Mercedes-Benz has always been a high-profile mainstay in the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. However, they have decided to pull out of participating to explore new options to fit their needs. This was announced by sources at the German carmaker.
"We have to look at whether a trade show like Detroit fits with the cadence of our launch calendar and whether there's a more effective format for our needs," said a senior Mercedes executive close to the plans. "The G class was the perfect product to debut this year, but the likelihood we will be in Detroit next January is very slim. That doesn't mean however we are ruling out a return in 2020."
This pullout represents the latest setback of the show as other dealers such as Jaguar, Porsche, Mazda, Volvo, and Land Rover decided to leave as well to explore budget versus better outlets for marketing dollars.
Mercedes has actually experimented with new ways to reach potential buyers including the ME Convention in September, sponsored by them and South by Southwest.
On March this year, BMW followed Mercedes-Benz in bowing out the auto show. This happened only weeks after organizers had announced moving it to October starting 2019. But unlike Mercedes-Benz, BMW has also announced that they would not be returning to the auto show.
“This decision was made as BMW Group is constantly examining our presence at trade shows and other engagements, while, at the same time, also exploring alternative platforms and formats,” BMW spokesman Phil Dilanni said in a statement. “The overall goal is to communicate our ideas and plans regarding future mobility in the best way and achieve the greatest possible visibility for our products, technologies, and innovations.”
According to some analysts, having the two German manufacturers pull out like this might make the International Auto Show less attractive to international media. A more attractive European luxury brands exposition might sound more attractive. Brands seem to be questioning an auto show as the best platform to attract customers.