LOS ANGELES: The 90th Geneva Auto Show (GIMS), opening to the media next Monday and the general public from the fifth to the 15th of March is not taking place. The GIMS cancellation follows the cancellation of several automotive related events in China, including the Beijing Auto Show and the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix.
The 28 February 2020 injunction of the Federal Council says that no events with more than 1,000 people are allowed to take place until after 15 March 2020. The decision falls 3 days before the opening of the exhibition to the media. A week ago, during the press conferences announcing the 2020 edition, there was nothing to suggest that such a measure was necessary.
The situation changed with the appearance of the first confirmed coronavirus diseases in Switzerland and the Federal Council injunction.
Read More of the Car Coach on Communities Digital News
The organizers, accepting the ban on large groups assembling, saying:
“We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors’ top priority. This is a case of force majeure and a tremendous loss for the manufacturers who have invested massively in their presence in Geneva. However, we are convinced that they will understand this decision,” said Maurice Turrettini, Chairman of the Foundation Board. “We would like to warmly thank all those involved in the organization of the 2020 edition of GIMS.”
Switzerland has banned gatherings that will attract more than 1,000 people, including the Geneva Auto Show (GIMS). If the Coronavirus fears are not calmed, expect to see more events canceled.
So does something defined as force majeure qualify as a catastrophe?
The question of whether the canceling of this event triggers the exhibitor’s catastrophe insurance to cover the costs that cannot be evened out by being able to sell tickets to the public.
What will be the long term impact on insurance companies and reinsurance companies besides all the venders and auto manufacturers? Most of those policies require a chart of specifics they cover. This may not be released to the press but may only impact the profits of these companies.
The GIMS statement seems to indicate that they’re seeking to indemnify themselves against losses by OEMs due to their decision. Maybe not so much on this issue, but with Geneva as a precedent, the level of nervousness has just been kicked up one level for them in regard to the Toyko Olympics.
What comes next
In the meantime, the dismantling of the event will now have to be organized. The financial consequences for all those involved in the event are significant and will need to be assessed over the coming weeks. One thing is certain: tickets already purchased for the event will be refunded. The organizers will communicate about this as soon as possible, via their website.
The impact on auto sales and supply chains on a global basis is yet to be seen. If you were looking forward to the show, expect manufacturers to find another way to launch their products, including online.
The Car Coach, Lauren Fix, previews the top 17 Geneva International Motor Show 2020 autos you would have seen:
Lauren Fix on: