Mazda, Bentley and Lamborghini have joined Ford, Rolls-Royce and Volvo on the list of automakers that will skip the Paris auto show, which starts next week. The Japanese, British and Italian automakers will instead focus on smaller events that are less costly and provide less competition for attention.
Mazda Europe CEO Jeff Guyton told Automotive News Europe in February that the automaker's involvement in the Paris show was undecided because it was difficult for Mazda to make an impact at the event, which is dominated by France's Renault and PSA Group. The automaker later confirmed that it would not attend the show. Instead it's French arm will invest in a campaign to lure customers to its retailers in the country to see Mazda's updated lineup.
"The decision not to participate in the 2016 Paris show does not represent a change to our global motor show strategy," a Mazda Europe spokesman said in an email reply to questions. "Global motor shows are an excellent platform to communicate the Mazda brand and new products to an international audience."
Car shows cost millions of euros as brands, especially luxury nameplates, strive to outshine one another. It's a cost that Volkswagen Group won't spend this year for its Bentley and Lamborghini brands as it reduces spending to preserve funds to cover the costs of its global emissions-cheating scandal.
Bentley said it was skipping the show to focus on small events to market more directly to buyers. Lamborghini said it was revising strategy regarding auto show attendance, including the choice of locations where the Italian brand wants to be.
VW brand will present stationary cars with a focus of executive speeches on design, a company spokesman said. VW Group subsidiaries Audi, Seat and Skoda will also have stands at the Paris show.
Mazda's Guyton also hinted at the automaker's plans to skip the Paris show when speaking with ANE at this year's Geneva auto show in March. At that time he told ANE that Mazda felt "there is a significant opportunity to engage the customer base in a different way and create a more lasting relationship."
Reuters contributed to this report