Despite releasing its all-newcrossover this fall, Tesla will not make an appearance at the . The all-electric automaker is the third manufacturer to step away from the spotlight, after both Mini and Jaguar Land Rover announced that they, too, would be taking a year off.
While this might set the tinfoil-hat crowd abuzz, the truth is that sometimes schedules just don't work out. "Automakers come [to Detroit] to break world news," said Max Muncey, NAIAS spokesman. "When you look at the recent turnover at our show, lots of it has to do with product cycles." Mini debuted its newat the Los Angeles Auto Show, and Land Rover introduced the there, as well. Jaguar had no new product to display.
Tesla, on the other hand, does have a new model to show off. However, given that Michigan's state government banned manufacturers from selling cars directly, it's impossible to buy one within the state's borders. The automaker did appear at last year's show, but it had only a small display. Tesla did not immediately return a request for comment, but it's unlikely that a direct-sales ban has anything to do with the company pulling out.
Thankfully, even as these doors are closing, a window is opening on the other side of Cobo Hall. "This gives us an opportunity to bring in Aston Martin," Muncey said. "They don't traditionally participate in shows from a corporate perspective." This is Aston's first appearance at NAIAS since 2009. BMW is also expanding its floor space to take over what Mini is leaving behind. Don't expect any empty booths come January.
Even though the departures seem sudden, and somewhat close to the show's early-January kickoff, Muncey explained that it's all part of working in the auto industry. "These brands have all been great partners to us. When you look at a show with 30-40 brands on display, you're going to get a little ebb and flow each year," he said.
You, dear reader, should not pass on Detroit this year, lest you miss out on the launch of Roadshow.