Another big postponement from Asia

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Following last week’s announcement that the continued outbreak of the coronavirus had forced the indefinite postponement of the Taiwan Boat Show, organizers of the massive Beijing International Automobile Exhibition have made the decision to delay their event.

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“To ensure the health and safety of exhibitors and participants, we, on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the 2020 Beijing International Automobile Exhibition (Auto China 2020), have decided to postpone the event…in Beijing from April 21 to 30 this year. The rescheduled date will be notified separately,” the committee said on their website.

The Beijing Auto Show is a chance for American and European automakers to show their wares to the largest automobile market in the world, which has seen declining sales over the last two years. The announcement follows on the heels of the cancellation of the Formula One Grand Prix that was to be held in Shanghai in late April.

There was some chatter on the virus at last week’s Miami boat shows and its impact on business. “[Products] that you’d normally expect coming in for peak season is still sitting on the dock,” West Marine CEO Ken Seipel told Trade Only. ”I’m a little bit nervous about that…it’s going to be right down to the wire to get this product through.”

Mike Connors, president of Land ‘N’ Sea, echoed Seipel’s concerns. “[Coronavirus] certainly has an impact on the distribution business in many ways. The key issues are the inability to get products on orders that have already been placed and expected to have already shipped."

The second challenge we see is the factories in China being closed resulting in the inability to continue production for future orders.” This has a direct impact on seasonal businesses such as Marine and RV who may be dependent on those products to supply throughout the season.

With many Asian ports locked up, fallout of the coronavirus is yet still unknown, but most expect it’ll be far ranging and have significant impact as peak boating season approaches. 

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