicated that event will not run again in its traditional form, while there are also questions over the future of Germany’s biennial motor show, which rotates with Paris on the calendar. The German event is due to move from its long-time home in Frankfurt to Munich next year.


Geneva organisers 'very uncertain' of 2021 return

Coronavirus and the car world: how the industry has been affected

Paris motor show axed due to coronavirus impact

Geneva motor show 2019: full report and pictures


James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Just Saying 30 June 2020

The answer is

Keep buying Autocar, and as Peter implied, a high res monitor is all you need.
Maybe the manufactures could up their game in producing cutting edge videos that display everything you want to see.
eseaton 30 June 2020

Car manufacturers have lead

Car manufacturers have lead themselves down a blind alley of defining their products by pointless 'new tech' that nobody wants or cares about.  Rubbish 'infotainment' systems that are incredibly expensive and are blown out of the water by the most basic of smartphones.


The engineering and visual drama that made the tactility of motorshows appealing has disappeared, and along with that, the justification for attending.

Peter Cavellini 30 June 2020

Cyber motor shows?

 With today's tech, the digital World we live in you don't really need to spent a lot to get your latest Car or whatever in front of millions of People's eyes instantly around the World in minutes, and if it's done in virtual, it's like being there!, so the old fashioned idea of pressing the flesh, making deals at the shows is about to be long gone, just look at the way buying a Car has changed, you can actually buy a car without talking to anyone, and in some cases, get it delivered to your own drive.