Geneva Motor Show scrapped as organiser looks east for brand appeal

Geneva’s 120-year old annual motor show has been axed after only 37 exhibitors took space at the 2024 edition, held at Palexpo in February.  

Alexandre de Senarclens, president of the Comité permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile (CPSIA) Foundation – which organises the show – described the decision to discontinue it as "extremely regrettable". 

“It has to be said that the lack of interest shown by manufacturers in the Geneva Salon in a difficult industry context, the competition from the Paris and Munich shows, which are favoured by their domestic industry, and the investment levels required to maintain such a show, have sounded the final blow for a future edition,” he said in a statement.

The annual Geneva International Motor Show was first held in 1905. At its peak, it attracted 120 exhibitors, 600,000 visitors and occupied all seven halls of the Palexpo. 

The 2020 edition was forced to close at the eleventh hour due to the pandemic. In 2023, the CPSIA chose instead to run the show in Qatar, so this year marked the return of the Geneva Motor Show to Palexpo after a four-year absence. 

The seven-day 2024 edition took place in one hall and drew 168,000 visitors, attracting just one major European carmaker, Renault. Only 19 manufacturers premiered vehicles, while Chinese-owned carmakers took the lion’s share of the show floor. 

However, despite the demise of the Palexpo event, the CPSIA will continue its partnership in Doha, Qatar. A 10-day Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) Qatar is planned for November 2025. 

“For its upcoming festival dedicated to automotive excellence, and on the back of a successful first edition, GIMS Qatar can continue to rely on the recognised know-how and skills of the teams who initiated and developed the concept and its implementation,” noted Sandro Mesquita, GIMS CEO. “It’s satisfying to realise that motor shows continue to appeal to brands in different parts of the world and that the Geneva International Motor Show has reinforced its appeal in the Middle East.”