Like other sporting and business events, auto shows scheduled for the next few months are dropping like flies. After the cancellation of the Geneva, Shanghai and Detroit events, as well as the postponement of the New York Motor Show in August (its cancellation is likely only a matter of time unless a treatment to effectively combat the coronavirus can be developed at record speed), it's now the turn of the organizers of the Paris Motor Show to pull the plug on their event, which was to be held at the end of September.
The Paris Motor Show thus becomes the last victim of the pandemic, and given the catastrophic situation taking shape in France, it’s no surprise at all.
Show organizers explained their decision in a statement:
"In view of the seriousness of the unprecedented health crisis facing the automotive sector, which has been hit hard by the economic shockwave, we are forced to announce that we will not be able to maintain the Paris Motor Show at the Porte de Versailles in its current form for its 2020 edition".
- Paris Motor Show statement
As a result, all presentations of new models and concepts that were planned by various manufacturers cancelled or else postponed for a few months. We may see some virtual presentations, but it’s clear that the current crisis will have a significant impact on automakers’ scheduling for its new products. For one, models expected this year may take longer to arrive on the market.
For the moment, however, show organizers are set to hold a few events that were planned in connection with the auto show, including road tests and presentations related to the new products. They add in their press release: "We are studying all alternative solutions in close collaboration with our main partners. The profound reinvention of the event that we have initiated, including a festival dimension around innovative mobility, but also a strong B-to-B component, could provide the opportunity. Nothing will be the same as before, and this crisis must teach us to be agile, creative and more innovative than ever".
Some might consider the decision to call off the Paris Motor Show premature, but consider this: with the astronomical sums of money currently being lost by manufacturers, many may not have the means to present products at an auto show this year.
After Paris, the 2020 calendar’s next events include the Tokyo and Los Angeles auto shows, among others.