This year, a record number of automakers saying so long to auto shows. What/who is to blame behind this trend?
This past week week, Swedish automaker Volvo announced it would not be part of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, citing better marketing activities delivering its brand message to consumers. The Detroit Auto Show has also been a victim, with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW dropping out in rapid succession. Are auto shows becoming extinct?
These decisions surrounding auto shows come amidst changes to business plans, high cost, the advent of digital, and increased competition with other events.
End of an Era?
"Automatic attendance at traditional industry events is no longer viable - we must tailor our communications based on how the options complement our messaging, timing and the nature of the technology we are presenting," said Volvo SVP of Strategy Bjorn Annwall.
"We're reviewing the auto show footprint to say, 'Where does it really make sense, which formats make sense, to get journalists, to get customers, to show and display your vehicles?," said BMW North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt in a statement to Automotive News. "We're definitely going to invest into other formats as well. The auto show is not the right format only."
Some of the ways automakers have filled the auto shows void is through video game debuts, social media campaigns, and private shows, such as Ford's Go Further events and Jaguar's Art of Performance Tour. Another popular example is Volvo's debut of the XC60 on a Stockholm driveway and the XC40 during Milan Fashion Week.