Organizers of the 89th Geneva auto show say the event is on schedule, despite concerns about the spread of coronavirus in Europe and elsewhere.
As of Tuesday, officials said, no cases of coronavirus had been reported in Switzerland.
The show is to run March 5-15, with March 3 set aside as a media day. Officials with Geneva’s Palexpo exhibition center say they are monitoring developments and potential implications for the more than 150 exhibitors.
“The organizers encourage exhibitors from at-risk areas to ensure that their staff pass the necessary checks and do not show any symptoms of infection in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Switzerland, so as to avoid any risk of spread,” according to a Palexpo statement cited by Reuters.
Many exhibitors and industries plan to send as few employees as possible to minimize the risk of exposure.
The issue does not affect automakers including Lamborghini, PSA Group (Citroen, DS Automobiles, Opel/Vauxhall and Peugeot) and Jaguar Land Rover group, which have chosen not to be part of the show because of cost/benefit considerations.
More than 2,500 people have been killed by the coronavirus in China, where the outbreak originated. The Beijing auto show scheduled for the last 10 days of April has been indefinitely postponed as a precaution.
In Italy, design and engineering company Italdesign idled its operations in the Turin area Monday and Tuesday after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. The Volkswagen Group-owned company was waiting to hear from local health authorities before deciding whether to reopen.
The employee is quarantined at his home while his wife, who works for automotive supplier Frap in nearby Bruino, is hospitalized.
“We are trying to identify all persons who have been in contact with this colleague of ours in the past days. The health of our people and protection of the population at large are our top priorities,” Italdesign says in a statement. “To this aim we are actively interfacing with the health authority to monitor and manage the situation. We are ready to implement any action that is required.”
Italdesign is planning its traditional world premiere of a new design at the Geneva show.