Mercedes-Benz has always been counting on the Detroit Motor Show to boost sales on American territory for the German grand brand. Yet, the three-pointed star company is planning on dropping out of the even in 2019.
“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,” a senior Mercedes executive stated for Autonews. “The G class was the perfect product to debut this year, but the likelihood we will be in Detroit next January is very slim. That doesn’t mean however we are ruling out a return in 2020.”
Mercedes-Benz pulling out of the first car show of the year would mark a major setback for the event that has lately been skipped by brands such as Mazda, Volvo, Porsche, Jaguar and Land Rover, all considering the high costs and eventually preferring to direct their budgets into other directions.
The German premium car maker has been occupying a huge space very near a high-traffic entrance of the Cobo Center in Detroit, so the decision will force the organizers to rethink their floorplan. For this year’s car show, Mercedes chose to set up its G-Class debut conference outside the Center, in a historic theater downtown Detroit, where they were able to fit the facilities that they needed for staging their show. It included hill climbing, flames shooting and former California Governor and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger showing up on the stage next to the Daimler CEO, Dr. Dieter Zetsche.
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Even though Dr. Z has been supporting the company’s presence in Detroit, not even his ties with the city from the era in which he led the former Detroit-based Chrysler Group, can now save the situation and bring Mercedes back.