Guess where the 2023 Geneva Motor Show will be held (hint: not Geneva)

A different location, but the same name

Car fairs are having a hard time. Since the pandemic, shows in Paris, Detroit, New York and Los Angeles have shrunk significantly. Car manufacturers often prefer to choose when to unveil a car, without having to share the spotlight with other brands. For example online, or at your own event. Fortunately, the Geneva Motor Show still exists, but in a different form.

The famous Swiss fair starts again this week, but not in Geneva. From October 5 to 14 you can fly to… Qatar. Hey? A car fair in the Qatari capital Doha is not that crazy, but why does the fair keep the name Geneva Motor Show? The answer: the Qatar show is not the official Geneva fair. In addition to the show in Qatar, the fair in the city of Geneva will continue to exist.

The 2023 Geneva Motor Show in Qatar

For more explanation we have to go back to the summer of 2020. The Geneva Motor Show was the first major car fair to be canceled due to the pandemic. The Qatar Ministry of Tourism then called the organization behind the car show. In Qatar they wanted to organize a special version of the Geneva Motor Show and a year later the two parties reached an agreement.

Qatar may organize five shows spread over ten years. The first edition of the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar should have taken place in November 2022. Because we were still struggling with the virus, that edition could not take place. After another year of waiting, Qatar will be able to host its own Geneva Motor Show this week.

The original Geneva Motor Show will return after four years in the spring of 2024. To avoid getting in each other's way, the show in Switzerland is a classic fair as you know it with debuting models. In Qatar, the fair should look more like a festival with the latest technical innovations. Potential customers can test in Qatar on the Doha F1 circuit or go off-roading in the desert. That will indeed be difficult in Geneva. Let's see if the IAA is in Jeddah next year.