Stellantis pulled out of last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show, stating that it was trying to save money amid the now resolved UAW strike. It likewise announced it would be skipping CES for 2024 (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show) for the same reasons.
However, it’s starting to look like the company just isn’t interested in attending the big events anymore. Reports have claimed Stellantis will continue snubbing industry shows located in North America for the foreseeable future, with the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) being the next on the list. Stellantis says dealers can decide if they want to make an appearance at subsequent trade events while corporate takes a pass.
“With a focus on preserving business fundamentals to mitigate the impact of a challenging automotive market in North America, Stellantis is working to optimize its marketing strategy as it relates to auto shows,” the automaker explained to Automotive News Canada on Wednesday.
“At this time, our Toronto-area dealers have agreed to fund all display and activation costs pertaining to the Toronto auto show.”
Here is Stellantis’ general statement about auto shows in full:
With a focus on preserving business fundamentals to mitigate the impact of a challenging U.S. automotive market, Stellantis is working to optimize its marketing strategy as it relates to auto shows.
To be as efficient as possible in our media spend, we are evaluating participation in auto shows on a case-by-case basis, while prioritizing opportunities for consumers to experience our vehicles first-hand.
Stellantis remains committed to building products customers love, ensuring freedom of mobility for all, and becoming second to none in value creation for its employees and all other stakeholders as outlined in the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan.
This is something loads of brands have been working on. With the internet making alternative marketing strategies more feasible, many automakers have scaled back their spending on trade shows to prioritize online media campaigns. Strategic press releases can be highly effective and don’t require anywhere near the manpower or financial investment. Meanwhile, Stellantis can still have some presence at trade events because local dealers will still want to be there during the public days in an effort to bring in sales.
From Automotive News:
Stellantis’ brands as well as the Camp Jeep off-road test track will be returning to the Canadian International AutoShow, which runs Feb. 16-25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CIAS General Manager Jason Campbell said in a recent interview.
[The] Jeep off-road exhibit drew 26,000 people at the 2023 event, he added. “It really stole the show.”
Campbell said at least seven brands that didn’t participate in the 2023 event are returning to CIAS as the industry continues its post-pandemic recovery.
Returning brands were said to include Ford, Lincoln, Volvo, Polestar, Porsche, Infiniti and Genesis.
“There’s also six other brands that we’re set to [unveil] closer to the start of our major ticket sales period, which is end of January,” Campbell added.
Ed. note — We’ve reached out to Stellantis and the Chicago Auto Show to see if Stellantis will be at next month’s Chicago Auto Show. Stellantis told us they would not, on the corporate end, and referred us to the earlier statement. We have not yet heard from the Chicago Auto Show about local dealers’ plans and will update if/when we hear back.
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