Beijing Motor Show to go ahead at the end of September

21 August 2020

21 August 2020

The Beijing Motor Show will go ahead on 26 September 2020, becoming the first, and so far only, major automotive event to take place this year.

The total exhibition area for the event will cover 200,000 square-metres and will showcase both domestic and foreign passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Media days will take place on 26 and 27 September, with automotive professionals granted exclusive access between the 28 and 30 September. Public access follows this, with the event closing on 6 October.

According to the organising committee, carmakers such as Volkswagen Group (VW), Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Toyota, Daimler, Ford, General Motors (GM), Nissan, BMW Group, PSA Group, and Volvo, will attend the show, together with many of their joint venture partners. There will also be a special area dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs), with Tesla, NIO, Polestar and others planning to exhibit.

Pandemic response

The coronavirus (COVID-19) infection originated in China, but the country has been quick to get back on its feet following a strict lockdown regime. Automotive sales have picked up and production is back to levels seen prior to the pandemic.

In an effort to demonstrate its strong economy, and prove that business is back to normal, the country is taking steps to achieve something other markets thought may be impossible this year - hosting an international automotive show.

However, the organising body realises the seriousness of COVID-19 and is taking steps to ensure the event remains as safe as possible.

‘Under the guidance of relevant national and Beijing government departments, the 2020 Beijing Auto Show has formulated a plan for epidemic prevention and control at the exhibition, and a number of epidemic prevention and control measures will be taken at the exhibition site,’ organisers said in a release.

Guiding light

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen both the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) and the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) cancelled, while the Mondial Paris has been scaled back and become a B2B mobility event. However, with what looks to be a second-wave of infections in France, it remains to be seen whether this event will go ahead at the end of September.

This means the Beijing event will likely be the only major event held this year, and with the cancellation of the physical Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the start of 2021 and the confirmation that the GIMS will not take place next year, Beijing could be the only major event held until the IAA in September 2021, which has relocated from Frankfurt to Munich.

This means all eyes are likely to be on the Chinese show, watching to see if, and how, a large scale automotive event can be run under the threat of a pandemic. There is likely to be wide-scale testing for exhibitors and temperature checks for visitors, although this has yet to be confirmed.