Following similar announcements from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Audi announced on Thursday that it will join the rival makes and no longer attend the Detroit auto show. It's the most recent in a series of blows to what many believe is North America's premier auto show.
In a statement to Automotive News Europe (subscription required), an Audi official said, "We will continue to evaluate Auto Shows on a case by case basis relative to the timing of our product introductions and the value the show brings from a media and consumer perspective."
Audi acknowledged the brand's long history with the Detroit show as well. In 2017, the German luxury brand chose Detroit for the debut of its Q8 crossover concept. ANE reached out to Volkswagen for comment on the brand's future relationship with Detroit and VW said it still plans to attend the show in 2019. Audi also plans to attend the New York and Los Angeles auto shows.
As brands continue to pull the plug on Detroit, the show's organizers have been busy working plans to reinvent the North American International Auto Show. Various rumors include a date change to October to provide warmer weather and the opportunity for outdoor displays for automakers. The date change could attract automakers to show off new technologies and self-driving cars.
A spokesman for the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which organizes the Detroit auto show, confirmed talks and plans are underway to provide a "stage that delivers cost-effective opportunities to audiences" that "only Detroit" can offer.
In addition to Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, numerous other brands have pulled out of the Detroit show. They include Mazda, Mini, Volvo, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, and Land Rover.