It’s becoming more and more common for automakers to skip the rigmarole of a traditional auto show in favor of debuting vehicles at private events or even the Consumer Electronics Show. And it looks like the Frankfurt Motor Show isn’t immune to this trend.
As Automotive News reports, nine auto brands have ducked out of the Frankfurt show this year. And these brands are significant ones that make up a good chunk of sales in Europe: Alfa Romeo, DS, Fiat, Infiniti, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, and Volvo.
Not only do automakers fear going unnoticed among a sea of competitors at an auto show, but it’s also quite a costly venture — one that must be weighed against how many sales you can actually rake in by exhibiting at the event.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an event that automakers are using to showcase their new vehicles. In contrast to a stuffy auto show, Goodwood is set against a backdrop of historic race cars. “The manufacturers are very keen to find different ways of showing their products and we’ve been part of that change,” Goodwood Festival of Speed organizer and owner of the Goodwood estate Lord March told Automotive News Europe. He also estimates it costs much less to participate in Goodwood than at a large auto show. Renault reportedly spent just $1.3 million at the event this year, or roughly three times less than what it would’ve spent at a major international auto show.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is held biannually, alternating every year with the Paris Motor Show. Last year, some automakers skipped out. Ford declined a stand at the show to focus on tech events like the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Volvo also said “no thanks” and wanted to focus on direct-to-consumer marketing.
Automakers have also decided to create their own buzz. Jaguar has held its own events such as the Jaguar Art of Performance tour, which allows customers in the U.S. and U.K. to drive new vehicles. Ford has also set up “Go Further” events to show new cars to dealers and the media.