Among its many devastating economic effects, the coronavirus pandemic wiped a year's worth of auto shows off the calendar. The very first was the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, which was days away from opening in March of that year when the Swiss government canceled all large public gatherings due to health concerns. And although vaccinations had begun by March of this year, given the long lead times for exhibitors, the 2021 Geneva show also was canceled. There was talk that the show's organizing body was facing financial hardship and might be forced to sell the auto show, possibly to the Palexpo venue.
Now, the official website for the Geneva auto show has announced that the event will return for 2022.
The event, typically held at the very beginning of March, will instead take place a little earlier. Press days will be February 17-18, with public days following after and running through February 27. The announcement says exhibitors have until mid-July to register and that the show "[will] be substantially different from the past," although no specifics are given.
Of the major international auto shows, Geneva — which has a history spanning more than 90 years — is the only one that is not in a home market to any large automakers. That makes it a neutral ground that doesn't favor manufacturers from any one country. Given the concentration of international wealth in Switzerland, Geneva also historically has been an auto show with a much higher than usual representation of supercar exhibitors. They're not only seeking attention from the international press but even more so are looking to sell directly to well-heeled attendees, a dynamic that's not repeated elsewhere. We'll be eager to see how the show changes for 2022 and whether that element is maintained or possibly even enhanced.