Audi Skipping 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Joining BMW and Mercedes
11. May 2018 - Motor1
The automaker could attend again in the future.
Audi will join its two other German luxury rivals by skipping the 2019 Detroit Auto Show this January. The announcement comes after both Mercedes and BMW announced similar departures from the show.
"Audi has had a long and successful history at NAIAS [North American International Auto Show], debuting countless models that Audi customers enjoy today," Audi said in a statement, according to Automotive News. "For 2019, we have decided that we will not participate in NAIAS. We will continue to evaluate Auto Shows on a case by case basis relative to the timing of our product introductions and the value the show brings from a media and consumer perspective."
The brand's absence from the show in 2019 doesn't mean it'll be gone forever from the Motor City. It appears Audi will evaluate its presence at auto shows on a case-by-case basis. At this year's show, Audi unveiled several new products, including the Q8 concept crossover expected to enter production soon.
Over the last several years Detroit has faced stiff competition from CES in Las Vegas that happens just weeks before the Detroit show. The electronics show is drawing bigger crowds, not only pulling media attention away from Detroit but also product reveals from automakers that would have waited for the Detroit show.
Because of competition with CES, Detroit organizers – the Detroit Auto Dealers Association – are thinking of moving the show out of January to avoid conflict. However, such a move wouldn't happen until after the 2019 show as it's already scheduled.
The three German automakers will leave plenty of open floor space for other automakers to expand their display. Mercedes may not be attending in 2019, but when Daimler announced Mercedes would skip next year's show, company CEO Dieter Zetsche said, "But I very much expect in 2020 we will be back with some product launches." This came after he announced the decision to leave was difficult.