When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe in February, the organizers of the Geneva Motor Show delayed the cancellation of the event for as long as possible. The closure did not take place until a few days before the press opened. With the difficulties encountered by Palexpo SA, the show’s promoter, this reluctance to announce the closing of the show is now understandable.
Sandro Mesquita, director of the Geneva Motor Show, recently gave an interview to The Tribune de Genève in which he did not mince words and did not try to improve the situation. He made the situation close to disaster.
“If we do not find a solution by September, we risk liquidation. We will have to put our assets up for sale, in particular the brand and the shares of Palexpo SA,” said Mesquita. The Tribune de Genève.
In a press release issued in May, Palexpo SA revealed that it had refused a loan of 16.8 million Swiss francs ($ 17.7 million at current exchange rates) from the government of the canton of Geneva. The car show organizers needed financial assistance to cover losses related to the absence of the 2020 event and prepare for 2021. Palexpo SA said the government had requested the outsourcing of the show, and the organizers of the show refused this stipulation.
In the Palexpo SA announcement regarding the loan refusal, the group declared that “GIMS [Geneva International Motor Show] exhibitors encourage us and strongly recommend planning the next edition for 2022.
Sandro Mesquita assured that it would be very difficult to organize a show in Geneva in 2021, if the organization in charge survives in the coming months. Private investors or an agreement with the government of the canton of Geneva are however potential solutions to the problem.