Mercedes-Benz Confirms Skipping the 2019 Detroit Show - the Start of a Trend?

About a decade ago, it would have been inconceivable for Mercedes-Benz not to attend the most important car show in North America held in the motoring capital of the U.S.
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class launch 1 photo
Photo: Daimler
One of the biggest brands in the world would relish at the chance of showing the potential clients in one of the largest markets in the world its new products, the ones they would then look for in the showrooms with their pockets full of cash, eager to empty them into the Germans' coffers.

Well, things have moved on and even though the U.S. is still a major player on an international level - second only to China - and the North American International Auto Show is still an important event, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it won't be attending the next edition only one month after the conclusion of this year's.

“We are presently working to adjust the scale and size of our auto shows and trade fairs concepts to better align with our upcoming model launches,” read a statement from the company quoted by Automotive News. It also mentioned the "rising complexity" of the automotive industry saying Daimler's brands will decide whether to take part in one auto show or another depending on each situation.

In other words, Mercedes-Benz's presence at any future events will not be implied by default, as has been the case so far. There are multiple reasons behind this decision, not least of which is the financial one. Mercedes is investing heavily in a new range of products, the EQ electric sub-brand, which is taking up a lot of resources.

At the same time, the NAIAS comes just a few short days after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, an event that didn't use to have anything to do with cars, but one that's been hijacked by the industry over the past few editions to the point where it has become almost just as relevant.

Finally, more and more brands are opting for hosting their own launches for new products, somewhat similar to Tesla's modus operandi. With the possibility of live streaming, the need for the big auto shows where a large portion of the public gathers isn't as strong as it used to.

Even though Mercedes-Benz is not the first to it, it is arguably the most high-profile brand to announce this kind of decision. We're far from that moment now, but as long as more and more companies pull out, it's not impossible to imagine the NAIAS losing the "I" in its name and becoming a local event. Or, alternatively, finding a way to merge with the CES into one big event with something for everybody.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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