Mercedes-Benz bows out of the 2020 New York Auto Show

It sounds like the German luxury automaker is focusing on new methods of interacting with potential buyers.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
2 min read
Mercedes-Benz/Craig Cole

In some ways, auto shows are an endangered species. Aside from the internet, which has made vehicle shopping far easier than in the past, many car manufacturers seem to prefer hosting private vehicle reveals these days. This enables them to own the news cycle, rather than get lost in the buzz, vying with dozens of other companies for media attention.

Underscoring this trend, Automotive News reports Mercedes-Benz will not be attending the upcoming New York Auto Show . One of the biggest and most important on the annual circuit, it's scheduled for early April 2020.

Mercedes-Benz's exit from New York is curious, as the region is a major market for luxury vehicles. It's worth noting, however, this move is part of a broader trend. In recent years, the venerable German firm has opted out of other auto shows, nixing both Detroit and Chicago from its schedule.

The Stuttgart-based company is not alone in leaving The Big Apple. BMW has also vacated the New York show to focus more attention on experiential events. Furthermore, rivals like Ford and Volvo skipped the Geneva show earlier in the year.

Money is likely a major factor guiding these decisions. It costs untold millions of dollars for an automaker to attend a top-level show and that's cash these firms would probably rather not spend, especially if they don't see a reasonable return from the investment.

It seems Mercedes-Benz is concentrating on launching vehicles and engaging with consumers in different ways, using digital tools and retail-based methods. There's a chance this brand will return to New York in the future, but nothing is official at this time. The company did not immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment about the decision to leave New York.

With Detroit, Chicago and now New York off its auto-show itinerary, will Mercedes-Benz still participate in the 2020 Los Angeles Auto Show ? This is the last major one on the US circuit. Obviously, the city is a huge market for nearly every carmaker, especially luxury brands, so perhaps it will stay the course in LA.

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