First, it was BMW and Mercedes, and now...
A troubling trend continues for major international auto shows, the abandonment of major automakers. Floor space, prestige, and income are all lost. The New York Auto Show, held every April, normally attracts many of the world's most prestigious luxury brands because the Big Apple and the surrounding region is home to many current and potential customers. Last month, Mercedes-Benz announced it will not take part in the 2020 New York Auto Show and its BMW rival made the same decision not long before.
Automotive News has confirmed the third of Germany's four main luxury brands will also skip New York. Audi officially confirmed the news late last week with the firm's chief communications officer stating that it is "important to review the way we bring the Audi experience to life and introduce our new products and innovations to media and consumers." At last year's NY show, the all-new Audi Q3 was unveiled.
As for future shows, Audi said it would "continue to evaluate auto shows on a case-by-case basis moving forward to determine if they are the best platform for US and world premieres of our upcoming models." The fourth major German automaker, Porsche, has confirmed it will be in New York this year. Another reason why Audi may have opted out of New York is due to the costs involved.
Auto shows cost millions of dollars and Audi is currently undergoing a major lineup transformation, shifting away from diesels to battery electrics, including the Audi e-tron SUV and Audi e-tron Sportback. The Audi e-tron GT is due to arrive next year. Meanwhile, New York area Audi dealers were made aware of the automaker's plans to skip this year's away about a month ago.
Because the Big Apple is such a vital sales market, these dealers were working on a still unknown plan to retain some sort of presence on the show floor. The show's organizers did confirm that Audi's normal floor space will be filled, possibly by new electric automakers such as Rivian. Last year at Detroit, all three German luxury brands skipped the show. Porsche hasn't displayed at the Motor City show for several years.
This year's Detroit show, however, will take place in June instead of January as organizers aim to rebrand the event with outdoor technology displays. In addition to New York, Audi also confirmed it will not be at Detroit this summer.