The Geneva International Motor Show will return in 2023, show organizers announced on Thursday, only the event won't actually take place in Geneva, Switzerland, but rather in Doha, Qatar.
Under a deal struck in 2021 between the organizer's of the show and Qatar's tourism board, hosting rights were to be shared between the two countries, with an annual show in Geneva planned together with a biennial show in Doha, Qatar's capital. The Doha show will also be called the Geneva International Motor Show, for reasons that remain unclear.
The next Swiss running was scheduled for February 2023 but has been canceled. It's the fourth cancellation in row, though this time it isn't solely the pandemic that's to blame but also economic and geopolitical pressures. According to the organizers, many of the car companies normally keen to attend failed to commit for the next running.
“Due to the uncertainties in the global economy and geopolitics, as well as the risks related to the development of the pandemic, the organizers have decided to focus exclusively on the planning of the event in Doha in 2023," Maurice Turettini, president of the show's Comité permanent du Salon international de l'automobile de Genève organizing body, said in a statement.
The show in Doha is currently scheduled for Nov. 2023. The new location with its warmer weather (the Geneva show is traditionally held during the European winter) provides the opportunity for new, less static attractions. Organizers plan decentralized venues that they say will offer “many unique and spectacular driving” experiences.
The Geneva motor show was the first to be canceled with the onset of the pandemic, shutting down in 2020 just days before it was scheduled to open. While other auto shows have returned since the initial pandemic lockdown, Geneva's organizers haven't been able to make that happen, partially due to the show already starting to lose exhibitors prior to the pandemic.