BMW Won’t Be At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show

It's the latest in a growing list of foreign automakers pulling out of Detroit.

Following in Mercedes-Benz’s footsteps, BMW is pulling out of next year’s Detroit Auto Show becoming the latest in a growing list of foreign automakers that have chosen to sit out of the Michigan trade event. In a statement to Automotive News and reiterated in an email to The Drive, “BMW Group has decided to withdraw from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This decision was made as BMW Group is constantly examining our presence at trade-shows and other engagements, while, at the same time, also exploring alternative platforms and formats. The overall goal is to communicate our ideas and plans regarding future mobility in the best way and achieve the greatest possible visibility for our products, technologies, and innovations.”

The news comes as NAIAS organizers contemplate rescheduling the show from January to October in order to move it away from frigid weather conditions and the Consumer Electronics Show that happens just a week ahead in Las Vegas. 

The Bavarian automaker’s planned absence is the latest nail in the coffin for the Detroit show’s already-questionable relevance. On top of Mercedes and now BMW’s withdrawals, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Mazda, BMW subsidiary Mini, and most players in the exotic and ultra-luxury segment were already nowhere to be seen at this year’s event. 

Frankly, it’s not hard to see why this is happening. In an age where everything people need to know about your latest cars can be screened through instant, online press releases and magazines like this one, who wants to brave the harsh Michigan winter, spend millions on an elaborate stand, and deal with yet another week of jetlag?