The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) will return in 2022 after a two-year break over the COVID-19 pandemic. Assuming the virus stays out of the way, the 91st edition of the show will be held at Palexpo’s exhibition centre from 19 to 27 February. Organisers say the event promises to be “an exciting evolution” – a unique show that is substantially different from the past.
“With the dispatch of the tender packages, we are now officially starting the organisation of GIMS 2022,” said Sandro Mesquita, CEO of GIMS. “My team and I can hardly wait to present our concept to the exhibitors and subsequently to the public. We really hope that the health situation and the corresponding policy regulations regarding COVID-19 will allow us to bring it to life.”
The Committee and Council of the Foundation ‘Salon International de l’Automobile’ cancelled the 2021 Geneva International Motor Show in March 2020 after the majority of exhibitors who took part in a survey said they would probably not participate in 2021, and that they would prefer to have the show in 2022.
“The automotive sector is currently going through a difficult phase, and exhibitors need time to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Furthermore, it is far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organisation of an event attracting more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists next spring,” the foundation said at the time.
Immediately following the cancellation, the foundation requested financial support from the Canton of Geneva to cover the losses caused by the cancellation of GIMS – estimated at 11 million Swiss francs – and to help prepare a new edition. At the beginning of June, the Grand Council approved a loan to the foundation of 16.8 million Swiss francs, however the foundation said it did not see the terms of the loan as a guarantee of long-term financial stability of the foundation in its present form and was not accepted. The foundation added that it would be obliged to make a repayment of 1 million Swiss francs by June 2021, before having the opportunity to generate additional funds. In addition, one condition of the loan was that an event had to be organised in 2021.
Consequently, the foundation sold GIMS to Palexpo SA, with the aim of ensuring an international motor show could continue in Geneva. The show is the largest public event in Switzerland, with an economic impact on the Canton of Geneva estimated at some 200 million Swiss francs per year.