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.