Popular car festival axed amid lack of interest as 'final blow' forces 'extremely regrettable decision'

Geneva International Motor Show

The most recent event took place in Qatar in 2023

GETTY
Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves


Published: 03/06/2024

- 11:54

Updated: 03/06/2024

- 11:55

'This extremely regrettable decision should not detract from the efforts and determination'

The legendary Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled for the forseeable future as organisers battle against changing market conditions.

The Comite Permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile Foundation blamed "uncertainties" in the automotive sector for the cancellation.


Organisers outlined that it would not organise the next Geneva Salon event, but the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar will take place in November 2025.

It said the Swiss event is unable to compete with rival car shows in Paris and Munich, which are more popular amongst car manufacturers.

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Geneva International Motor Show

The Geneva International Motor Show was forced to cancel its 2020 event

REUTERS

The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) was first showcased in 1905 and was one of the most influential events for motorists and enthusiasts.

It was battered by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing it to cancel its 2020 event, as well as subsequent years before the cancellation.

Alexandre de Senarclens, President of the Comite Permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile Foundation, said the decision to cancel the historic event was difficult for the organisation.

He said: "This extremely regrettable decision should not detract from the efforts and determination with which we have tried to regain our success.

"However, it has to be said that the lack of interest shown by manufacturers in the Geneva Salon in a difficult industry context."

He cited waning investment levels leaving them with difficulties in putting on such an event, which de Senarclens said provided a "final blow for future editions".

The board of organisers added that it could not achieve its statutory aim to host the event, leading to the decision to cancel.

Alexander de Senarclens stated that the GIMS was committed to hosting an event after the pandemic, even with the numerous safety and planning hurdles.

Sandro Mesquita, CEO of GIMS, confirmed that the next event is planned for Doha, Qatar, in November 2025.

He added that GIMS Qatar would be able to rely on the "recognised know-who and skills" of teams to help create a successful event.

Mesquita said: "It’s satisfying to realize that motor shows continue to appeal to brands in different parts of the world, and that the Geneva International Motor Show has reinforced its appeal in the Middle East."

At its peak, the Geneva International Motor Show covered more than 120,000 square metres, hosted 120 exhibitors, 10,000 international journalists and 600,000 visitors across the 11-day event.

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\u200bLegendary vehicles, including the BMW 3 Series saloon, debuted at Geneva

Legendary vehicles, including the BMW 3 Series saloon, debuted at Geneva

PA

The first event in Qatar was hosted in 2023, with around 180,000 visitors attending, boosting the allure of the Middle East for enthusiasts.

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