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Paris show: Lambo, Bentley pull out

Paris match: Lamborghini used the 2014 Paris motor show to reveal its plug-in hybrid Asterion concept.

Six major global automotive brands will not attend Paris motor show next week

20 Sep 2016

VOLKSWAGEN Group has pulled its Lamborghini and Bentley prestige brands out of next week’s Paris motor show which follows last week’s confirmation that a number of key global car-makers would not attend the biennial event this year.

Manufacturers including Ford, Volvo, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin have all confirmed that they will not be attending this year’s show in the French capital, preferring instead to direct their marketing funds elsewhere.

Ford, which is the third-biggest car-maker in Europe, has adopted a different strategy to reach its customers in France, with Automotive News Europe reporting that the company will invite potential buyers to participate in test drives across the country.

The Blue Oval has increased its spend on ‘experiential marketing’ by about 50 per cent in 2016 and will focus more on technology events rather than traditional motor shows.

According to the publication, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer confirmed that the iconic British brand would not attend the Paris event this year.

“There used to be the feeling that you had to be at every motor show,” he said.

“But there are sometimes better ways of doing it than just always spending money on show after show after show.”

Volvo’s absence is unsurprising given it announced back in late 2014 that it would skip most major motor shows as part of its ‘Volvo Way To Market’ strategic marketing plan that would see it transform the way it advertises, interacts with customers and runs its dealerships.

While BMW will be at the show, the company has confirmed that most its senior executives will be at a board meeting developing its electrification strategy, meaning its presence will be minimal.

BMW-owned car-maker Rolls-Royce is another no-show. The ultra-luxury brand has chosen to hold smaller, more targeted events, such as cocktail parties, test drives and other intimate gatherings in coastal Italy.

Reuters is reporting that Volkswagen Group has pulled Lamborghini and Bentley from the roster in a bid to curb spending in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal that began to unfold a year ago this week.

The German automotive giant has also confirmed that it will not host its usual Group pre-show media gala and will instead showcase stationary cars backed up by speeches about design from key executives.

According to Reuters, Bentley said it would miss the 2016 Paris event and instead concentrate its efforts on smaller events where it could more directly market to buyers, while Lamborghini said it was re-evaluating its motor show strategy, which included looking at which locations it would be at in the future.

The cost for a car-maker to set up their often elaborate stands can push into the millions of dollars, with Automotive News Europe reporting that Audi spent €10 million ($A14.8m) for its pavilion at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

A number of international events have either scaled down in recent years or have been cancelled, as was the case with the Australian international motor show that was killed off due to overwhelming costs, lack of support from car-makers and slowing demand before the scheduled 2013 event.

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