Car makers are in a mad scramble to reorganize and replan vehicle unveilings after Swiss authorities cancelled the 90th annual Geneva Motor Show Friday due to concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus. While some automakers have so far not unveiled a Plan B (or admitted that they do not have one) others have come up with prompt solutions to unveiling their new products to the world.
Porsche for instance, has confirmed that it will be hosting a livestream event on March 3rd to showcase the newest iteration of its flagship 911 sports car. Joining Porsche’s lead are Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Aston Martin who will also use digital channels to unveil their new offerings. The cancellation of the event was done out of an abundance of caution especially after a confirmed case of Coronavirus appeared in Geneva itself in the weeks leading up to the show. This development as well as new cases in other countries forced the Swiss governments hand, and they moved to try and limit any potential for an outbreak in the country.
“We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitor’s top priority. This is a case of force majeure and a tremendous loss for the manufacturers who have invested massively in their presence in Geneva,” revealed Maurice Turrettini, Chairman of the Geneva International Motor Show Foundation Board.
The loss of the show will also be a big blow to the local economy in Geneva considering that last year’s event drew 660,000 attendees and brought an estimated 200-250 million Swiss Francs ($205-$256 million) of business to the country. Any visitors that bought tickets will be refunded, however all the exhibitors will be left to foot the bill since it was the Swiss government versus the organizer Palexpo that formally called off the event. With the global situation surrounding the Coronavirus still an unpredictable rollercoaster, it will certainly be interesting to see if other governments follow Switzerland’s lead and formally cancel large events. This includes auto shows, with the next major show scheduled being the 2020 New York Auto Show in April. In the meantime we have provided a list of auto makers which will hold digital conferences below, and have also added links to some of these where applicable.
- Porsche will livestream the unveiling of its new flagship 911 sports car at NewsTV.Porsche.com/en/ on March 3rd at 10:10 am CET (4:10 am EST)
- BMW confirmed that it would use a live streaming event to showcase the I4 concept
- Mercedes is also following its rival’s lead in using live streaming services to unveil the revamped E-Class sedan
- Aston Martin will be holding a livestream news conference, though the British firm did not release a formal time or date
- Audi is hosting digital events for the Audi A3 Sportback as well as the Audi E-Tron S
- McLaren will livestream what it dubs “The next chapter in the McLaren LT story” on March 3rd at 9:30 am CET (3:30 am EST)
- Volkswagen is hosting a livestream event for its new products March 3rd at 9:10 am (3:10 AM EST)
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.