In a short statement to Autoblog, the automaker said they have “had a long and successful history at NAIAS, debuting countless models that Audi customers enjoy today.” However, the company went on to say they have decided not to participate in next year’s show.
Audi declined to say why they are dropping Detroit but the company noted it will evaluate auto shows on a case by case basis. The automaker added auto show attendance will be determined by the “timing of our product introductions and the value the show brings from a media and consumer perspective.”
Audi didn’t rule out the possibility of returning but the announcement is the latest in a series of blows to the North American International Auto Show. The Detroit show is being particularly hard hit as it is facing increased competition from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Besides CES, a number of auto shows are becoming increasingly irrelevant thanks to the internet which allows consumers to easily get the latest automotive news and compare vehicles online.
While Audi is pulling out, Automotive News talked to a Volkswagen spokesperson who confirmed the brand will be at next year’s show. If this is the case, the company could be the only German automaker in Detroit.
NAIAS organizers have been considering a number of moves to stem the exodus and reports have suggested they want to move the show from January to October. The warmer weather could improve attendance and give automakers an opportunity to showcase products outside. The move would also distance the show from CES but put it right between the Frankfurt / Paris and Los Angeles Auto Shows.