Geneva Motor Show, Basel Clock Fair canceled as the virus spreads

Two of Switzerland's largest trade fairs were victims of the coronavirus epidemic, with the organizers of the Geneva International Motor Show and the Baselworld Watch the fair by disconnecting this year's showrooms as the outbreak spreads in Europe.

The car show, which was due to start Monday, was canceled as a force majeure after the Swiss government barred large gatherings, the organizers said in a statement Friday. Separately, the organizers of Baselworld said this year’s event, planned to start in April, is being postponed until 2021.

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The virus arrived in Switzerland this week and neighboring Italy reported hundreds of cases. Bloomberg News previously reported that the car show was canceled.

The financial consequences for everyone involved in the event are significant and should be evaluated in the coming weeks, organizers of the car show said. Exhibitors will begin dismantling the stands and tickets for the event will be refunded.

The exhibition is among the most ostentatious in the automotive sector, with a high proportion of sports and luxury models on display, and the organizer Palexpo SA had been moving forward with its plans. Earlier this week, he pledged to step up hygiene and health warnings and urged participants to evaluate staff for symptoms.

The next Baselworld show will take place in January and February, MCH Group, the organizer of the Swiss watchmakers ’trade fair, said in a statement. Shares of the company were suspended ahead of the announcement. They have dropped 14% this week.

The viral outbreak that began in China has spread to 52 countries and territories, with Italian cases centered in the northern provinces bordering Switzerland. Geneva, home of the World Health Organization , which is fighting the epidemic, is a three-hour drive from Turin, where Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has an operational base.

German manufacturers Daimler AG & Audi AG They said they supported the decision to cancel the program.

Los relojes & la industria de relojes de lujo Wonders Geneva , scheduled for April, was canceled on Thursday.

The auto show joins the high profile victims of the virus, including the Mobile Phone World Congress in Barcelona, ​​the largest annual showcase for the telecommunications sector, scrapped after a succession of technology giants from Ericsson AB to Sony Corp. to LG Electronics Inc. raised concerns about the virus.

A car show in Beijing scheduled for April was also postponed, while the Singapore Air Show went ahead earlier this month in front of sparse crowds & with scores of companies steering clear as the virus spread beyond China.

Executives of automakers covering Volkswagen AG , Daimler AG & BMW AG to Honda Motor Co. & Toyota Motor Corp . were due to attend the Geneva show, which spans 10 days & was first staged in 1905. The expo was last canceled during World War II & its aftermath.