It was an announcement that should come as a surprise to exactly no one: Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will not be at the next Montreal and Toronto auto shows in 2020. The move mirrors those made by a number of manufacturers as they have pulled out of automotive shows around the world in the past year or two.
Last year, just in Canada, the famed German brand stayed away from the annual auto shows that take place in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Quebec City.
The Toronto show’s General Manager, Jason Campbell, told the Canadian division of Automotive News that he was not at all surprised by Mercedes-Benz’ decision, as he had been forewarned by the Montreal show’s organizers a few weeks earlier that the automaker would be absent from that show.
“As they weren’t responding to our formal request for space, it was something we had a suspicion about. Sometimes companies do make these decisions. Nissan pulled out a few years ago and Volvo pulled out a few years ago, and they’ve come back into the show. Porsche pulled out and it took them a number of years to get back in”.
Jason Campbell, General Manager, Toronto’s Canadian International AutoShow
At the moment we have no official reaction from the organizers of the Montreal International Auto Show, but we imagine they’re adopting the same philosophical approach. At both events, the space normally taken up by Mercedes-Benz will be redistributed to other manufacturers.
And of course, as alluded to by Campbell, nothing would prevent Mercedes-Benz from reversing course and participating once again in 2021.
It’s common refrain these days to hear that auto shows are not what they used to be. Certainly that is true from the point of view of the media, because with the internet today it’s possible to cover just about any newsworthy event taking place anywhere on the planet. The big losers from this trend away from car shows are of course the visitors that make their way to the exhibition floor, who are paying to see fewer and fewer manufacturers working to seduce them.