Currently reading: Paris motor show axed due to coronavirus impact
Organisers scrap September event at Porte de Versailles – but pledge some elements will survive

The Paris motor show has been scrapped “in its current form” for this year, with organisers citing the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact.

The biennial event was due to start on 29 September at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in the French capital. Alternating each year with the Frankfurt motor show, the event is one of the biggest on the motor show calendar, with more than a million visitors attending the 2018 show.

In a statement, event organisers said that the decision was taken due to the “unprecedented health crisis”, and the resulting “economic shock wave” it had caused for the automotive sector. Organisers cited the uncertainty over when movement and other restrictions would be eased as a reason for the early decision.

While the main event will not run as a traditional motor show, organisers said that elements of the wider Paris Motion Festival – the Movin’On innovation and sustainability summit, the Smartcity show and a number of out-of-town events – were “not in question”.

Organisers added: “We will study all the alternative solutions. The profound reinvention of the event, with a festival dimension based around innovative mobility and a strong B2B component, could offer an opportunity.

“Nothing will be like before, and this crisis must teach us to be agile, creative and more innovative than ever.”

The Covid-19 outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponement of most of the major motor shows due to take place this year. The Geneva motor show, scheduled for earlier this month, was cancelled, while both the Beijing and New York shows – due to be held in April – have been postponed. The Detroit show that was to take place in June has also been cancelled.

Along with the Frankfurt show it is paired with, the Paris show has struggled in recent years, with an increasing number of high-profile car firms choosing not to attend. It remains unclear if organisers will attempt to run a full show again in 2022, or if the “profound reinvention” means the ‘traditional’ motor show element will not return.

The organisers of the Frankfurt show have already decided to move it to Munich for its next running in 2021.


Coronavirus and the car world: full news and updates

Frankfurt motor show will relocate to Munich for 2021

Paris motor show 2018: Read Autocar's full event report

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. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
jagdavey 30 March 2020

The day of the Motorshow is over.........

Motorshows are finished. They were always jam packed, you couldn't get near the cars, all the litarature & brochures were already given away, parking was always full meaning you had to get a shuttle bus, all the bars, restaurants & toilets were full, you'd walk miles & scuff your best shoes & all at great expense to the visitor. And also just a couple of weeks later you could go to your local dealer & inspect the latest, just released new models at your pleasure. So why on earth did we go  to Motorshows anyway?