German luxury brand, Audi, has confirmed it will not be attending the 2019 Detroit motor show in January, joining a growing number of manufacturers that have opted out of the event.
In a new report by industry journal Automotive News, the company confirmed it will be joining rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz on the 'not attending' list at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), issuing the following statement:
"[Audi] has had a long and successful history at NAIAS, debuting countless models that Audi customers enjoy today. 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."
According to the publication, one of the reasons the Detroit event is looking less attractive for brands is due to increasing competition from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas around the same time – which offers a larger venue and bigger crowds.
The move from Audi is also the latest example of the emerging trend for major vehicle manufacturers to skip global auto shows.
In recent years, companies like Mazda, Mini, Volvo, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Jaguar and Land Rover have opted out of the Detroit motor show, while Ford, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini also missed the 2016 Paris motor show.
Generally, manufacturers that have skipped major motor shows have cited reallocation of marketing budgets as the reason for their decision, with more 'customer focused' experiences being used as alternatives along with increased use of social media.
Motor shows can cost brands millions of dollars over the course of the event, with an example being Audi’s 10 million euro ($15 million) spend at the 2011 Frankfurt show for its temporary pavilion complete with an indoor track facility.