Following similar announcements from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Audi has confirmed that it will join the rivals and discontinue participation in the Detroit auto show. Industry watchers see this announcement as a major blow to what many still believe is North America’s premier auto show.
In a statement to Automotive News Europe , the Audi statement said, “We will continue to evaluate auto shows on a case by case basis relative to the timing of our product introductions and the value the show brings from a media and consumer perspective.”
Audi acknowledged the brand’s long history with the Detroit show as well. In 2017, the German luxury brand chose Detroit for the debut of its Q8 crossover concept. Meanwhile, Volkswagen said it still plans to attend the show in 2019. Audi also plans to attend the New York and Los Angeles auto shows.
As brands continue to pull the plug on Detroit, the show’s organizers have been busy working plans to reinvent the North American International Auto Show and attract carmakers.
Various suggestions include a date change to October to provide warmer weather and the opportunity for outdoor displays for automakers. The date change could attract automakers to show off new technologies and self-driving cars.
A spokesman for the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which organizes the Detroit auto show, confirmed talks and plans are underway to provide a “stage that delivers cost-effective opportunities to audiences” that “only Detroit” can offer.
In addition to Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, other brands that have pulled out of the Detroit show include Mazda, Mini, Volvo, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, and Land Rover.