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VW brand pulls out of Paris motor show
Major manufacturers, including VW, will not attend this year’s Paris show
18 May 2018
VOLKSWAGEN is the latest automotive brand to announce that it will not attend this year’s Paris motor show in October, following the lead of a number of other major car-makers that are also skipping the European event.
While the Volkswagen brand will not be represented at this year’s French automotive extravaganza, other VW Group brands including Seat, Skoda, Audi and Porsche will all have a presence.
“The Volkswagen brand is continually reviewing its participation in international motor shows,” Volkswagen said in a widely reported statement, adding that it could instead be involved in “various communications activities” in Paris over the period of the show.
However, Reuters has reported that the head of the Paris show organisers, Jean-Claude Girot, said VW could return to the next Paris show, which will be in 2020.
“This is a one-off decision rather than a permanent loss of interest on VW’s part,” he said. “When a brand decides not to book a stand it’s usually to reduce costs.”
Other major automotive brands that will also be missing in action from this year’s Paris show include Ford, Nissan, Infiniti, Mazda, Volvo and PSA Group’s recent acquisition, Opel.
Audi elected to not have its own pavilion at last year’s Frankfurt motor show, where the big three German premium brands – BMW and Mercedes-Benz included – usually take up a pavilion each.
Audi, BMW and Benz are all planning to skip next January’s Detroit show, while the VW Group had a minimal presence at this year’s Motown event.
A number of the traditional motor shows have been reporting drops in attendance numbers for more than a decade now, as technology-focused shows steal some of the limelight.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is held the week before the Detroit motor show and is being increasingly used by manufacturers to show off their latest concepts, tech breakthroughs, future powertrains and autonomous driving features.
The Los Angeles motor show has also transformed from being a traditional motor show in its earlier years to a mobility show with a focus on future automotive technology.
Despite the downturn in attendance of some of the European and US shows, Chinese motor shows continue to grow each year and are now believed to now be the biggest on the calendar. The alternating Beijing and Shanghai shows have grown significantly in recent years, reflecting the Chinese market’s position as the largest automotive market in the world.
While there are dozens of domestic market Chinese brands on display, global car-makers that are all vying for a piece of the Chinese pie are increasingly holding their product reveals in Shanghai and Beijing, as well as at the smaller Guangzhou show.
The Australian motor show was killed off in 2013 due to a lack of funding and declining interest from car-makers that blamed the high cost of having a stand at the event.
The last local motor show was held in Sydney in 2012. Since then, a number of events, including the Australian Motoring Festival in Melbourne and MotorWorld in Sydney have tried and failed to capture an audience, while the Motorclassica event in Melbourne has been consistently successful.
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