To say that large events are spitting and sputtering their way back into action would be massively underselling the challenges facing promoters and showrunners in the age of Covid variants and travel-related headaches. While some car-related sporting events have been carried out – witness the various and sundry major auto races this year – indoor events like trade shows continue to have challenges.
The latest? CES in Vegas. After becoming the defacto replacement for the Detroit Auto Show at this time of year, more than a few carmakers have decided to pull out of the event after promising big reveals this year at one of the world’s largest tech shows.
And before you all get your knickers in a knot, it is true that CES usurped Detroit in the latter’s waning years – like it or not. The convention center in Vegas quickly became a hotbed of new tech-related car reveals once OEMs figured out there were (overall) more eyes there than in their backyard. Surrounded by technology and like equipment, it made a lick of sense to introduce THE FUTURE at such an event – be it an electric vehicle or some sort of gee-whiz software. We will also postulate that it’s easier to get people to attend a January event in the desert than in the frostbitten environs of Michigan.
General Motors announced its intention to scale back its in-person displays at CES, including the unveiling of their new all-electric Silverado, which has been moved to an online event. The timing of this truck’s launch is said to remain the same, just absent boots on the ground in Vegas. In a similar tent, companies such as Waymo have also bailed on CES for this year.
Not all car companies are scuttling away. As of this writing, Stellantis is still in the mix, planning to bring their Chrysler Airflow concept vehicle along with some other out-of-market machines like the Citroën Ami urban EV. Why is the latter on display when it has no chance of plying American streets? Company suits are calling them “tangible waypoints” in the group’s efforts to shift its attention to all things electric. More relevant to short-term sales at home is the Grand Cherokee 4xe, which will also be in attendance.
Speaking of sales on this side of the pond, VinFast will also have a presence at CES, showing off their entire launch lineup in one fell swoop. Three of them will be shown for the first time, representing VinFast’s entry into the A-, B-, and C-class segments of electric vehicles. The VF e35 and VF e36, playing in the D and E segments, were released at the LA Auto Show in November 2021. At CES, they’re also planning to show off their suite of tech, including automated parking and summon-like features plus several strategic partnerships with other companies.
Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology, CES 2022 will take place in person and digitally from Jan. 5th – 8th in Sin City.
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.