The traditional auto show circuit is in trouble. Numerous automakers have begun to pass over bread-and-butter auto shows for private events, and many brands opt to reveal new cars ahead of scheduled press days at auto shows themselves. The strategy ensures the press is focused on one thing at a time.
Now, Volkswagen chairman Herbert Diess has said the idea of traditional auto shows is dead. He told Motoring in a Tuesday report that auto shows “are a product of the 1960s and they are not as relevant anymore. They’re not delivering what we want and they’re not delivering what car buyers want.”
Diess made the comments at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, which has become a modern blueprint for what auto shows could morph into. The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) even attended the FoS to study the event and take away some of the festival’s bright spots.
DADA announced the Detroit show will move from January to June to take advantage of warmer weather and separate itself from the auto show circuit and the Consumer Electronics Show.
The Detroit Auto Show won’t morph into a clone of the Festival of Speed, which would be nearly impossible to recreate in downtown Detroit, but it will take on a more festival-like atmosphere. Organizers plan for food trucks, dynamic vehicle debuts with outdoor displays, ride and drives, concerts and more for showgoers to partake in. Gone will be the days of putzing around COBO Hall to simply see cars spinning on a display.
“People need to see more interaction with the product. They expect it. Those days of relying on tradition are gone,” Diess added.