Earlier this week, the organizers of the Geneva Motor Show threw in the towel as they canceled the 2021 event and announced their desire to sell the rights to the show to the Palexpo exhibition center where it is held.
The news was a bit surprising as the Canton of Geneva agreed to give organizers a loan of 16.8 million Swiss francs ($17.7 / £14.2 / €15.8 million) to help offset the approximately 11 million Swiss francs ($11.6 / £9.3 / €10.3 million) in losses caused by the last minute cancellation of this year’s show.
However, the loan came with a number of conditions including the hosting of a 2021 Geneva Motor Show and the repayment of 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million / £848k / €941k) as early as June 2021. The organizers couldn’t live with those demands and rejected the loan, while also noting a majority of exhibitors said they would “probably not participate in a 2021 edition” of the annual motoring show.
That decision threw the future of the Geneva Motor Show into question and now we’re learning more about it as Auto News Europe talked to the director of the Palexpo exhibition center. He noted organizers want 15 million Swiss francs ($15.9 / £12.7 / €14.1) for the rights to the show.
Director General Claude Membrez said Monday “was the first time we heard the amount and the amount is huge!” He went on to downplay the possibility of purchasing the rights as he said a show wouldn’t take place in 2021 and future events would likely become smaller as auto shows are declining in popularity.
That doesn’t sound promising, but Membrez said the decision will be made by the Palexpo board and he expects they’ll meet in the next two weeks to discuss the issue. Regardless of whether or not they buy the rights to the Geneva Motor Show, Palexpo still wants an auto show to be held in 2021 as they believe even a small show is better than none at all.