Geneva auto show moves permanently to Qatar

  • Geneva auto show organizers announced the show is over
  • Organizers cited “ongoing industry challenges and competition”
  • The show’s legacy will be carried on in Qatar with GIMS Qatar in November

The Geneva auto show will no longer be in Geneva, Switzerland. After years of struggle to continue running the show in its original Swiss location, organizers have decided to permanently move it to Qatar.

A Facebook post from the show’s official account stated that the Geneva show is being discontinued, but, following one show in 2023, organizers will continue holding an event branded as the “Geneva International Motor Show Qatar” in Doha, Qatar. The 2024 version is scheduled for Nov. 27 to Dec. 6 of this year.

Doha, Qatar - Photo credit: Visit Qatar

Doha, Qatar – Photo credit: Visit Qatar

This show’s move from Europe to the Middle East started in 2021, when a deal was struck between the organizers and Qatar’s tourism board to share hosting rights. The original plan was for an annual auto show in Geneva, with a biennial show in Doha—also to be called the Geneva International Motor Show.

The Geneva auto show was the first to be canceled during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, shutting down in 2020 just days before it was scheduled to open. Other auto shows were canceled as well, but most eventually returned. Geneva would have to wait until 2024, though. The show held this past February turned out to be the last in its original location.

Renault Zoe e-Sport Concept being revealed at 2017 Geneva auto show [photo: Olivier Martin-Gambier]

Renault Zoe e-Sport Concept being revealed at 2017 Geneva auto show [photo: Olivier Martin-Gambier]

The Swiss show was canceled in 2021 and 2022 as well. In 2023, the plan was to hold an auto show in Geneva in February and in Doha in November, but organizers ultimately skipped Switzerland and held only the Qatar show. At the time, organizers cited economic and geopolitical pressures, saying most automakers wouldn’t commit to the next running. The Qatar show went ahead as planned, though.

The new permanent location offers warmer weather (Geneva was traditionally held during European winters), which may attract more visitors and perhaps some of the exhibitors the real Geneva show lost in the wake of the pandemic. But given the general decline in manufacturer interest in auto shows in general, that’s far from assured.

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