The auto show used to be the hottest date in the calendar for checking out concepts, new releases, developments, technology and all sorts of car related news. It seems that golden age of the auto show may soon be over. Or will it?
The news that nine major automakers are not going to show at a major European motor show took us by surprise. The Frankfurt Motor Show used to be one of the major events in Europe but nine automakers have decided to give it a miss. Alfa Romeo, DS (part of Citroen), Fiat, Infiniti, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot and Volvo are all taking the day off instead of attending the show.
Star of the show
The auto show is an opportunity for automakers to showcase their wares but does present challenges too. It is very expensive to run a booth at your average auto show. It is also one booth out of many, meaning manufacturers have to come up with more extravagant or outlandish ways to stand out from the crowd.
Auto shows are also mainly attended by other automakers, people in the industry or journalists. The end user of the products rarely gets to see their next new car at a major show. We often prefer smaller shows or to wait until we get to see it at the dealership. It seems automakers are paying attention to this and are choosing to appear at smaller or more niche shows instead.
Plus, with the crossover between consumer tech and car tech, appearing at even such as the Consumer Electronics Show makes a bit more sense. Fewer automakers are there to compete so any that booth stands out from the crowd.
After this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lord March who owns the Goodwood estate said he is fielding more queries from automakers wanting to appear there as it is cheaper, is for the people and because the event still gets a lot of attention from fans and the media.
Over here, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is another enthusiast event that automakers are electing to show their wares at. They are cheaper, do not demand high tech booths and are much more relaxed ways of showing.
End of the show?
So is this the end of the auto show as we know it? I doubt it is the end of the auto show but changes may be afoot. While automakers may scale back on their appearances, the auto show is still a major way to showcase their wares. Other major automakers are still using shows to illustrate to the world they are a force to be reckoned with and I doubt that will change anytime soon. The scale and type of even may do though. Only time will tell on that one!