Geneva International Motor Show organizers promise “one-of-a-kind exhibitions” after a years-long hiatus.
For the first time in four years, Geneva will host a major auto show, promising an “all-new approach to the auto salon” when it kicks off on February 26. The event will run through the following week, wrapping up on March 3, 2024.
Organizers published an official statement confirming the show is back on Wednesday, saying: “We are delighted to be able to welcome again manufacturers and visitors at [the] Palexpo [venue] with an innovative format.” The new format, according to their statement, is to heavily lean on “immersive experiences”, rather than the static displays of traditional auto shows.
Four zones will open up on the show floor to achieve that goal, including the “Adrenaline Zone” with high-performance creations, “Design District” with masterclasses on automotive design, a “Mobility Lab” showcasing the “latest breakthroughs” and “Next World”: a venue setup with Gran Turismo creators Polyphony Digital as a sim-racing challenge for show visitors.
Which automakers are going to the 2024 Geneva International Motor Show?
While the people putting this year’s show together tout innovation and immersion as the major draw, far fewer manufacturers actually plan to attend the event. Major automakers like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen all announced they would not be in Geneva. BMW, for its part, said it would phase out “existing formats” while pivoting toward a much heavier social media and live streaming push to reveal its latest and greatest cars and concepts.
The show’s official statement included a full list of exhibitors as of January 23. Among nearly thirty companies that have pledged to make an appearance, only a handful of well-known brands are on that list. French automaker Renault (and subsidiary Dacia) will be there, as well Chinese EV firm BYD, Isuzu and Lucid Motors. Apart from the German auto industry, though, most major automotive marques are conspicuously absent from the Geneva Motor Show’s roster.
Still, officials are “driven by a firm belief that the GIMS has a central role to play in the automotive landscape”. To that end, there is already another show on the docket for 2025, with official dates coming at the end of this year’s auto show. A Qatar-based offshoot of the Geneva Motor Show will also make its return to Doha in late 2025, though the organizers did not announce dates on that event either.
It’s unclear at this point whether major manufacturers will return to next year’s show in Geneva. With automakers repeatedly missing shows on the auto show calendar — such as Stellantis pulling out from SEMA, the LA Auto Show, CES and Chicago (and that may not be the end of it) — we’ll have to wait and see how Geneva’s rebranding pans out, and whether it will draw the crowds that pre-COVID auto shows enjoyed.