Geneva Auto Show Dies After a Century

The annual motor show in Geneva, Switzerland, is coming to an end after more than a century due to dwindling interest and a tough market environment, according to its organizers.

First staged in 1905, the Geneva International Motor Show has been a fixture of new vehicle launches, mainly in Europe, attracting at least 120 exhibitors at its peak. However, in recent years, the Geneva event has had to compete with bigger, more popular shows in Paris, Munich, and Beijing.


Alexandre de Senarclens, president of the Comité permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile Foundation – which organizes the show – described the decision to discontinue the event as “extremely regrettable”. He said in a statement:

“It has to be said that the lack of interest shown by manufacturers in the Geneva Show in a difficult industry context, the competition from the Paris and Munich shows which are favored by their domestic industry, and the investment levels required to maintain such a show, sound the final blow for a future edition.”

After four years of interruption, starting with the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers failed to get the show back on the road after what had been billed as a “fresh start” this spring.

Related: Are Auto Shows Losing Their Charm?

The latest edition attracted just one European carmaker, Renault, alongside several Chinese automakers, but drew only 168,000 visitors, short of the 200,000 the event had targeted. The decision follows the recognition that market conditions in Europe are “not conducive to the success of future editions”, organizers said.

gims qatar

Interestingly however, the show will continue in Doha, Qatar (where the 2023 edition took place) under a new name – the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar or GIMS Qatar.  So why was the Geneva Auto Show closed in Switzerland and moved? Perhaps the warmer Qatar weather may attract more visitors and automakers. Contrastingly, the Geneva Auto Show closed early (when comparing it to other shows) because of the super cold winters of Switzerland.

Related: European Automakers Challenged by Chinese EVs at Munich Auto Show

However, automakers have lost interest in big auto shows lately. So it’s uncertain if changing locations can revive excitement after the Geneva Auto Show closed down in its home location. The “Geneva” name still holds weight despite the Geneva Auto Show closed there. Combined with Qatar’s tourism push, GIMS Qatar might see success. We will have to wait to find this out at the 2024 edition which is slated to take place between November 27 and December 6.

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