• Jan 6th 2009 at 9:28AM
  • 35
Visitors to the Detroit Auto Show will be able to eyeball a bunch of Chinese cars that have virtually no hope of ever being sold in the U.S., but they won't be able to scope out the Maxima... or 370Z... or Cube. You'll remember that Nissan formally announced that neither it nor its luxobrand Infiniti would participate in this year's exhibition, joining a parade of other no-shows. You'll also remember that local dealers had elected to supply their own vehicles to give the brand a floor presence in lieu of the spiked corporate display. That plan is now as dead as the Detroit Auto Show is shaping up to be, since the Tennessee mothership has pulled rank and told the dealers to back off asked dealers to "please respect their decision to not have a presence at the North American International Auto Show," according to auto show co-chair (and Nissan dealer) Doug Fox. Needless to say, the dealers have complied, and some primo floor space is once again available to interlopers from the basement level. Now, who's hungry for more Chinese?

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I do not understand the rationale for this decision.

      If individual dealers want to show (advertise) the product that they sell, and it does not cost the parent company (Nissan) any money, why would this not be encouraged?

      Can someone tell me what I'm missing here? This surely isn't a way to insult Detroit and the NAIAS, is it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        If I wanted to see dealers showing their cars, I would've just gone to the show in Indianapolis. Why travel to Detroit to see what can be seen by driving down the street?

        I've gone to the show for the past 6 years, but thankfully it's an add-on for a yearly trip, as it's getting worse every year.
        • 6 Years Ago
        zamafir - I don't at all question your logic. It makes sense. But keep in the NAIAS is still seen as the premier auto show in North America, esp by people who live outside the States and are not aware of the fact that imports sell more on the coast or whatever. Even here in Canada a lot of people aim more for the Detroit show than others (Chicago, NY) and a lot of the international media also focuses on the NAIAS.

        • 6 Years Ago
        " Detroit isn't the center of any universe."

        Neither is Los Angeles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        to you? sure. that's fine. but to the industry? not really, hence the changes we see brewing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "This surely isn't a way to insult Detroit and the NAIAS, is it?"

        No, I don't think Nissan cares. Look at nation wide car sales, now look at the economic situation in Detroit, the job loss, the amount of people applying for significant help with even the most basic of necessities (increase in food aid, etc), things are very bad in Detroit and MI. I've been thinking about it, everyone complaining Nissan is deliberately trying to offend Detroit needs to return to reality, Detroit isn't the center of any universe. Ever been to a car show staffed/stocked by car dealers? It happens in California a lot, San Diego's or Ontario's, and the effect is a lot less imperssive than when the manufacturer show up. It's that simple. Nissan's not coming and doesn't want a sub par display, all or nothing.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Perhaps. But in mid-Feb when the Toronto Auto Show hits our city, every man, women, child and elderly person treks it downtown through snow/-25C cold and hour long line-ups to go and see the cars.

        It maybe outdated according to pure logic but that doesn't seem to stop people from getting excited about them. And no matter how much things change, Detroit will always be the car capital.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will likely work to Nissan's advantage. Media focus is going to be on the bailout of the Detroit 3 and what they have to offer. The comparisons drawn to the Japan big 3 aren't going to be flattering, and are just as likely to end up in bashings of them. I think Nissan is wise to wait for shows that will happen after the second round of the government bailout talks in February.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree, Detroit has fallen as the center of the car universe. Nissan is smart to not allow the dealers to continue the display. The show will receive a smattering (if that) of mainstream media press. The real story these days is the battle for the Senate seat from Illinois, the economy and anything to do with terrorism.
      People here bemoaning the fact that Nissan won't allow a couple of piddly dealers to show their old (for a trade show) wares should realize the truth behind all of those redneck stickers you see on trucks: Go Big or Go Home. (grin)
      I don't drive a Nissan and am not in the market for a new car. Nissan having ANY sort of presence at the NAIAS would not change the fact that the market is going to only get worse throughout 2009 (yikes!) -- they realize that and are just trying to save some face.
        • 6 Years Ago
        sunrooftop:

        I was going to write similar, but you said it better then I would have anyhow.

