Paris motor show absentee list grows with Opel not attending

24 September 2018

Paris motor show absentee list grows with Opel not attending

24 September, 2018

Opel and its British arm Vauxhall have announced they are not attending the Paris motor show next month, becoming the latest manufacturer to skip the event.

The brand already missed the Geneva show earlier this year, and will not participate in Europe’s next biggest show of the year.

‘We decided to put a stronger emphasis on our own events for the upcoming product launches,’ an Opel/Vauxhall spokesman told Automotive News Europe. He said Opel would return to shows ‘when it makes business and communications sense.’

Carmakers accounting for 40% of European sales will be missing from the biannual event in the French capital, with Volkswagen, Ford, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and all its brands, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Mazda all saying they will not participate at the show.

Luxury brands Bentley, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and McLaren also won’t be at Paris.

‘In terms of the European shows, we are happy with just Geneva in March,’ a Bentley spokesman said.

The Paris show claimed to have over one million visitors the last time it ran in 2016, with 10,000 journalists attending the event.

Last year’s IAA in Frankfurt saw Peugeot, Nissan, Jeep, Volvo and Mitsubishi stay away, while numerous other manufacturers have pulled out of the US-based Detroit show. Paris and Frankfurt, which alternate each year, also suffer by being the home country for some of Europe’s biggest brands, diluting the message of smaller companies.

The growing list of absentees for the event, which opens to the press on 2 October, highlights the shift in policies of some of the world’s biggest manufacturers. Automotive shows are no longer seen as a necessity for new model launches, with companies preferring smaller, more intimate launches, digital events or other new avenues of bringing their models to the attention of the public.

Therefore, the cost of attending car shows, and the need to ensure stands are big, glamorous and captivating, is no longer worthwhile for many of the big brands.

Other options include smaller events, such as the UK’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, traditionally a motorsport event it now attracts car companies, who flock to advertise their models in a more ‘hands-on’ environment to vehicle enthusiasts.

In order to entice manufacturers and visitors back, the Detroit show has taken the biggest step of all current flagship events, moving from its traditional winter dates to summer, and including some new initiatives to bring manufacturers and consumers together.

In a release, organisers highlighted that auto show dynamics are changing globally, as the industry undergoes its biggest shift in more than a century. With this, automakers are seeking out increasingly creative ways to debut vehicles and engage with consumers.