Like Mercedes-Benz, BMW is pulling out of the Motor City (for now).
Another major automaker has decided to pass on next year's Detroit Auto Show. Like Mercedes-Benz, BMW will not be coming to the Motor City next January, according to Automotive News. "BMW Group has decided to withdraw from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit," the company said Friday. "This decision was made as BMW Group is constantly examining our presence at trade-shows and other engagements, while, at the same time, also exploring alternative platforms and formats.
"The overall goal is to communicate our ideas and plans regarding future mobility in the best way and achieve the greatest possible visibility for our products, technologies and innovations." This is not good news for show organizers, who are already considering a plan to move the show from January to October starting in 2020. Doing so will accomplish a few things. First, winter in Detroit is dreadful and having the show in fall will allow automakers to have outdoor demonstrations, specifically for mobility technologies. Another reason for doing so is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in Las Vegas only a week prior in January.
Automakers often have to choose between Detroit and CES to display their latest technologies. Moving the Detroit Auto Show to October will allow automakers to focus more on technology and to save money. Along with Mercedes-Benz and now BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche and Mazda have all been absent from Detroit in recent years. Ultra-exclusive brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce (which is BMW-owned), along with exotics like Ferrari and Lamborghini, have also been no-shows. Detroit show organizers apparently want the event to more closely mirror the Geneva Auto Show, which focuses on vehicles and technology instead of only opulent displays.
BMW already toned down its Detroit display last January, and even its Mini brand was absent. At this rate, Detroit show organizers can't afford to lose any more major automakers without making some drastic changes.