by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MALAYSIA Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) is deferring its annual automotive event — the Malaysia Autoshow 2020 — to next year in response to observing social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement yesterday, the agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry said the event, which is slated to be organised next month, will be rescheduled to April 2021.
The event was supposed to take place in April this year, before MARii — the event organiser — postponed it to July due to the Movement Control Order.
The government has banned mass gathering in contained spaces as a precautionary measure to curb the virus spread despite the country reaching double-digit cases a day for the past months and restrictions eased.
The autoshow initially aimed to attract some 350,000 people in its four days of exhibitions with the participation of 32 original equipment manufacturers and 170 exhibitors from seven countries.
MARii CEO Datuk Madani Sahari said the reschedule of the autoshow to next year will still be subject to the development of Covid-19 throughout this year.
He said despite the postponement, MARii is looking at potential technologies to host a digital version of an automotive sales and education show.
“Despite the absence of this year’s edition of the autoshow, it is a good time to rethink and innovate the way we gather the automotive community in a safe and secure way”, he said in the statement.
“We hope that the situation improves this year so we can start planning for an even bigger autoshow next year, showcasing the latest mobility technology and creating a new experience in automotive and mobility exhibitions for the tech-savvy consumer”, he added.
Globally, the outbreak of coronavirus has caused many cancellations of automotive shows throughout the world.
The Geneva International Motor Show in March has been cancelled, after the Swiss government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people to observe social distancing early this year.
The next edition of the motor show was rescheduled to March 4-14, 2021.
The 2020 New York auto show was also cancelled, despite rescheduling from April to August this year as the US is still embattling the coronavirus pandemic.
The auto show venue is also being used as a field hospital.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Beijing Motor Show in China is expected to take off in September this year after five months of earlier postponement.