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BMW and Mercedes Drop Out of the In-Person CES Events Days Before the Show

As the Omicron and Delta variants of Covid-19 continue to infect more individuals around the United States, many big brands are pulling out of CES 2022. Now the list of absentees has grown to at least 42 different companies. Mercedes-Benz and BMW are two of the latest to pull out of the in-person media events. That leaves CES with very little automotive footprint.
Mercedes Concept 2019 CES 6 photos
BMW at CES 2020Mercedes Vision AVTR 2020 CESChrysler AirflowChrysler AirflowChrysler Airflow
Some brands will still be in attendance as of this writing. Perhaps none as notable as Chrysler as they try to reinvigorate their company with the Airflow EV. It seems that BMW and Mercedes simply didn't see a positive outcome in their risk/benefit analysis. 

“Out of an abundance of caution, BMW will move all planned media activities at CES to a fully online program from Germany on January 5,” said BMW in a statement to the Verge Thursday. That means that much like the Chevrolet Silverado EV reveal, everyone everywhere will have the chance to see it at the same time.

Mercedes made a statement as well and drilled down a little deeper into their reasoning to pull the plug so late in the game. The news comes despite Mercedes recently teasing the company's groundbreaking Vision EQXX concept car with a 1,000-mile range. Most likely, the Germans will go for a digital event to reveal the EQXX. 

"As the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and guests are our highest priority. In view of the current situation in connection with the COVID-19 virus, we've therefore decided to cancel Mercedes-Benz AG's participation in CES 2022, after intensive consultations. Due to the large group of participants and the different country-specific regulations, a solid, safe and harmless planning for all participants is unfortunately not be feasible in the current situation. We deeply regret this decision but consider it necessary."

Like it or not, that difference in policy about how to handle the virus plays a big role. American brands like Chrysler won't have any restrictions placed on them should they catch Covid before returning to workplaces in the USA. Employees coming into the U.S. from around the world the convention might not be able to get home so easily should they contract the virus. Either way, we're excited to see the physical and virtual events promised at CES 2022.


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