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Geneva Motor Show preview: Who is and isn’t at this year’s event?

A far smaller number of firms are exhibiting in 2024

Most manufacturers previously attended the Geneva show.
Most manufacturers previously attended the Geneva show. Most manufacturers previously attended the Geneva show.

The Geneva Motor Show used to be one of Europe’s premier automotive events when it came to new car reveals.

Almost every global car manufacturer would have a stand and new metal to show off, but following a coronavirus-forced hiatus, it’s now returning for the first time in five years on February 26.

This year’s Geneva Motor Show will look considerably different too, as while the event used to take up nearly all of the city’s grand Palexpo exhibition centre, this year it is occupying just two halls.

Just a handful of major firms will be in attendance, and though the organisers claim ‘15 world and European premieres’, this is considerably less than what would have taken place in years gone by.

While organisers behind this year’s event acknowledge that the event is ‘more compact’, it believes it can be ‘as big as we were before covid’.

But which car firms are exhibiting at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and – more tellingly – who isn’t? Let’s take a look.

Who is attending?

BYD

BYD is yet to confirm what it will be showing at this year’s event. (BYD)
BYD is yet to confirm what it will be showing at this year’s event. (BYD) BYD is yet to confirm what it will be showing at this year’s event. (BYD)

Chinese car firm BYD is already making quite an impression across the globe, and it will be one of few companies from this corner of the world exhibiting at Geneva. The firm has yet to give any clue of what might be on display, though you can expect its current line-up, along with the upcoming plug-in hybrid ‘Seal U’ SUV to be on display. Given BYD’s fast-paced nature, expect a few more surprises too.

Dacia

Dacia will reveal a new version of its electric Spring city car. (Dacia)
Dacia will reveal a new version of its electric Spring city car. (Dacia) Dacia will reveal a new version of its electric Spring city car. (Dacia) (Clememt Choulot)

Dacia will be making quite an impression in Geneva this year with the budget brand displaying two new cars. There will be the public debut for its new Duster SUV, revealed back in November, but the highlight is the reveal of a new version of its Spring EV. It will be Dacia’s first electric car sold in the UK, and promises to be the most affordable EV on sale.

MG

A new version of the MG3 will be on display. (MG)
A new version of the MG3 will be on display. (MG) A new version of the MG3 will be on display. (MG)

MG hadn’t been at the Geneva Motor Show, even before the pandemic, but is using this year’s event to reveal its new MG3 – an affordable supermini that rivals the Dacia Sandero. The current car has been on sale for more than a decade, and this updated model is certainly needed. Expect MG to also show off another version of its electric Cyberster sports car to drum up demand ahead of arriving in Europe later in the year.

Lucid

American EV brand Lucid will be present. (Lucid Motors)
Lucid Air American EV brand Lucid will be present. (Lucid Motors)

Lucid is one of the more surprising attendees at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and will be showing off its luxury American electric cars. The Lucid Air saloon is already on sale in select countries around Europe, but the highlight is expected to be Lucid bringing its Gravity SUV to Europe for the first time.

Renault

The production version of the Renault 5 will be shown for the first time. (Renault)
The production version of the Renault 5 will be shown for the first time. (Renault) The production version of the Renault 5 will be shown for the first time. (Renault)

The most important debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show will be the Renault 5, which makes its eagerly-awaited world debut. Renault is reviving this classic nameplate for its new small EV that promises to bring some innovative features and should prove popular. It’ll certainly be the star of this year’s event.

Who isn’t attending?

The list of those not attending drastically exceeds the list of those that are. In fact, of the 50 manufacturers we asked if they were attending, only four said they were. Compare that to event in 2019, and 36 of these brands all had show stands, with most revealing new cars.

One of the biggest losses is the Volkswagen Group. From Seat to Lamborghini, it used to take up a huge amount of floor space, and even host its own ‘media night’ the evening before the show opened to show off all the new cars from the various brands.

But no VW Group brand will be in attendance in 2024, and the same applies to the huge Stellantis organisation, including Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall to name just a few. In a statement from the Stellantis group, it said it had chosen to not attend the Geneva show “given the current challenging scenario in the industry worldwide”.

Even smaller firms like Subaru, Suzuki and Honda all used to have huge presence at Geneva, but again have all decided to miss this year’s event.