Geneva International Motor Show 2021 cancelled and put up for sale

Geneva International Motor Show

The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) will no longer take place in 2021 and has been put up for sale.

The event’s organisers, Salon International de l'Automobile, has stated that the sale of the show to Palexpo SA is their preferred solution.

The organisers have also rejected the offer of a loan from the State of Geneva.

A statement read: “The Committee and the Foundation Board have decided not to organise an event in 2021. A majority of GIMS exhibitors who took part in a survey stated that they would probably not participate in a 2021 edition in and that they would prefer to have a GIMS in 2022.

“The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

Following the cancellation of GIMS in March 2020, the Foundation requested the Canton of Geneva for financial support to cover the losses caused by the cancellation of GIMS, estimated at CHF11m  (US$11.5m), and to help prepare a new edition. At the beginning of June, the Grand Council approved a loan to the Foundation of CHF16.8m.

On rejection of the loan, the statement read: “The Foundation thanks the competent authorities of the Canton and State of Geneva for their willingness to grant this loan to GIMS but does not see the terms of the loan as a guarantee of the long-term financial stability of the Foundation in its present form.

“The reason for this is that the Foundation would be obliged to make a repayment of 1 million Swiss francs as early as June 2021, before having had the opportunity to generate additional funds, as the GIMS 2021 edition cannot take place. It is also considered inadmissible that one condition of the loan is that an event has to be organized in 2021.

“The loan is therefore not accepted. The Foundation has therefore decided in favour of the sale of GIMS to Palexpo SA. The aim is to find a solution that will ensure the regular organization of an International Motor Show in Geneva. The purchase of the assets would transfer all rights to the organization of GIMS to Palexpo SA. As a reminder, GIMS is the largest public event in Switzerland.”

The event’s economic benefit to the canton of Geneva is estimated at some CHF200m per year.

The statement added that is “far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organisation of an event attracting more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists next spring.”