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Geneva International Motor Show to go ahead despite coronavirus

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Visitors at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show, Switzerland, on 7 March, 2019. (Sergei Fadeichev\TASS via Getty Images)

The organisers of the Geneva International Motor Show say the show is currently set to open its doors in two weeks, although they are “carefully monitoring” the coronavirus situation.

A press spokesperson from the Geneva show said that “the current situation in Switzerland is rather reassuring” as “none of the samples tested so far have been positive for coronavirus.”

The spokesperson said the organisers were working with Geneva health authorities to a create an awareness campaign for visitors and staff on cleanliness and disinfection in public areas, and have set up a web page for people to monitor the situation should it change.

Concerns over the global spread of the virus forced the mobile operators network body GSMA to cancel its Mobile World Congress tech fair in Barcelona last week, after big names including Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), LG, and Ericsson announced they were pulling out over coronavirus worries.  

The annual Beijing Motor Show, scheduled for 21 April, was postponed this week, with a new date still to be confirmed. The Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai in April has also been called off.

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Geneva is one of the most important car shows in the annual automotive calendar, attracting 600,000 visitors last year. Some 150 exhibitors are expected at this year’s show — the press office said that so far there have been no cancellations because of coronavirus.

Several big carmakers won’t be attending again this year, including Jaguar Land Rover (TTM), Ford (F), and Volvo (VOLV-B.ST). Peugeot and Lamborghini will also be no-shows. Ditching traditional car shows is a growing trend among automakers, who are increasingly opting to stage standalone events or go to tech shows like CES, rather than splashing out on expensive car shows.

Over 90 world and European premieres are planned, and, as expected, there will be a heavy focus on electric cars. Since Geneva is arguably the blingiest car show, this year will see electric hypercars from Rimac, Czinger, and Aspark.