Geneva International Motor Show’s Association Owner Sells to Local Venue

July 6, 2020

In what could be a harbinger of things to come, the Geneva International Motor Show not only was forced to cancel its March 2020 show due to COVID-19, but also the association responsible for organizing the event decided to sell the show to Palexpo SA.

Palexpo SA is a convention center located next to the Geneva Cointrin International Airport in which GIMS is held.

GIMS originally had sought a loan from the local government – the Canton of Geneva - which was granted, although there were conditions attached.

The show’s association was obligated to make a repayment of 1 million Swiss francs as early as June 2021, before having had the opportunity to generate additional funds.

The government wanted GIMS to run in 2021, but show organizers deemed it impossible.

GIMS’ exhibitors, comprised of global car manufacturers, were surveyed by show organizers and said they did not want a show in 2021.

“The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” GIMS’ organizers said in a statement.

Show organizers added, “Furthermore, it is far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organization of an event attracting more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists next spring.”

GIMS’s organizers said the reason for the sale of the show to Palexpo SA was to find a “solution that will ensure the regular organization of an International Motor Show in Geneva.”

The purchase of the assets would transfer all rights to the organization of GIMS to Palexpo SA.

GIMS is the largest public event in Switzerland and has a CHF 200 million in economic impact on the region.


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