The talk about whether any of the major auto shows still matter has been going on for few years as a number of automakers pulling out has been increasing. But what you haven't heard is a major head of automaker questioning them, until now.
“Motor shows are dead,” said Herbert Diess, chairman of the Volkswagen Group.
“They are a product of the 1960s and they are not as relevant anymore. They’re not delivering what we want and they’re not delivering what car buyers want.”
The Detroit Auto show is a poster child of this as automakers in the past few years have been pulling out. Reasons are numerous: Automakers are holding their own events as they can control the message and not fight with others for attention in the spotlight. It's also quite expensive as an automaker needs to design the exhibit, bring in labor to build and tear down, getting the vehicles to the show, and much more.
Diess believes the likes of the Goodwood Festival of Speed could be one way for the auto show to evolve.
“People need to see more interaction with the product. They expect it. Those days of relying on tradition are gone. It’s events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed that are showing us the modern way to show cars to people.”
Organizers of the Detroit Auto Show are taking note. Earlier this week, organizers announced the show would be moving to June in 2020 and feature such things as rides and drives of new vehicles.