20 June, 2018

FCA to skip Paris as Volvo focuses on bespoke activities to launch vehicles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has become the latest brand to suggest it will miss one of the large upcoming automotive shows.

The Italian group will miss the Paris car show, set to take place later this year, joining Ford and Volkswagen in skipping the event. Reports in France suggest that none of the company’s brands, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Abarth, will be present at the event.

Maserati will not take a traditional stand, but may have a presence in the ‘Mondial limited’ zone dedicated to supercars, with a decision expected later this month. The Lancia brand will also not display, although this was expected as the make is only available in Italy. However, Ferrari will be present, although this marque was spun out of FCA in 2015.

FCA decided that potential sales and publicity did not justify the outlay to take part in the show, France magazine L’Argus quoted an FCA spokesman as saying. The brand also skipped the Frankfurt show last year.

Last month, Volkswagen (VW) announced it was skipping Paris. The carmaker has scaled back its event commitments since the diesel scandal in 2015, taking only a small stand space at Detroit and Frankfurt, as it looks to cut costs and divert finances into research and development of new technologies.

‘The Volkswagen brand is continually reviewing its participation in international motor shows,’ the carmaker said when announcing the news. Instead of participating with its own stand at the show on 2-3 October, VW said it could host ‘various communications activities’ in the French capital.

Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are not attending the Detroit show in January.

Volvo also recently announced it was missing the 2019 Geneva show. The company has said it will continue its move away from traditional auto industry events to focus on bespoke activities to introduce its new cars, technologies and services to media and consumers.

The company’s most recent new-car launches revealed the XC40 compact SUV at the 2017 Milan Fashion Week and unveiled the new V60 premium mid-size estate in the driveway of a suburban home in Stockholm.

Later this month, Volvo will also launch its new S60 sports saloon at the inauguration of the company’s first US manufacturing plant, in Charleston, South Carolina.

‘The ongoing change in the car industry is creating new audiences for Volvo Cars and new ways of bringing products to the market,’ said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Brand and Retail at Volvo Cars. ‘Automatic attendance at traditional industry events is no longer viable – we must tailor our communications based on how the options complement our messaging, timing and the nature of the technology we are presenting.’