Unfortunately, the automaker could be absent next year as Automotive News is reporting Mercedes may skip the high-profile event. Nothing is official but an unnamed Mercedes executive told the publication “We have to look at whether a trade show like Detroit fits with the cadence of our launch calendar and whether there’s a more effective format for our needs.” The insider went on to say the chances of returning next year are “very slim” but that doesn’t mean they are ruling out 2020.
While that sounds like a minor issue involving timing, a Daimler insider dismissed the idea by saying “With the number of models we have, there’s always a new car waiting to be launched.” The source went on to say shows such as Detroit are “longer contemporary” and noted “Once you make the decision you’re out, why go back?”
We’ve reached out to Mercedes and will update this post when / if we hear back. Regardless, it’s not hard to understand why auto shows have lost some of their luster in the digital age. Most new vehicles are announced weeks or even months before their auto show debut and it’s incredibly easy for consumers to compare vehicles online rather than at their nearest auto show.
This week’s Chicago show is a prime example of how things have changed. The show used to attract some decent debuts but the headliners this year were low volume models such as the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Volkswagen Arteon.