The future of Europe’s most important motor show is under threat after the organisers rejected the conditions of a loan from the Geneva state council.
The 2020 edition of the Geneva International Motor Show was cancelled in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, which organisers estimate cost them 11 million francs (£9.2m).
A loan of 16.8m francs (£14.1m) was offered by the Canton of Geneva to cover the costs of the cancellation and plan for the 2021 event, but today, the Foundation that organises the event has rejected the loan based on the conditions attached to it.
In a statement, the Foundation thanked the State Council for the draft legislation, but added: “Unfortunately, the conditions attached to the loan, which, in particular, aim to completely outsource the show including its conceptualisation to Palexpo SA, are not acceptable to the Foundation.
“In fact, they are in contradiction to the statutes and especially to the purpose of the foundation formulated more than 100 years ago.”
The Foundation said that because this financial help will not be received, the 2021 show is ‘very uncertain at the moment’. It added that major exhibitors had instead encouraged it to plan for 2022 instead.
The Geneva motor show is the largest event in Switzerland, attracting 600,000 visitors and 10,000 media representatives in 2019.