Mercedes-Benz bows out of the 2020 New York Auto Show

Is the three-pointed star worried that other brands shine brighter than they do?

1y ago

Mercedes-Benz has decided that they don't want to show up to the New York Auto Show for 2020, which is a shame because that means I will not be able to walk over to their well-carpeted exhibit and sit in an S-Class Coupe while I cry to myself about how I will never be able to afford one.

But enough about me, I'm not the star of this article, and Mercedes-Benz is worried that they aren't the star of the auto show circuit either.

Mercedes-Benz has a recipe similar to what Chevrolet used to do. Unveil a model, and then in a few months, stuff a really powerful engine into it and fit it with some really big wheels. This is all well and good for consumers, but it doesn't make for good publicity. In fact, it kind of ruins the unveiling of new models because people are expecting an AMG version to launch in a couple of months.

Even models like the EQC and the new CLS left me wondering how Mercedes was going to beef up these models for their high-performance variants. Hell, the new AMG GT Four Door exists, but outside of Doug DeMuro's review of it, I haven't seen or heard about it, which can't be good for Mercedes considering people have forgotten a model that starts at $99,000. Then again no one bought the SL either, and everyone knows what an SL is. I digress.

There's also a lot to be said about unveiling a model in a private setting as opposed to an auto show. Typically, automakers will unveil new models on the auto show circuit, either at the show itself, or near the show. This doesn't lead to a lot of focus being given to these models, as most media outlets will do a two minute introduction video, crack a few jokes, and play some B-Roll while rifling off statistics that go in one ear and out the other.

So how is a manufacturer like Mercedes-Benz supposed to keep the attention of the average car enthusiast if they're constantly being upstaged by other luxury brands? Simple. They're going to throw their own party.

Having a launch party for a particular vehicle is costly, but it also commands the attention of the journalists that are sent to cover the event. Buick threw a party for their sixth generation Regal which generated a lot of press. Unlike auto shows where some outlets will do snapshot videos of all the new models, or even a generalized roundup, a launch party focuses on a single model and nothing else. This leads media outlets to produce individualized pieces of content that, in more cases than not, go further in depth than a traditional auto show launch.

The Takeaway

Do I think it's worth it for Mercedes-Benz to have separate launch parties for all their vehicles? No. Considering how vast their lineup is, and then double the vastness to account for their AMG counterparts, their launch party location would have more stars and flashing lights than a rave at the Walk of Fame. That being said, it is a sound business strategy to attempt to be more intimate with consumers and that level of intimacy can't be reached when journalists have ten other cars on their mind that they need to cover.

Do you think that Mercedes-Benz is being ridiculous for dropping out of the New York Auto Show? Comment Below!

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Comments (3)

  • I recently heard that Mercedes was moving towards doing virtual launch parties, essentially a livestream. That works well for Tesla

      1 year ago
  • It is of course ridiculous. It is expensive. However, if they can afford it. Then it's up to their decision to do it. Moreover, it might lead to other manufacturers copying what Mercedes-Benz is doing. If this is being done often by most manufacturers. Then there might be a risk of auto shows becoming unpopular. Not just for the manufacturers, but for the media, and the people as well.

      1 year ago
  • Unfortunate but with the internet the need for auto shows is decreasing. Sad but true

      1 year ago