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.
The 2020 Audi A3 was set to debut in Geneva but that’s obviously not going to happen now. As of right now, there’s no word on whether or not the A3 debut will be delayed or if Audi will do a virtual debut on the same date. BMW was set to debut its i4 Concept in Geneva but is doing a virtual debut on the same date as the Motor Show.
What will be interesting to see is what automakers do in the coming months. Audi, 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 Audi, 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.
We’ll keep you posted on what Audi plans on doing with the launch of the A3 and/or any future auto show.