Amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Switzerland has banned any large public gatherings. Hence, the 2020 Geneva International motorshow has been cancelled. “The Geneva International Motor Show will not take place” Antonio Hodgers, head of the regional cantonal said in a press statement.
Coronavirus epidemic has impacted the auto industry globally due to production halts in China, the largest automotive manufacturer in the world.
The cancellation comes amid Switzerland federal government’s banning of any gathering that is greater than 1,000 people, thus effectively cancelling the show.
“The government’s top priority is to protect the population. It is responding to the latest developments in the coronavirus epidemic and has categorised the situation in Switzerland as ‘special’ in terms of the Epidemics Act,” the government said in a statement on Friday. “This enables the government, in consultation with the cantons, to order measures that are normally the responsibility of the cantons.”
This marks the first time in recent Swiss history that such a country-wide ban of large scale event has been enforced under the 2016 epidemics law. It notably limits the powers of the 26 cantonal authorities mainly in charge of health matters.
The cancellation shouldn’t be much of a surprise and has been largely appreciated across the board by auto manufacturers as well as general public. The business impact however, will be immense and would only be seen in the coming financial quarters and earnings. Interestingly though, up until today, Geneva Motor Show promoter Palexpo had been saying that the show would go on with increased cleaning and disinfection. They also mentioned that this increased vigil shall be accompanied by warnings to staff to keep away from anyone who appeared to be sick. Now, the organization is saying that the show is definitively canceled and will not be held at a later time.
More updates soon.