Are auto shows becoming more irrelevant in this digital age? If you ask the marketing director of French carmaker Peugeot, Guillaume Couzy, the answer could be yes. This comes as Couzy disclosed that the Peugeot would not be taking part in the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show scheduled for September next year. To note, Peugeot participated in the previous edition of the auto show, unveiling several remarkable vehicles in the process.
Missing an auto show could mean loss of several opportunities for a carmaker. Carmakers are usually selective in which auto shows they would want to take part in. Auto shows serve as good marketing tools to introduce upcoming and new products as well as to excite customers about future and possible offerings. Thus, if a European carmaker wants to market a certain SUV in the United States, it could unveil its new vehicle in the New York Auto Show or in the Detroit Motor Show.
Likewise, if a Japanese carmaker wants to make it big in Germany or France, it could showcase its offerings in the auto shows in Frankfurt or Paris. Automotive press and journalists attending these events offer wide coverage and reach. Thus, missing an important auto event like the Frankfurt Auto Show could result to lesser coverage, and ultimately lower sales.
However, in the past few years and past major auto shows around the world, such wasn’t the case. Peugeot’s reason for its decision to skip the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show could shed some light on why carmakers are increasingly missing major motor shows.
Couzy has remarked that instead of taking part in the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show, Peugeot will focus more on web marketing. It should be noted that carmakers Ford, Volvo, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce skipped the recent Paris Motor Show as they focused on digital marketing. Couzy remarked that money saved from skipping the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show would be invested by Peugeot in digital marketing. According to Couzy, the allocated funds for digital marketing used to account for just 15 percent of the total marketing budget three years ago. However, that chunk has grown double to around 30 percent. Couzy added that the share of digital marketing on the total marketing budget could reach 50 percent by 2020. According to Couzy, Peugeot will focus on events that would further allow potential customers to try its cars.
But it seems there is another compelling reason why Peugeot is skipping the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show – it only holds a diminutive 1.7 percent share of the German auto market. So, practically, there is little reason for Peugeot to spend so much on a show when it only expects a little return.