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Ford Pulls Out of Geneva Motor Show

Automaker joins Volvo in not attending show.

by on Jul.03, 2018

Ford has a history of making news at the Geneva Motor Show, like the introduction Focus RS.

The list of automakers pulling out of auto shows just got one name longer: Ford is skipping the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said the show’s timing didn’t fit its launch schedule and wouldn’t represent good value. It’s the second major automaker that has pulled out of the show, Volvo being the first.

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“It costs a sizeable amount of money,” a Ford of Europe spokesman told Automotive News Europe. “If you’re not going make a return on the investment in terms of media attention or people on the stand, why do it?”

Ford is also not attending the Paris Motor Show in October, but it hasn’t attended that show in several years. By missing both shows, Ford decided it made more financial sense to host a private event showing off its latest and greatest.

(Paris Motor Show exodus accelerates. Click Here for the story.)

Ford is not alone in skipping the Paris show. Just last month, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Jeep announced they will be holdouts at the 2019 Mondial de l’Automobile, and the Paris event had already lost BMW, Ford, Infiniti, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Organizers of the Detroit Auto Show are planning to move it from January to either June or Oco

It’s hard to find any auto show not facing retrenchment. BMW is planning to trim the size of its exhibit at the 2020 Frankfurt Motor Show by about three-quarters. That’s all the more significant as the show has traditionally been positioned as a matter of national automotive manufacturing prowess.

Of course, the struggles of the North American International Auto Show have been well documented. The number of automakers skipping what used to be the premier show in North America has been on the rise for a few years.

(Click Here for more about Detroit’s plans to change the date of its auto show.)

Show organizers have been listening to some makers about the issues they have with the show and are making changes, including the January date of the show. That is going to change with the announcement about whether it will move to June or October coming soon.

The list of automakers not coming to the Paris show is growing as well.

“This reflects the pressure all auto shows are under,” IHS Markit senior analyst Stephanie Brinley told Automotive News. “The climate has changed for how to introduce and market vehicles.”

The struggle facing show all show organizers isn’t new as automakers have been questioning the viability of auto shows for several years now.

(To see why Detroit’s NAIAS may be moving to OctoberClick Here.)

Automakers blame their change-of-heart on a variety of factors, including cost constraints. Major auto show exhibits typically cost millions of dollars, and that figure can grow exponentially when new product media debuts are factored in. The industry has also been exploring alternatives, whether events like the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, or one-brand media events.

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