As of this morning, the 2020 Geneva Motor Show has officially been cancelled. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has banned gatherings of 1,000 people or more until March 15, due to the Coronavirus. With Italy reporting over 650 cases of the illness, with 17 deaths, and some cases being reported in Switzerland, the Swiss government decided to take some precautions. The Motor Show hardly seems important when health and safety are concerned.
Geneva is very close to the Italian border and with likely tens of thousands of people — between car company employees, show employees, members of the media and attendees — it was probably smart to shut it down. It’s frustrating for both automakers and media members, as they’ve all lost a ton of money and time, but health and safety concerns are more important.
One of the cars set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show was the BMW i4 Concept, a car that the brand was incredibly excited to show off and we were excited to see. However, that’s no longer possible so the Bavarians have decided to do a virtual debut instead.
Sticking with the same date, March 3, BMW will live-stream the reveal of the i4 Concept, rather than unveiling it at the Geneva Motor Show. So we’ll still get to see it on the same day but anyone looking to see it in person is unfortunately going to have to wait.
What will be interesting to see is what automakers do in the coming months. BMW, as well as most other German automakers, pulled out of the New York Auto Show, set for next month, and instead decided to attend Geneva. Without either Geneva or New York, that leaves a big hole until the next auto show. Does BMW, or any of the other Germans, bring something to New York now or just sit tight with virtual debuts? Likely the latter but it will be interesting to see.