What does the future of motor shows look like?
With many of this years major international motor shows being cancelled, questions have been raised about the future of such events globally as motor manufcaturers rethink their strategies. We'll discuss the implications of this announcement and what the future motor shows may look like.
The Geneva Motor Show was due to take place in March 2021 but the organisers had seen weak demand from car brands and exhibitors. This year's event was cancelled along with a host of other motor shows around the world due to the coronavirus. "The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic," said the Committee and Council of the Foundation "Salon International de l'Automobile", which organises the international motor show. The show regularly attracts more than half a million visitors but now car manufacutrers have decided to launch their latest models through their own online shows because of the coronavirus.
Following the decision to cancel the event, the Geneva motor show organisers also announced plans to sell the show's assets to owners of the Palexpo conference centre in Geneva where the event is held, calling it "the preferred solution". The move will now put the spotlight on other motor shows planned for next year in major cities, given their cost and huge logistical efforts compared to online launches. The Geneva Motor Show is a massive event for the Swiss economy and has a large monetary impact, bringing in £171m a year, according to the organisers.
This raises the questions, what does the future of motor shows look like? Attending a motor show comes with a substantial cost for the car manufacturer. Stand designs are becoming more extravagant to rise above the competition, along with increased staffing levels to cope with expected demand and for some, the development of concept cars to show a vision of the future. In these difficult times, this type of cost may be seen as luxury instead of neccessity for car brands.
The future could be web shows held by individual car manufacturers. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have live-streamed new models on their own channels as an alternative to the show. The lack of shows in 2020, and possibly 2021, coupled with the global economic crisis that is looming means the future of motor shows is in a very uncertain position. Organisers of these events will take a financial hit and it may not be worth planning a show in 2021 anymore if manufacturers believe online webinars is the way forward.
However it is not all doom and gloom...there is one major show going ahead this year which is open to guests.
Salon Privé - 23rd-26th September
Salon Privé will be taking place at the Blenheim Palace. For four days, the South Lawn will be overcome with the finest super and classic cars in the world, accompanied by luxury brands and exquisite hospitality to form the UK’s Most Exclusive Motor Show. On 25th of September, you can see the world’s most prestigious super and hypercar manufacturers presenting their latest and greatest alongside iconic classics of years gone by. With boats, helicopters and a fabulous mix of luxury brands on display, there’s a lot to see at this event. However, due to COVID-19, the number of tickets released this year will be restricted and social distancing measurers will also be in place.