The coronavirus pandemic has reared its head once again, this time with the Omicron variant resulting in CES 2022 losing out on a growing number of exhibitors originally set to be physically present at the show. Among the exhibitors who have cancelled their live attendance are BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

BMW was scheduled to showcase a new variant of the all-electric iX dubbed the M60, CNet reported, which would build further upon the 523 PS/765 Nm outputs of the xDrive50 variant; this new version would be an M Performance model with more than 600 PS.

“For many years, the BMW Group has been presenting innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Due to the pandemic situation, the BMW Group will move all planned media activities at CES to a fully digital programme livestreamed from Germany,” the automaker said in a statement.

Mercedes-Benz has also pulled out of the physical event. “As the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and guests are our highest priority, in view of the current situation in connection with the Covid-19 virus, we’ve decided to cancel Mercedes-Benz AG’s participation in CES 2022 after intensive consultations,” a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson wrote in an e-mail sighted by CNet.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

“Due to the large group of participants and the different country-specific regulations, a solid, safe and harmless planning for all participants is unfortunately not feasible in the current situation. We deeply regret this decision but consider it necessary,” it added.

Just ahead of the opening of CES 2022, Mercedes-Benz is scheduled to premiere the Vision EQXX on January 3, a fully-electric concept that will boast of a battery range in excess of 1,000 km.

Despite the growing list of attendance cancellations that includes T-Mobile, Microsoft, Google, Meta and Intel, CE organiser the Consumer Technology Association said that 60 new exhibitors have been added to the in-person attendance list, against 42 exhibitor cancellations, or less than 7% of its exhibit floor, the organiser said.

“CES will and must go on. It will have many more small companies [compared to] large ones, and may have big gaps on the show floor. It may be messy, but innovation is messy, risky and comfortable,” said CTA president Gary Shapiro in a LinkedIn post. The 2022 edition of the CES show is scheduled to run from January 5-8, 2022 in Las Vegas.

Tags: COVID-19

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