The hits start coming and they don’t stop coming, with the latest Omicron variant of COVID-19 continuing to play havoc with major events. CES is the latest to face these issues, with companies dropping out of in-person attendance due to infection fears. As reported by Automotive News, General Motors is the latest to pull out, canceling its plans for the major conference in a statement on Thursday.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, was set to give a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 5. The plan was to reveal the company’s upcoming electric Chevrolet Silverado. The model is of key importance to the company, as it attempts to do battle in the crucial electric pickup segment. going up against the Ford F-150 Lightning as well as upstarts like Tesla and Rivian.
Instead, GM’s presentation will go ahead in a remote fashion. In a statement released to the press, GM said “CES is an important technology platform, and we are continuing with our plans on Jan. 5 to share our significant company news including the reveal of the Chevrolet Silverado EV.”
The news comes on the same day that Waymo pulled out from physically attending the show, citing similar concerns. Earlier this week, Twitter, T-Mobile, Amazon and Meta, formerly known as Facebook, all canceled planned appearances as well. Press outlets TechCrunch and The Verge have also indicated their staff will not attend in person.
In 2021, CES ran as a virtual event as the country tangled with the coronavirus pandemic. However, for 2022, CES has not wavered and still plans to go ahead with the conference as planned in Las Vegas. Despite receiving 42 cancellations already, the Consumer Technology Association that runs the show claimed to have signed up 62 new exhibitors, more than enough to replace those dropping out.
The CTA has stated that “CES 2022 will go forward as important innovation for world health and safety, mobility, and solving problems will be exhibited.” CES will enforce measures in an attempt to maximize safety for those attending. Vaccinations are required for all attendees, and masks are to be worn inside the convention hall.
With the new Omicron variant spreading quickly around the world, it seems likely that such cancellations will remain a part of life in the immediate future. In any case, the world will still see the new electric Silverado on January 5, but the reveal won’t be kicking off from a conference hall in Vegas.
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