Beijing auto show delayed due to coronavirus

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BEIJING — Organizers of the Beijing auto show said the event will be delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The show was scheduled to be held April 21-30. New dates will be announced later, the organizer said in a statement on Monday.

Across mainland China, officials said the total number of coronavirus cases rose by 2,048 to 70,548, with 1,770 deaths.

The Chinese government’s measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus have hit automakers aiming to ship exhibits and trade fair furniture to the show venue, Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News, reported.

Potential exhibitors from abroad are not allowed to bring freight shipments to China, Automobilwoche reported, citing a document from the CIETC logistics group.

Since it started in 1990, the Beijing show has grown to be one of the world’s largest automotive trade fairs. It’s a key launchpad for new product for the world’s biggest auto market.

At the 2018 show, automakers including VW, Audi, BMW, Ford and Mercedes-Benz held key product launches.

Automakers have not yet announced their programs for this year’s event.

The Beijing show is held every two years and alternates with a similar event in Shanghai.

The show’s postponement is the latest high-profile conference to be shelved because of the coronavirus epidemic.

Credit Suisse Group pushed back its Asia investment conference and the government is considering delaying its political meeting for the first time in decades. It’s not just events in China being affected, with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona canceled earlier this month because of the virus.

Automotive News Europe and Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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