Coronavirus has claimed one more casualty in the automotive world with the New York International Auto Show being postponed for the first time since World War II. Earlier this month, the Geneva Motor Show was called off while the Beijing Auto Show has also been delayed over coronavirus concerns.
New York International Auto Show is a marquee event in the international automotive calendar and was scheduled to begin from April 10 and run till April 19. Now, over coronavirus concerns, it has been delayed till August. CNBC reported that New York International Auto Show, founded in 1900, has never been cancelled or put off since World War II. "It was cancelled during WWII for two years. No other postponements or cancellations that we’re aware of," Chris Sams, spokesman for the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, was quoted as saying.
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Coronavirus outbreak has caused massive global disruptions with experts predicting an economic slowdown on the likes of the recession back in 2008. The international auto industry is expected to bear a massive brunt of it with several companies reporting delays in securing production parts. A number of these companies have manufacturing facilities in China, the epicenter of coronavirus. Many of these were or are temporarily shut. The supply of even a single part from coronavirus-hit areas has an impact on the final product, even if the assembly or manufacturing unit is located thousands of miles away.
Demand too has come down drastically in several countries. China has reported a 90% drop in sales of cars in February. The European markets remain watchful.
Under such constraints, events like New York International Auto Show are also feeling the effects. Such shows give a platform to car companies to showcase their new products and technologies but with cancellations and delays, many major players have been forced to take the online route to achieve marketing goals.
The outlook remains gloomy with no end in sight to the coronavirus spread. With more and more countries coming under its grip, the global automotive industry remains on tenterhooks.