        Thank you.

        It's fun to beat up on Detroit anyways, right? How many out there know that Oakland County, Michigan remains one of the wealthiest counties in the US? I'm sure there's no one there who would want to buy a car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have actually bought cars that I fell in love with at an auto show. I can't count the number of times that I wanted to sit in the driver's seat of a car at an auto show, when I could have just gone to a dealership and done the same thing. But the magic just wasn't there. Too bad Nissan, I may not be the only one.

      "C'mon lady! Get your brat out of the cockpit of that Dodge Caravan. He can't drive for 10 more years anyways!" (me in the offchance I might trade my BMW 330 ci in for a minivan. Auto shows make me craaazzzy like that.)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Trade your beautifully engineered and perfectly tuned BMW 330 ci for a minivan? That is blasphemy!
      • 6 Years Ago

      The only new cars they could show are the 370Z and Cube I guess.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is Subaru, BMW, M-B or Audi going to be in Detroit? If the answer is yes, then Nissan has no excuse at all whatsoever. Yes, things are tight up there but when the economy picks up and Nissan all of a sudden wants floorspace, I'd find it rather amusing if they were somehow put down in the basement where the Chinese upstarts used to be that or they aren't given space at all.

      Nissan is just as mainstream as Honda and Toyota. If those automakers are there, then any line of reasoning coming out of TN is pointless
      • 6 Years Ago
      Earlier I felt it was simply a question of cutting-back on a show and instead focusing on more important markets in an economic hard-time.

      But now asking the dealers to not show up either is a slap in the face of Detroit. Not to mention so many people who travel even from here in Ontario to the NAIAS.

      Suddenly I have more appreciation for Toyota and less for Nissan.

      Apart from the GT-R there is nothing Nissan sells that we won't see on every street within the next few months anyway.

      Classy move, Nissan. We shall see how the tide turns.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Really bad PR. We all understood the whole cost cutting thing but baning the dealers is just stupid. Life has to be tough enough already for anyone trying to sell Nissans in Detroit. This can't help. I think I will skip Detroit too.

        I just hope they don't skip the Toronto Auto Show too. I would hate to have to actually pay for parking this year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont understand the logic of not allowing the dealers to show up with lot cars. Doesnt cost Nissan/Infinity anything and the dealers get the walk by traffic. I can only figure Nissan feels leting the dealers do there marketing for them will delute the brand and make them look low rent or something.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Being that most of the Press is full of idiots and report without checking the facts, Nissan is probably afraid of a PR nightmare of having Detroit car salesmen making false or misleading statements about the cars they sell.

        Because we all know that would never happen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Perhaps they don't want to advertize last-year models.

      The local dealers would just be showing off marked-down obsolete 2008s. Kinda tacky.
        • 6 Years Ago
        clearly, you haven't been on a dealer lot in the last decade. the '08 models have long been gone (most since early to mid fall) as is custom in every brand. and whatever '08's are left are few and far between. the next model year usually hits dealer floors well into the previous year (with the exception of select models).

        hell, even just watching the TV will tell you that (model year-end-clearance-event-tent-a-thon spectacular!). these events are designed to clear out remaining inventory from the previous model year because the new model year HAS ALREADY HIT the lot and dealers need the room.

        so, nissan banning their dealers from showing a presence in Detroit has nothing to do with not wanting to advertise '08 and has everything to do with the 'all or nothing' reasoning. Big Press/ Big Show = Big Corporate Display or No Display at All!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I will be attending this years show with friends and will not ever consider a Nissan product again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. You would think that Nissan Corporate would take some free publicity. It's highly surprising too, with the launch of the Cube and the 370z. Even in this down year, auto shows STILL will get a lot of press and the fact that Nissan will abandon the US's largest auto show with two product launches will probably bite them in the ass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well that sucks... I was hoping to get a better look at the GT-R and maybe the 370Z.

      I did notice that the official NAIAS site has Lotus and Bugatti listed now though. *crosses fingers* With all the dropouts, someone decent better show up. I hope.
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