The automotive world has been stunned by the seemingly sudden exodus of automakers from the Detroit auto show—long one of the biggest on the calendar—but it seems that it’s not just Detroit that has to worry.
Volvo is among those who skipped Detroit this year, and today it announced that it won’t have a booth at the Geneva auto show in 2019, either. Further, the automaker says that you shouldn’t necessarily expect to see it at other auto shows, either.
That’s not to say that it won’t ever attend auto shows, just that a Volvo booth is no longer a given.
“We are not saying never to car shows,” said Bjorn Annwall, Senior VP of Strategy. “We expect industry events like the Geneva show to continue evolving and we may return in future.”
Instead, Volvo will focus on more “purpose-specific” ways of getting its new cars into the public eye.
“The ongoing change in the car industry is creating new audiences for Volvo Cars and new ways of bringing products to the market,” said Annwall. “Automatic attendance at traditional industry events is no longer viable – we must tailor our communications based on how the options complement our messaging, timing and the nature of the technology we are presenting.”
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In Detroit’s case, the show’s temporal proximity to the Consumer Electronic’s Show (CES) in Las Vegas is widely seen as one of its major stumbling blocks. CES, a showcase for high tech tricks, is attracting more and more automakers who are using technology to separate themselves from the crowd.
Volvo’s partnerships with Amazon and Google could easily make CES or similar shows a more attractive prospect since traditional auto shows only get you in front of traditional car buyers, not the tech set that high-end automakers are chasing after.
Additionally, Volvo is looking for events that suit its brand specifically, like Milan fashion, where Volvo introduced the XC40. The V60, meanwhile, Volvo introduced at a suburban driveway in Stockholm and the S60 will be revealed at Volvo’s new Charleston, South Carolina plant, so no event is too big or too small.