See What the Abandoned Geneva Motor Show Looks Like Thanks to Coronavirus

Behold millions of marketing dollars lit up in flames.

byChris Tsui|
See What the Abandoned Geneva Motor Show Looks Like Thanks to Coronavirus

Originally scheduled to kick off right about now, Switzerland's 2020 Geneva International Motor Show was unceremoniously canceled late last week after the Swiss government officially banned all events larger than 1,000 people in response to the coronavirus outbreak. For casual followers of the auto industry, Geneva is one of its biggest trade shows and one that usually attracts lots of exotic and expensive hardware. 

Thanks to GFWilliams on YouTube and a handful of shots via Getty photographers, we get a look at what the Geneva Motor Show looks like right now and, not-so-surprisingly, it's a sad sight. Instead of a sea of shiny new vehicles slowly spinning around giant turntables surrounded by gawking journalists, Palexpo now feels like the convention center equivalent of a ghost town, littered with half-finished motor show stands and unopened boxes and crates.

Seeing the U.S.-built Czinger C21 supercar get unveiled in front of a dismantled backdrop for an audience of nobody, in particular, is an eerie and weird sight. Also, at around the 9:45 time mark, a camouflaged Mercedes sedan we're fairly sure is the new E-Class spied back in January can be spotted. Other than that and several classics sitting at the Tissot stand, it's mostly the messy vestiges of millions of auto marketing dollars flushed down the drain.

If you're wondering why Geneva Motor Show organizers waited until the last minute to pull the plug, it reportedly had to do with liability and refunds. As Automotive News U.K. correspondent Nick Gibbs points out on Twitter, waiting until a government mandate to cancel the event removed any case automakers could've made for financial reimbursement from the event itself. 

As of Monday, there have been 24 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Switzerland according to The Local. The government's 1,000-person event ban will last until at least March 15.

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