No Show at the Show?

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Six major global automotive brands did not attend the Paris motor show this year. Volkswagen Group pulled its Lamborghini and Bentley prestige brands out, confirmation that a number of key global car-makers did not attend the biennial French event this year.

No Show Rolls-Royce.
No Show Rolls-Royce.

Manufacturers including Ford, Volvo, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin all confirmed that they would not be attending this year’s show in the French capital, preferring instead to direct their marketing funds elsewhere. This does not augur well for the Bangkok International Motor Show in 2017.

Automotive News Europe reporting that Ford will invite potential buyers to participate in test drives across the country.

BMW-owned car-maker Rolls-Royce was another no-show. The ultra-luxury brand has chosen to hold smaller, more targeted events, such as cocktail parties, test drives and other intimate gatherings in coastal Italy.

According to Reuters, Bentley said earlier it would miss the 2016 Paris event and instead concentrate its efforts on smaller events where it could more directly market to buyers, while Lamborghini said it was re-evaluating its motor show strategy, which included looking at which locations it would be at in the future.

The cost for a car-maker to set up their often elaborate stands can push into the millions of dollars, with Automotive News Europe reporting that Audi spent €10 million ($A14.8m) for its pavilion at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

A number of international events have either scaled down in recent years or have been cancelled, as was the case with the Australian international motor show that was killed off due to overwhelming costs, lack of support from car-makers and slowing demand before the scheduled 2013 event.

With the Thailand motor industry looking less than positive this year, I expect there will be a scaling down in our Bangkok extravaganza as well, but I do sincerely hope the motor industry will support “our” show, as the motor show has supported the industry for many decades.