Audi has decided to pick its battles.
When it comes to highly anticipated, high profile automotive shows, New York is definitely one of the largest and most popular. Slated for April of this year, expect to see the latest and greatest from the manufacturers we all love. Well, except for Audi. The four-ringed carmaker is the latest from Bavaria to jump on the bandwagon, joining the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Automotive News picked up the story and Audi of America confirmed through official channels on Friday, January 10.
Gallery: 2019 Audi S8
According to Tara Rush, Audi of America's chief communications officer, the carmaker confirmed its absence, stating that it is "important to review the way we bring the Audi experience to life and introduce our new products and innovations to media and customers." Granted, the cost to participate in one of the largest US automotive shows can be staggering, but does it justify having to give up at least a million warm bodies in foot traffic annually? Apparently, Audi says that it will "continue to evaluate auto shows on a case-by-case basis moving forward, determine if they are the best platform for U.S. and world premiers of our upcoming models." It could all just be a case of tightening their belts and reshuffling their priorities, but it's no secret that the controversies have had some impacts on all fronts.
All is not lost, however, as the organizers of the show were made aware of Audi of America's decision about a month ago, and have been working on a plan to keep some sort of Audi presence on the floor by show time together with local Audi dealers. Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, said that Audi's decision angered the dealers who benefit directly from the brand's participation. "It's such an important market; the New York [metro area] is the No. 1 market for Audi. That's what took us by surprise," Schienberg said. "You're giving up a show that brings a million people to your product."