Not all manufacturers think auto shows are dead. Fortunately.

At least a dozen manufacturers skipped last year’s Paris Motor Show and then Germany’s big three luxury automakers, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, decided not to attend the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. These days, many companies from the industry are spending larger portions of their marketing budgets on opportunities more relevant to the digital age, rather than traditional auto shows. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean interest in events like the Frankfurt, Paris, and Detroit shows is dead. At least not according to Volkswagen and Toyota.

High-ranked executives from the two manufacturers expressed their general support for large auto shows, especially events where customers can test drive their favorite new cars. Marketing gurus from two of the largest automakers in the world predicted auto shows will continue to play an important role in the marketing strategies of the companies in the automotive industry.

"For us, it's probably one of the most efficient ways to get in front of as many consumers as we possibly can," Derrick Hatami, executive vice president for sales and marketing with Volkswagen Group of America, told journalists during a roundtable at the Chicago Auto Show. "For us, to be able to get access to 11 million people last year with our products, and have them sit in it, touch and feel, and in some instances actually drive them, it's a huge benefit for us. We always do well when people actually drive the product."

But, of course, different automakers prefer different auto shows. In the case of Toyota, the Japanese company believes consumer-oriented shows like the events in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York best fit the brand’s marketing strategy.

"Obviously, it's a big investment for all OEMs, so we have to do it very carefully,” Bill Fay, senior vice president for automotive operations at Toyota, commented. “We're evaluating the investments in all auto shows, but clearly, the Chicagos and the LAs and the New Yorks that are big consumer shows for us. We're going to continue to be very prominent in what we do and how we approach those."

Note: 2020 Detroit Auto Show official preview pictured in the gallery below.

Source: Automotive News

Gallery: 2020 Detroit Auto Show