"They are a product of the 1960s."
Volkswagen Group chairman Herbert Diess predicts a grim future for the auto show as we know it.
"Motor shows are dead. They are a product of the 1960s and they are not as relevant anymore. They're not delivering what we want and they're not delivering what car buyers want," Diess told Australian website Motoring.
Diess added the traditional auto show model -- where a car is unveiled for the media and displayed under spotlights for the duration of the event -- isn't appealing to attendees anymore. "People need to see more interaction with the product. They expect it. Those days of relying on tradition are gone. It's events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed that are showing us modern ways to show cars to people," he explained.
The entire Volkswagen Group recently confirmed plans to skip the biennial Paris auto show that will open its doors later this year. Jean-Claude Girot, the head of the company that organizes the event, told Reuters Volkswagen will return to the show in 2020. The brand hasn't confirmed its participation yet.
Other companies have come to the same conclusion. In May, Fiat- Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced its Fiat, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo brands will skip the Paris show. Maserati will attend, surprisingly. Ford, Opel, Mazda, and Volvo will also sit out the event.