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Mercedes-Benz Confirms It Will Skip Detroit Auto Show in 2019 (bloomberg.com)
74 points by doener 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 43 comments

I can see the Detroit Auto Show slowly fading away unless they really revamp it. Two suggestions:

1) Don't hold it in the dead of winter, and instead move it to a time when it's warm out

2) Move out of the Cobo Center. Belle Isle could use a defining event, so perhaps they could hold it there.

Please no, Belle isle is a state park, (formerly city) the grand prix is already too much. (Could you imagine a 'Central Park grand prix'? or 'Hyde Park Heavy Digger Convention' etc...) these are beautiful spaces because historically they have been reserved for peaceful and quiet enjoyment.

I loved being able to take a Saturday and go to Detroit while I was in college in Cleveland, so selfishly I'd be against moving it to the summer. As a more practical concern, I would assume the show is when it is because it corresponds to manufacturer's debut schedules.

In terms of 2), what's wrong with the Cobo center? Being downtown is nice for walking around etc after.

There's nothing wrong with the Cobo Center, it's just that it happens in the middle of the winter. If you can't take the People Mover to Cobo or park real close, it can be a major pain in the butt to walk there.

I guess since I was a resident of the midwest, it never really bothered me :)

I can certainly understand for visitors from around the country why it'd be a pain.

The IAA is also on the decline (with some major OEMs missing), so I think it's a general trend of huge trade show becoming obsolete (mainly because they impose a timeline on the product roadmap that the OEMs don't want to follow).

They could have it coincide with the Woodward Dream Cruise[0] and put show rooms and panels along key points on Woodward.


That could actually work. Only thing you'd have to watch out for is thunderstorms, however that'd probably be easier for people to deal with then snow & freezing temperatures.

Only in May when the temperature is warm enough and the humidity is low enough.

Too cold? They should consider heating the Cobo Center with the exhaust of "clean" diesel engines.





>The exhaust fume tests were carried out by EUGT, a now disbanded body that had been funded by VW as well as rivals Daimler, which owns Mercedes Benz, and BMW.

>Last week the New York Times reported that EUGT had exposed 10 monkeys to fumes - in an air-tight chamber - from several cars, including a diesel VW Beetle, at a lab in Albuquerque.

>In his first public comments on the test, Mr Mueller said: "The methods used by EUGT in the United States were wrong, they were unethical and repulsive. I am sorry that Volkswagen was involved in the matter as one of the sponsors of EUGT."

>Germany's Stuttgarter Zeitung and SWR radio reported that 19 men and six women had inhaled diesel fumes in another EUGT experiment.

VW admits the "optics" of gassing monkeys and humans with diesel exhaust doesn't look quite as good as the "optics" of Hitler delightfully grinning and endorsing their product:


Whoever is interested in this should take a look at Netflix' "Dirty Money" Episode 1. Alex Gibney (also directed Enron - smartest guys in the room) gives a good overview of the scandal, if you haven't been following it closely on the news. Very interesting, although I would have appreciated a deep dive into the actual algorithms used.. I'm sure there's articles on this though..

Regarding the human tests, as scandalous at it sounds on first glance, the SWR & ARD (government funded news channels similar to the BBC) also reported that it apparently isn't unusual to do this kind of human testing. The subjects were exposed to one specific kind of gas, and the dose, according to their correspondent, was less than what someone living at a busy street consumes regularly.

He mentioned that even Greenpeace "knows of these studies", referring to them in one of their papers.., whatever that means exactly.. He also states that the scientists were openly communicating that they were funded by the car manufacturers.

https://www.swr.de/swraktuell/bw/neben-affen-auch-menschenve... (google translate should do a good job if you don't understand German..)

With the monkeys at least the issue wasn't the actual gassing with fumes (as awful as that sounds), it was the fact that the monkeys were getting gassed with diesel fumes from a car that had the cheat-mod on it -- so the study was being used to show low harm from their 'clean' emissions car which in the real world was far more harmful. Absolutely unethical.

I have to say...that's one good looking car: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Benz+Concept+EQA+electric+vehicle&...

I've seen many concept cars that looked "interesting" but rarely have I ever wanted one as much as this.


It looks pretty much like a standard 'B' class.


And by the time it will be in the showrooms it will probably look even more like it.

The A class used to be such an ugly car but I must say I really like the look of the new model. That one designed as an electric car (which the concept car would be) looks very compelling.

Well, they essentially copied the look of the BMW 1 series. Too bad BMW is giving up on the sports pedigree of the 1 series by switching to a FWD base.

I hope not! Their new concept car reminds me of the BMW i8 -- which I adore.

Occasionally see one of those parked around SF -- pictures and video don't do it justice.

The i8 looks great, but it's a low-performance car in all-electric mode. And a slow seller -- 32 sold in the USA in January.

Wikipedia said its the top selling car in it's category:

> Global sales since mid-2014 totaled more than 10,000 BMW i8s by early November 2016, making the i8 the world's top selling plug-in electrified sports car. The top selling markets are the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.

It looks amazing, but there is no real reason to buy it. If I had a few more million I would still do it :-)

Saw a matte black one in San Mateo recently, OMG so gorgeous.

How do you know the exact number sold nationwide last month?

(I'd think the company would not release exact low figures)

BMW actually puts out a press release every month detailing the exact number of cars it sold in the preceding month broken down by model: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/article/attachment/T02776...

Other manufacturers do similar things.

