We’ve written here on The Drive about how the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit has been declining in relevance and importance over the years. It now appears that Mercedes-Benz agrees with us. The German automaker has just confirmed that it will not be attending the 2019 NAIAS. Mercedes is joining a growing number of luxury brands sitting out the Detroit auto show including Porsche, Jaguar, and Land Rover.
“We are presently working to adjust the scale and size of our auto shows and trade fairs concepts to better align with our upcoming model launches,” said Mercedes-Benz in a statement.
This is a bit of a surprise considering Mercedes was one of the only brands with an exciting reveal at the 2018 show with the new G-class SUV. According to Automotive News, Mercedes is deciding “whether a trade show like Detroit fits with the cadence of our launch calendar and whether there’s a more effective format for our needs.”
This move by Mercedes signals a shift in how new cars are presented to the masses. The handful of big annual auto shows used to be really big deals where automakers would proudly showcase concepts and new models. Now there are simply too many other, better ways to do that for the traditional auto show model to stay relevant.