Maybe events like Geneva aren't necessary anymore.
The coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, and automakers have already started thinking about next year's event. The British brands Aston Martin and Bentley might not be there, according to a new rumor from Autocar.
In the future, large shows like Geneva might not be necessary for automakers to expose their new products to consumers. They are "not absolutely necessary to attend," Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Autocar. Without offering a quote to the publication, Aston Martin's Andy Palmer was allegedly in agreement with this sentiment.
However, it's worth keeping in mind that statements are hardly definitive since the next Geneva show is practically a year away. With that much lead time, things can change.
Gallery: 2020 Bentley Bacalar
As a coincidence, Aston Martin and Bentley were both prepared to debut limited-edition roadsters At this year's Geneva show. The Bacalar is a special, two-seat version of the Continental GT Convertible with a 12-unit production run and a £1.5 million price ($1.87 million at current exchange rates). Meanwhile, the V12 Speedster comes with no roof or windshield for $950,000, and the company only intends to build 88 of them.
Gallery: 2020 Aston Martin V12 Speedster
The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential drastically to change the way major automakers debut new models. Dedicated events, like the ones for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 or Tesla Cybertruck, give companies lots of freedom. They let planners have control of things like the date, location, and guest list. None of this is true of a traditional auto show.
Deciding on the time comes with the extra advantage of potentially having more people paying attention to the debut. During auto shows, every company is showing something, and this can mean less attention from the public.