To date, a handful of exhibitors have withdrawn from or scaled back plans for Conexpo-Con/Agg 2020 with more reports coming in.
According to a release from Volvo, California joining Washington State and Florida in declaring a state of emergency to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus Covid-19 helped prompt the decision that all business areas within the Volvo Group will withdraw from their participation in next week’s ConExpo exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada in the US. This includes all relevant Volvo business areas, Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Penta, Volvo Financial Services, Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, SDLG and Terex Trucks.
Tiffany Cheng, global director for internal communications with Volvo CE, said, ”The Volvo group has been monitoring the conditions with regards the spread of Coronavirus closely over recent weeks, and putting contingency plans in place should they worsen. The announcement of a state of emergency in Washington, Florida and neighbouring California yesterday tipped the balance in favour of caution, and prioritising health and safety over all other considerations.”
Cheng could not comment on how many Volvo employees were affected by the decision to withdraw from the show. Regarding the financial effects of the decision, she said, ”While we don’t disclose the exact figure, there are significant costs attached to this decision.”
As for 60,000-square-foot display being set up in Las Vegas, Cheng said, ”it will be completed and secured.”
Volvo CE elaborated in an official statement: ”Since announcing our decision to withdraw from Conexpo-Con/Agg 2020 due to the coronavirus, Volvo CE has been working very closely with our partners at AEM to determine the best path forward. At this point in preparations, it would not be possible for Volvo CE to remove the equipment and dismantle the booth before the show begins.
”Instead, a small number of locally hired independent staff will remain on the site for the duration of the show. The booth will be ready for show opening on Tuesday, March 10th. Volvo CE is deeply appreciative of AEM’s collaboration in this difficult moment and recognizes the great value that the Conexpo-Con/Agg show brings to our industry and our customers every three years.”
Melker Jernberg, executive VP & president of Volvo CE, stated, “We are great supporters of Conexpo, and despite being in advanced preparations for this year’s event, we believe it is the right thing to do to withdraw at this late stage. Our first concern is the well being of employees, customers and the wider public.”
He added, “It’s very disappointing not to be attending, but our first priority is the health and safety of our employees and others. Given this, it is with reluctance that it has been decided not to participate in this year’s show.
More news on the impact of the coronavirus on the construction industry and other equipment manufacturers is regularly updated here.