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BMW skipping 2019 Detroit show

by Ronan Glon

Detroit takes another blow.

Following the path blazed by rival Mercedes-Benz, BMW has announced it will not attend the 2019 edition of the Detroit auto show.

"This decision was made as BMW Group is constantly examining our presence at trade-shows and other engagements, while, at the same time, also exploring alternative platforms and formats," the company explained in a statement sent to Automotive News.

Instead, BMW will start off the year by staging an important reveal at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Munich-based firm hasn't revealed what it has in store yet. Don't expect a new M model given the choice of venue; the model debuting will be electric and/or autonomous.

The decision represents another major blow to the Detroit show, which takes place annually in January. To reverse the trend, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) could move the show to October.

The new date would let auto-makers take advantage of the milder climate to hold outdoor events where the press and the public can get behind the wheel of some of the cars on display. That's exactly what CES has been doing; every year, car and tech companies give rides in autonomous vehicles and offer brief test drives on the roads surrounding the convention center.

Automotive News adds DADA will vote on whether to move the show by mid-April. In the meantime, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz gone, next year's edition of the Detroit show is looking emptier than ever in recent memory.

Photo by Ronan Glon.