Automakers continue to skip major auto shows.
While auto shows are still a major part of the automotive industry, many carmakers have decided that they aren't worth all of the trouble. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have already decided not to attend the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Mercedes simply said the cost to attend was too high, while Audi and BMW decided that CES would be a better stage to show off new tech features in their vehicles. It seems as though more and more automakers are pulling out of major auto shows, and Volvo is the latest to declare it's avoiding the biggest of them all.
Volvo said in a statement that it would skip the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The Swedish automaker says it will continue to "move away from traditional auto industry events to focus on bespoke activities to introduce its new cars, technologies and services to media and consumers." Volvo no longer believes that auto shows are necessarily the best way to reach consumers. The brand will focus on "purpose-specific communications" in order to reach its target audiences. For instance, Volvo introduced the XC40 at the 2017 Milan Fashion Week rather than a traditional auto show. The company will also reveal the new S60 sedan at its new factory in Charleston, South Carolina.
"Automatic attendance at traditional industry events is no longer viable – we must tailor our communications based on how the options complement our messaging, timing and the nature of the technology we are presenting," Bjorn Annwall, Volvo's senior vice president of strategy, brand and retail, said in a statement on Friday. Volvo's absence from Geneva won't stop the company from attending every auto show. “We are not saying never to car shows,” Annwall said. “We expect industry events like the Geneva show to continue evolving and we may return in future.” If anything, Volvo's decision shows that auto shows may need to change in order to stay viable for manufacturers.