Several manufacturers will be giving the Frankfurt motor show a miss this year, including Fiat, Jeep, Nissan and Volvo, as brands shift their investments from the traditional product showcases.
As reported by industry journal Automotive News Europe, numerous marques are finding it increasingly difficult to justify the massive budgets required for a major auto show – instead opting to attend more interactive events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
In addition to Fiat, Jeep, Nissan and Volvo, other brands that have confirmed their exits from the Frankfurt event include Alfa Romeo, DS, Infiniti, Mitsubishi and Peugeot. Overall, these manufacturers account for 20 per cent of all car sales in Europe.
Another contributing factor, according to IHS Markit principal analyse, Ian Fletcher, is that more and more customers are doing their car research online.
Above: The Goodwood Festival of Speed allows customers to see their favourite cars in action
Meanwhile, others argue that the traditional, static nature of auto shows are being overshadowed by more vibrant outdoor events that are more entertaining for customers.
“The manufacturers are very keen to find different ways of showing their products and we’ve been part of that change,” said Lord March, organiser for Goodwood Festival of Speed.
“It’s all about the content – manufacturers are pushing out well over 1 million hours of downloaded video.”
French carmaker Renault, for example, spent less than 1 million pounds ($1.63 million), with March estimating that Goodwood set ups for manufacturers cost around three times less than for a major auto show.
It’s not the first time, however, that big brands have skipped one of the biggest events on the automotive calendar. Last year, Ford, Rolls-Royce and Volvo did not attend the Paris motor show – which runs alternately with the Frankfurt event – and neither did Bentley and Lamborghini.
Just about all of the aforementioned absentees cited that they would be holding more intimate and interactive events for their customers external to the show, likely reducing costs and better targeting their respective demographics.