Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will have a presence at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, but company CEO Sergio Marchionne won’t be in attendance. The boss cancelled plans to visit the event without giving a reason, according to Automotive News. "The media availability with Sergio Marchionne on Sept. 29 at the Paris Motor Show has been cancelled," the company said in a brief statement.
Marchionne's decision to skip the show might be because FCA likely doesn't have any major product debuts in Paris. There aren't yet any teasers for big premieres, and so far we only know of some minor tweaks for current vehicles. For example, the Panda's refresh will make a public debut in Paris. Jeep will also bring customized versions of the Renegade and Wrangler to the City of Light.
However, Marchionne is also boss at Ferrari, and the Prancing Horse has two vehicles premiering in Paris. The more exotic one is the open-roof LaFerrari Aperta hybrid hypercar. The GTC4Lusso T with its biturbo V8 is a 610 horsepower (448 kilowatts) shooting brake for the customer who wants a little utility to go with the ample performance.
Marchionne's decision not to visit Paris echoes similar choices by other industry leaders – and even entire marques. For example, senior executives from BMW will skip the event in favor of holding a meeting that will decide the automaker's electric vehicle strategy.
According to a report by Motor1's French team, there's a general sense among execs that motor shows are becoming passé because community events and online debuts offer a better way to engage with customers. Many brands are using this year's Paris Motor Show as an opportunity to test that theory. Mainstream companies like Ford, Mazda, and Volvo are skipping the event this year. Boutique marques don't need the show to grab the interest of wealthy clients, so Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce also aren't attending.
Source: Automotive News