• Nov 13, 2008
The global economic downturn is affecting other things than the availability of credit, the unemployment rate and the fate of the world's largest automaker. We had already heard that Suzuki was planning on skipping this year's 2009 Detroit Auto Show in January (Porsche passed on the 2008 show), but the small Japanese brand has now been joined by a few heavyweights that compete at the very high end of the automotive spectrum. It turns out that Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Land Rover are all three not attending this year's Detroit show, presumably because they don't have anything exciting to announce and the money could be better spent elsewhere.

What's surprising about this trio of top shelf brands missing out on Detroit is that we always thought luxury goods were least vulnerable to a crappy economy. Sure the middle class and poor get poorer, but the super wealthy usually have a few million stuffed under their mattresses to see them through. Thus, if not less expensive Land Rovers, at least Ferraris and Rollers would still be bought in decent numbers. Apparently that's not the case, as even the most expensive of autos are seeing sales slow and if they don't have a new production vehicle or concept car to show, then a trip to Detroit is the vacation nobody wants to take.

[Source: LA Times, Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Next post: "All Automakers ditching the Auto Show, Scion left on it's own"
      • 6 Years Ago
      Times have changed considerably since I went to the '04 NAIAS for press days.

      Why have Rolls and Ferrari in a city where few can afford them? If you hadn't noticed, the latest Ferrari (the California) is debuting in far more relevant Los Angeles, where locals who can actually afford the car are very likely to show up. Even more important the cognoscenti are much more wired these days, and don't need to make it to Detroit to be kept aware of the latest products.

      Besides, the weather in Detroit sucks this time of year. If I was from Italy or even England I'd much rather spend company dollars to get to LA.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed.
        Frankly, I'm not sure what else Ferrari, RR, or Land Rover would introduce there (other than outlandish one-off concepts).
      • 6 Years Ago
      if you were an exec from any of these companies would you really want to spend any time in a craphole like Detroit? Especially after you have partied like a rock star in L.A.?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Venus Models Online staffs models for car show,promotional events, and parties go to http://www.venusmodelsonline.com e-mail us at info@venusmodelsonline.com for bookings.
      • 6 Years Ago
      DAMIT!! I wanted to see the Ferrari Califorina.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oakland county Michigan …. Just a stones throw north of Detroit is in the top ten per capita in the country. One of the top selling Ferrari dealers in the country is located in West Bloomfield. Just so you know. I do agree the Detroit show should be moved to a Spring or Summer time period.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There have been WAY too many shows, concepts, news events, etc. for years. Really, do we need a bunch of useless concept/dream cars right now?

      No.

      No, we do not.

      Car shows exist so the local dealers can move metal. If people don't go to shows to buy new cars anymore (they don't), then the shows will die.

      Life goes on.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Detroit is STILL a huge player in the global auto industry, despite the woes at GM, Ford and Chrysler. Southeast MI is home to the most automotive R&D in the western hemisphere. Besides the 3 domestics, Toyota and Hyundai have major R&D sites, plus the headquarters and R&D centers of nearly every major North America supplier. Even boutique car builder Fisker thinks Detroit is important enough to open a major facility here: http://www.autoblog.com/2008/11/12/fisker-sets-up-shop-in-pontiac-michigan/

      I live here. Get some knowledge before spouting yr ignorance. 80honda: Is this just yr favorite car or what yr driving while yr in yr 10th year of college?

      • 6 Years Ago
      Once Lambo and Bentley pull out I won't even bother going.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As long as the booth babes don't pull out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        it's all about lambo and bentley baby! and bugatti...
      • 6 Years Ago
      ok, who cares if Detroit is a ghetto now? Detroit is still the heart of auto industry, whether you like it or not, NAIAS is still the major show for any car manufacturer, Chicago doesn't come close. It's not about selling cars in Detroit, its the world stage, the main car show in US. If they will skip it in '09, doesn't mean they won't be here in '10.

      People don't understand this, it doesn't matter if NY or LA has more people with money, Detroit is still the heart of auto industry.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry, but Detroit is NOT the heart of the auto industry.

        Detroit is the heart of a broken and failing GM, Ford and Chrysler, but Detroit is NOT the heart of the auto industry.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Is the economy really this bad?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Companies announced that they wouldn't be at the Detroit show since before the economic meltdown.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not to sound like a jerk, but I can't imagine that Rolls and Ferrari make a significant number of sales in Michigan. They're better off focusing on Chicago, LA, and NYC.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It isn't necessarily just about Michigan. NAIS serves a major chunk of the midwest.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think Chicago is the better midwest show. After all, it is much larger and has more exhibits.
    • Load More Comments