In what would be another major blow to auto shows, the Volkswagen core brand is allegedly skipping this year’s Paris Motor Show scheduled for the first half of October. Several French publications such as Auto Plus, Turbo, Auto Actu, and Capital are all reporting the VW main brand will not attend the event in The City of Lights.
Speaking with journalists gathered at a roundtable, Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for Sales, Marketing & After Sales, was asked whether the brand he’s representing is going to attend the 2020 Paris Motor Show. To the surprise of many, his answer was: “Probably not. There is no plan to do it this year.”
The biennial Paris Motor Show alternates with Frankfurt, which last year suffered a major drop in the number of visitors by going down from 810,000 in 2017 to only 560,000 in 2019. It is believed one of the reasons for VW’s decision to skip the upcoming French show has to do with the decreasing popularity of IAA. The company is worried about a decline in the number of visitors would consequently mean less exposure for VW, therefore making the financial effort to attend the event hard to justify.
It’s worth pointing out that all reports are mentioning only the VW brand, not the whole Group. In other words, we’re expecting some of the other companies to attend Paris where we’re hoping they’ll introduce new models.
VW’s decision to skip Paris comes only a few days after a similar announcement made by an automaker within the Group to not attend a major auto show. We’re talking about Lamborghini and its decision to not take part in the Geneva Motor Show scheduled for March.
It’s another sign that the importance of auto shows is decreasing, with more and more automakers deciding to organize their own events to launch new cars. It’s not only cheaper in many cases, but a company doesn’t have to worry about a rival stealing the new product’s thunder by sharing the spotlight.