As auto shows become less of a to-do than ever – more companies are opting to show their vehicles off site instead – automakers are beginning to scale back their presence on the show floor. BMW is the latest to do so, with new reports suggesting that the Bavarian marque could severely cut its auto show spending in its home country.
According to the German publication Handelsblatt, BMW is considering slashing its budget to just €5 to €6 million ($6.1 million to $7.3 million) for auto shows like Frankfurt in 2019, down previously from as much as €25 million euros ($30 million). The new reduced spending will lead to a significantly smaller setup in Frankfurt, down from the usual 11,000-square-meter (36,000-square-feet) display, to a mere 3,000-square meters (10,000 square feet) with a focus on newer models almost exclusively.
All that extra cash in hand will go to larger displays at tech expos like CES in Vegas, and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, as well as auto shows in China. This new news coincides with reports that BMW would be pulling out of the Detroit Auto Show entirely in 2019, instead focusing on the aforementioned larger tech shows.
"BMW Group has decided to withdraw from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit," the automaker said in a statement published by Automotive News. "This decision was made as BMW Group is constantly examining our presence at trade-shows and other engagements, while, at the same time, also exploring alternative platforms and formats.”
That same cost cutting measure could make its way to shows like Geneva, where the budget is rumored to be the same as Frankfurt (around €5 to €6 million/$6.1 to $7.3 million). The company hasn’t confirmed any details on shows like Paris, but reports suggest that we could see the same cost cutting measures before 2020.