Swiss authorities have banned mass events to limit the spread of the disease.
The COVID-19 coronavirus reached Europe last month. The disease, which began in Wuhan, China, affected 650 people and resulted in 17 deaths in Italy, while France reports two deaths and 38 patients. Switzerland is aware of 15 infected people, and Swiss authorities on Friday announced a ban on mass events that are expected to host 1,000 or more people – effectively canceling the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS).
Over the past 90 days, the Geneva Motor Show has attracted thousands of journalists and countless crowds of enthusiasts to the Swiss city. The transport industry largely relied on the excitement around the events held at the show – the releases of new models and technologies.
We regret the current situation, but the health of people is the main concern of ours and of our participants, – said GIMS Chairman Maurice Turrettini. -This situation is a force majeure that led to large-scale losses for manufacturers who invested in their expositions in Geneva.
However, the damage to the auto industry from the coronavirus is not limited to the canceled exhibition. Factory closures in China and disrupted supply chains are not only hampering production, but also heightening consumer fears.
After hitting a record of 95.2 million vehicles sold in 2017, the global auto industry experienced a steady decline – 94.4 million units in 2018 and 90.3 million in 2019. The slump in sales is preventing manufacturers from switching to renewable energy sources and reducing the use of internal combustion engines.
The cancellation of the Geneva International Motor Show this year is an unpleasant event for the auto industry, but we sincerely hope that Europe will cope with the threat of the disease. I would like to be sure that the 90th anniversary event will take place, albeit in 2021.