After the Geneva and Detroit motor shows, it's the turn of the Paris Motor Show to officially confirm the cancellation of its 2020 edition due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, two other prestigious auto shows in Geneva and Detroit were cancelled for the same reason.
A statement released by the organisers said, "In view of the severity of the unprecedented health crisis facing the automotive sector, hit hard by the economic shock wave, today plays its survival, we are forced to announce that we will not be able to maintain in its current form the Paris Motor Show for its 2020 edition."
However, the event is not completely cancelled for the time being. The organisers are keeping options open for fresh dates this year when the ongoing crisis gets over. The press release said, "We study all the alternative solutions in close collaboration with our main partners. The profound reinvention of the event that we started, with in particular a festival dimension around innovative mobility, but also a strong B to B component, could offer the opportunity. Nothing will be like before, and this crisis must teach us to be agile, creative and more innovative than ever."
For the 2020 edition, Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo and BMW had already confirmed their absence. The entire sector reviewed its participation in major world events, particularly because of the high costs involved to participate. The coronavirus pandemic precipitated the global crisis by blocking all communication budgets, both advertising and participation in trade fairs.
Last Sunday, the organisers of the Detroit Motor Show held in Michigan, United States had announced the cancellation of the event. Earlier in March, one of the auto industry’s marquee events fell victim to the coronavirus epidemic, with organisers of the Geneva International Motor Show pulling the plug as the outbreak spreads in Europe. Even during the Auto Expo 2020 in India, coronavirus outbreak in China had restricted entry of foreign nationals.
Questions are now being raised at the costs involved to organise such events and its effect on the car makers. In a social media-obsessed environment, the pillars sustaining the need for an auto show had already started to wobble. Endless press briefings at automotive trade shows were once deemed exclusive but now are streamed simultaneously worldwide.