The phrase “a shadow of its former self,” often used in European literature, aptly describes the last Geneva Motor Show in 2024.

Despite showcasing notable debuts like the Renault 5 E-tech and some Chinese automakers, this iteration will be remembered as the last. The show was abruptly canceled again, this time with no plans for revival in the foreseeable future.

A Sudden End

The organizers cited “uncertainties related to the automotive industry and the waning appeal of major European motor shows” as reasons for the cancellation. While the latter part holds some truth, the overall situation feels like a hastily written and almost ridiculous ending to a TV series, culminating in an odd remake—the Geneva Motor Show now hosted in Qatar.

The Downfall of an Icon

Established in 1905, the Geneva Motor Show was one of the oldest and most prestigious automotive events in Europe, boasting up to 120 exhibitors at its peak. However, its decline began with the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, few days before it was set to begin, the event was canceled despite assurances it would proceed, showing a significant lack of regard for both the public and the manufacturers.

Renault 5 E-Tech
Image: Renault

After a four-year hiatus, 2024 marked the show’s attempted comeback. However, it was a flop. Major automakers from Europe, America, and Asia, including Volkswagen Group, Stellantis, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford, chose to skip the event. Only Renault and its budget brand Dacia represented the major European manufacturers, with BYD and SAIC Motors’ MG being the other notable participants.

The anticipated numbers were not promising either. An event that typically drew over half a million visitors was only expected to attract 200,000 in 2024. Even this modest expectation was unmet, with reported attendance at 168,000—potentially even lower in reality.

A Grim Future

Given these outcomes, the Geneva Motor Show will not return. Alexandre de Senarclens, President of the organizing committee, explained:

The lack of interest shown by manufacturers for the Geneva Motor Show in a difficult industrial context, the competition from Paris and Munich shows, favored by their national industries, and the significant investment levels required to maintain such an event, mark the final blow for future editions.”

Additionally, the foundation behind the show will be dissolved. The next major European motor show will be in Paris from October 14-20, with expected participants including Renault, Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroën, Alfa Romeo), BMW, and Chinese automaker Xpeng.

Continuing in Qatar

Conversely, the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar will proceed, with its second edition set for November 2025 after a successful debut in 2023. Sandro Mesquita, CEO of the Geneva Motor Show, expressed satisfaction:

“It is gratifying to see that auto shows continue to attract brands in different parts of the world and that the Geneva International Motor Show has strengthened its appeal in the Middle East.”


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