After more than a half-dozen auto makers decide to keep the champagne on ice and skip the sprawling North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month, citing poor economic conditions, officials with the typically modest and sedate Geneva auto show proclaim their event “a sellout” in bold-face type.
“The organizers of the show are delighted that all of the major automobile manufacturers will be exhibiting, in spite of the alarming developments in the industry during the past few weeks,” Geneva officials say in an uncharacteristically brash press release from the most diplomatic of international auto shows.
The declaration comes three months ahead of the show.
Organizers of the 79th Geneva exhibition also remind the industry of its status as the only annual international auto show in Europe. International shows in Paris and Frankfurt alternate years.
Geneva organizers additionally say the Swiss show will establish a special “green pavilion” next year to accommodate auto makers presenting electric or other alternatively powered vehicles. An environmentally friendly theme has deeply permeated recent international auto shows, dating back to Frankfurt in 2007.
The Detroit auto show, long considered the granddaddy of auto shows and typically where auto makers show their most significant products, has witnessed eight manufacturers pull out from the event in the last two years.
Motor Co. Ltd. became the latest to skip Detroit this week, following similar decisions from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd., American Suzuki Motors Co., Motors North America Inc., Tata Motors Ltd.’s Land Rover division and Ferrari SpA. Motor Co. Ltd. says while executive will be on hand, it will not be showing new products.
also has pulled out of the Chicago Auto Show. Porsche Cars North America Inc. skipped Detroit last year and will do so again this year.
Marketing experts characterize the decisions as predominately cost-cutting moves in a weak economy.