This is pretty surprising. What do they get out of doing this? It's competitively valuable market information but I don't see why customers would benefit from knowing the exact numbers - so I don't get why they do this.

Investors expect this information so if they stopped it would be assumed they were hiding bad numbers. Further the information will trickle out in the form of car registration statistics anyways so they aren't giving you anything you couldn't get elsewhere.

There's a few places that keep track of this data, http://carsalesbase.com/european-car-sales-data/bmw/bmw-i8/ for one. I have seen sales figures for most brands shown publicly, so I don't think it's something they keep to themselves.

This year Mercedes relaunched the G-Wagen with Dieter and Arnie paying lip service to an electric future. This was at a side show adjunct to Detroit Auto Show in venues of Mercedes choosing. It is as if they have decided they are too big for the show.

Mercedes have their own world whether it is F1 or those AMG road cars, they have something for everyone that wants luxury performance. There is no need to have a few Chevy and Ford efforts in this world of theirs, they are not communicating their brand to their customers with consumer comparisons.

Furthermore, the domestic U.S. manufacturers and their international brands (e.g. former 'Vauxhall') are making region specific cars, the German marques generally offer 'world' cars that are the same everywhere to some extent. This year their G-Wagen was something they could take to Detroit, in most years, for most of their products, I am sure Mercedes think of doing the launch in their home market for a global audience. They can fly out all the influencers and journalists they need to Germany, put them up in nice hotels, let them do autobahn speeds and get all the reviews they need.

I like cars, and in particular I like GM's electric vehicle program and technology.

So it was strange to me that the Detroit Auto Show came and went I was blow away that GM (or Chrysler or Ford) didn't announce any new EVs or even promote their existing EVs there -- despite GM having stated recently they intend on launching at least a dozen new plugins before 2020. All the big 3 showed at the Detroit show were tacky muscle ICE cars and big boring trucks.

I imagine they will announce those cars or at least some concepts this spring, instead, at a different auto show. Which is a pretty sad statement about the Detroit show that the Detroit manufacturers don't even take it seriously as a venue for their future products.

It's like CEBIT/Hannover Messe for PC stuff (or COMDEX if you're from the USA), all that stuff has moved online and only inertia keeps the remainder going.

There was a time when going to tradeshows was a must to stay up-to-date, nowadays it is mostly a waste of time.

For major brands, yes. It sure makes it hard for little brands to get noticed, however, when the tradeshows go away. My dad has been in the bicycle business since the early 70s and I used to go to Interbike (the big tradeshow) with him. I remember when Timbuk2, the bag company, made its debut there. They were tiny but did something nobody had ever done before: the owner brought his seamstresses to the show and they sewed custom bags on-demand right there at the show. Everybody wanted one and they were minor status symbols at the show that year. That was a huge turning point for them and they got very popular after that.

This kind of exposure just wouldn't happen in the social media age, where everybody is trying bold, non-scalable antics to get attention, but it might work at a tradeshow--if they still exist.

> going to tradeshows was a must to stay up-to-date

For actual information, yes, I agree. For trying out new stuff directly in a short amount of time, trade shows are pretty effective. Depends a lot on the product category.

We have all seen how little dealer support that electric cars need - not enough to support the traditional IC engined cars with all their fail modes. To be sure, Mercedes dealers can managing the long slow decline in service that an electric Mercedes fleet will bring over the next 10-20 years - keeping the declining rust buckets going. So a smart car maker may even move to the Tesla model over that time period, especially with the anticipated changes in the car market that is predicted with self driving cars etc.

We have all seen how little dealer support that electric cars need - not enough to support the traditional IC engined cars with all their fail modes

Isn’t this compensated for by them having fewer user serviceable or diagnosable parts requiring a trip to the dealer for any maintenance? I don’t know, just curious

Yes, this gives fewer tasks that dealers can perform = less $$ earned. You have all see the high rates charged for all jobs, compared to free market repair shops and how they try to make it had for anyone but a dealer to access data, same as Tesla

If Tesla is any indication, then EVs are going to keep service departments quite busy. Building reliable EVs continues to elude the entire auto industry.

Strange, Consumer Reports indicates fewer repairs with the exception of the gullwing coupe, which was and is a bonehead idea - even Mercedes abandoned it. This said, once mature, I would expect simple rotary electric engines to need less service - I have not yet seen a customer reported service feedback grid. On true Delta they seem good.


Your link literally ranks the Model S as "Worst" in terms of repair frequency.

A small sample. 35 cars from 2017 Trim stuff must have been the majority. Hard to square this with the CR reviews. I am not sure if there was a gas engine dealer conspiracy in action here? Engine (9%) Transmission (0%) Brakes (0%) Suspension (3%) Electrical and AC (34%)

The Detroit Auto Show (and most others) are dead, they just haven't stopped moving yet. Year after year the displays have shrunk, and the focus has turned to the LA auto show, and Chicago. I think we'll see the show circuit collapse down to one, maybe two, premiere shows and the rest will go away.

I don't know why anyone is going to any auto shows.

They can just send a flyer that says "blah blah not electric blah blah".

Done and done.

I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to go to Detroit either.

Really though, I'd take about any excuse to go there because Detroit style pizza is amazing. If you haven't had it, I highly recommend it.

But to be more on topic, I think it's really interesting that tech and cars seems to be converging enough that CES is becoming more appealing than the Detroit Auto Show. With Ford planning on cutting a large portion of their line in the near future, it'll be really interesting to watch how this market continues to change over the next decade or so.

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