Luxury carmaker Bentley Motors Inc. has bowed out of attending the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month, joining three other automakers in skipping the Detroit auto show.
Bentley informed show organizers in late summer that it did not intend to participate in the show, said Max Muncey, public relations manager for the show and the Detroit Auto Dealers Association.
“That’s not a new development,” Muncey said Monday. “We’ve known that for a long time.”
Bentley said in a statement Monday: “Our focus in the U.S. is on intimate and experiential events that directly reach current and prospective Bentley customers. We are working closely with our U.S. dealers on many of these programs while continuing some of our traditional and successful events, such as our bespoke Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance program. This is not a new strategy, we conducted a unique event in New York in April 2015 during the auto show and we did the same in Los Angeles during the auto show last month, and we will continue on this plan during 2016.”
In recent weeks, show organizers have confirmed automakers Jaguar Land Rover, Tesla Motors Inc. and BMW’s Mini would not have a presence at the 2016 show. Aston Martin, however, is returning to the show for the first time since 2009, Muncey said.
Both Jaguar Land Rover and Mini said the Detroit show did not align with their respective brand strategies. Tesla, in a statement issued Friday, said it relies on shows to engage with customers and to help it sell more cars. The automaker can’t sell vehicles in Michigan currently, though it is working to change laws in the state to allow it.
“Until that happens, NAIAS is not an optimal venue for driving our mission to put more EVs on the road,” a Tesla spokeswoman said in an email.
Media days for the Detroit show are slated for Jan. 11-12 and public days are Jan. 16-24.