Tesla, Mini, and Jaguar Land Rover to Skip 2016 Detroit Auto Show
North American International Auto Show Should Still be Well Attended
Three of the world’s most recognizable lifestyle/luxury automakers will take a break from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in 2016. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Mini, and Tesla have each announced that they will not attend the show.
“Following a review of our global consumer engagement program, the decision has been made not to exhibit at the Detroit show in 2016,” said JLR in a statement. According to Detroit News, this isn’t the first time JLR has taken a hiatus from Detroit, as it did the same in 2012. Oddly, that was the same year the Range Rover Evoque was named the North American International Auto Show Truck of the Year.
For its part, Tesla has stated that while the company has a good relationship with NAIAS, its direct-sales business model means it needs to make strategic decisions on where to exhibit. Since the state of Michigan doesn’t allow direct sales, the small, boutique electric manufacturer won’t be able to use its auto show appearance as a sales tool for its brand-new Model X crossover the way it would prefer.
“We are working to change laws so that we are licensed to open stores and service vehicles [in Michigan], until that happens NAIAS is not an optimal venue for driving our mission to put more EVs on the road,” the automaker said in a prepared statement.
However, in spite of Tesla, Mini, and JLR’s absence, things at the Detroit event look promising. According to the Detroit Free Press, NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts expects at least 45 automobile debuts, of which 90 percent will be global vehicles. All the floor space at Detroit’s Cobo Convention Center will be full as well.
"We've got way more demand than we have space. It'll be used," Alberts said, speaking to the Free Press.