Paris show organizers seek ways to rescue event amid virus outbreak

Automotive Industry

Source: Automotive News Europe, 2020-03-30

The Paris auto show will not be maintained in its current form this year because of the effects of the coronavirus crisis, organizers said.

The event is scheduled to run 26 September - 11 October, with media days on 29 - 30 September.

Organizers stopped short of completely canceling or postponing the show, but they suggested that the traditional automaker displays at the city's exposition center would not be held this year.

They said that peripheral events such as Movin’On, billed as a business-to-business event “on innovation and sustainable mobility” were not yet in jeopardy, the organizers said in a press release.

“We are studying alternative solutions in consultation with our main partners,” organizers said, citing the gravity of the coronavirus outbreak and the "economic shock wave" to the automotive industry. Assembly plants and auto dealers are closed across Europe and North America.

The show is the latest industry event to be threatened by the virus outbreak, which has led to the cancelation of the Geneva show that should have been held in early March, a postponement of the New York show to August from April, and the cancelation of the Detroit show.

Even before the coronavirus disruptions, traditional auto shows were losing their attractiveness as automakers increasingly skipped the events, citing cost and a lack of marketing impact. Car companies are focusing their product marketing on livestreamed launches.

The Paris show has recast itself as the Paris Motion Festival, featuring more hands-on opportunities for visitors and a broader emphasis on transportation rather than passenger cars. Traditionally it has alternated as Europe's biggest motor exhibition with the Frankfurt auto show, which will be held next year in Munich.


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