End of the road: Geneva Motor Show scrapped after 119 years

End of the road: Geneva Motor Show scrapped after 119 years

119 years after it was first launched, the iconic Geneva Motor Show will disappear from Switzerland for good, organisers confirmed on May 31. What was once a red-letter day for petrolheads has been beset with falling visitor numbers and interest from car manufacturers following the COVID pandemic.

Geneva Motor Show: Over 100 years of motoring history

Ever since it was first launched back in 1905, the Geneva Motor Show has been one of the most important events for car fans and brands. Barring war, financial and COVID-related pauses, the show has been a constant feature of the motoring calendar for over 100 years, attracting nearly 750.000 visitors at its peak in 2005. 

The show was so successful that many car manufacturers launched some of their most famous models at the show. These included the stunning Jaguar E-type in 1961, the Porsche 917 in 1969, the Range Rover Classic in 1970 and the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari hypercars in 2013.

Motor show will not return to Geneva, foundation confirms

However, more than a century after it first launched, the Geneva International Motor Show Foundation confirmed that it would end its event in Geneva. Foundation president Alexandre de Senarclens told SRF that while it was an "extremely regrettable decision", they “had the impression that we were going against the market” in trying to put on a show for 2025.

Following a four-year hiatus during the COVID pandemic, only 37 exhibitors and 168.000 visitors attended the show in 2024 - for reference in 2019, it attracted 184 exhibitors and over 600.000 visitors. While the foundation did label the re-launch a success, de Senarclens admitted that “the lack of interest shown by manufacturers... 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, sounded the final blow."

"There are too many uncertainties linked to the automotive industry and the eroded attractiveness of the major European shows to justify the risk of investing further in the future," the foundation wrote in a statement. 

Geneva Motor Show will live on... in Qatar

However, those pining for automotive heaven will still be given a chance to attend a “Geneva Motor Show” - though they will need a trip to the airport in order to see it. The foundation confirmed that while it would be leaving the Swiss city it is named after, it will “continue its journey” in Qatar after a successful first show last year. The next Geneva International Motor Show, in Qatar, will take place in the capital Doha in November 2025.

Thumb image credit: VanderWolf Images /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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