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Industry News: "Auto Shows Are Dead" Says Volkswagen's Chairman

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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.

Source: Motoring


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This is the autoshow's fault.  They've been approving everyone and anyone who could fog a mirror and who has posted on the internet ever. It's all about the control factor.  The manufacturers want to control who has access to the debut and instead of getting journalists and legitimate bloggers and influencers, they're getting Chinese competitive intelligence crawling over the car for the first 3 days of the show.

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Auto-shows are very relevant if planned right. Detroit is their own fault for hosting it at a time of year that people do not want to go out in the weather for. Also, people want to do more than just look at an auto.

Seattle auto-show has continued to grow due to innovation. Their is a place for little kids so that parents who want to compare, sit in and go back n forth between certain makes or models can do this while their kids are looked after.

On top of this is the two drive options you have. One is a traditional drive onto the streets to see how the auto basically drives in real world traffic. Always popular for the car and truck crowd. Second one is the off-road obstacle course where one can see how an SUV/CUV/Truck handles. The guidance one gets on this is awesome.

Today's Auto-show has to evolve into a family event with more than just a bunch of auto makes sitting on a show floor.

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Went to the Cleveland show this year for the first time in 25 years, it was pretty good.   Was packed w/ people the rainy Saturday I was there, they had the Jeep indoor obstacle course, most all the cars were unlocked and some had to get in line to sit inside.   For a regional non-car premiering show, I thought it was pretty good..better than Phoenix, IMO.    And as far as new cars premiering at shows, that's usually of only interest to the journos I would think..

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i think they get so much more mileage AND CONTROL over doing their promotion and marketing over the internet.  Why do a concept car anymore?  I remember going to the autoshow and every manufacturer had outrageous concept cars on big displays with models and stuff. 

Now they show a new model or concept and it gets a lot more mileage for all the articles and exposure that way.

But for the US, yes Detroit should be one of the premier auto shows so glad they are doing this here.

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On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 1:52 PM, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

Went to the Cleveland show this year for the first time in 25 years, it was pretty good.   Was packed w/ people the rainy Saturday I was there, they had the Jeep indoor obstacle course, most all the cars were unlocked and some had to get in line to sit inside.   For a regional non-car premiering show, I thought it was pretty good..better than Phoenix, IMO.    And as far as new cars premiering at shows, that's usually of only interest to the journos I would think..

The big auto shows are substantially different than the regional ones. I wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland is 1/4 the cost of Detroit.  It's not the regional auto shows that he's complaining about... it's the big media shows like Detroit, LA, NYC, Frankfurt, etc. 

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