Audi will join its premium German competitors in skipping the next Detroit Auto Show. The Ingolstadters are just the latest brand to skip the show whose worth to automakers is increasingly being thrown into question.
Long the highlight of the auto show calendar, the North American International Auto Show’s relevance has lately been challenged as shows like the LA Auto Show, the Consumer Electronics Show, and even the New York Auto Show are usurping its position at the top of the auto show hierarchy.
Audi “has had a long and successful history at NAIAS, debuting countless models that Audi customers enjoy today,” said the brand in a statement. “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.”
BMW and Mercedes both dropped out of the show before Audi. With CES taking place at roughly the same time of year in sunny Las Vegas, the show has attracted more and more carmakers, eager to show off the latest technology. This is a particularly important point for luxury carmakers, whose advantages are largely defined by the tech they can offer.
But it’s not just premium automakers, Mazda, MINI, Volvo, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, and Land Rover all pulled out of the show recently. That leaves Detroit’s big three—who are unlikely to bail on the show—and only a shrinking number of others to fill the show floor.
For its part, GM recently suggested that moving the show to the summer might make it more attractive to audiences. The Detroit Auto Dealers Association, meanwhile, promises that there are plans underway to revolutionize the show and to give automakers a global stage.
Audi has said that it will continue to participate in the LA and New York Auto Shows, which take place in December and April, respectively.