One of the world’s leading auto shows was canceled at the last minute as the impact of Covid-19 worsens around the world.
The 90th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland, which has in the past featured exhibits of Ford F,
, General Motors GM,
and Tesla TSLA,
, was dramatically withdrawn just three days before it debuted on Monday.
It happened as a host of international companies drew up contingency plans and warned against the impact of the virus.
Alexandre Ricard, CEO of vodka maker Absolut Pernod Ricard RI,
, told MarketWatch that the company was forced to find a back-up supplier for its bottle caps.
The beverage giant has enlisted a partner in China for the aluminum caps, and although Ricard said there was currently sufficient stocks, he identified a back-up supplier as an emergency measure.
Ricard also said the threat of Covid-19 was greater than Brexit: “With Brexit, people in France and the UK will still be drinking gin and whiskey.
“It’s a different story with the coronavirus. In China, there is no over-trade [people drinking in bars and clubs] and the events and celebrations were canceled.
Read: Companion dog in Hong Kong has ‘low level’ of coronavirus
owner of British Airways IAG IAG,
has warned that it will abandon the forecast of falling profits this year.
Earlier in the week, the maker of Smirnoff Diageo DGE,
estimated profits would be hit by £ 200million.
He told MarketWatch that in China, the majority of its beverage business is a locally produced spirit called baijiu. Consumption is affected by exit restrictions. The company has emergency plans in place in Italy and is monitoring the situation closely.
British retailer Marks & Spencer MKS,
uses China for both raw materials and direct sourcing. However, given the on-time delivery of products from the market, coupled with the normal planning in place for the Lunar New Year disruption, he says the current availability of his products is well protected.
Air France-KLM AF,
CFO Frédéric Gagey told analysts the airline could end up redeploying part of the fleet out of China.
He also pointed out that the reduction in service would naturally lead to fuel savings. When an analyst said “We’re not looking to reduce profitability” because of fuel savings, Gagey replied, “That’s your math, but I can’t say I totally disagree with that. “
At the RTN Restaurant Group,
, which operates chains such as Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s, chief executive Andrew Hornby told analysts the company had not seen a “significant” impact at its restaurants at 16 UK airports, saying the percentage of passengers who went in his chains when they flew to Asia is Small. But he said disruptions to travel to Italy could lead to a decrease in tourism.