September 17, 2021
It is now official, the 2022 Auto Show has been saved and will be held from January 14 to 23. But without D’Ieteren Auto, Volvo and probably Mazda.
The automakers have decided on the next Auto showroom. After a week during which its organization was strongly threatened, Febiac confirms what we announced this Thursday evening. The 99th edition of the high mass of mobility will indeed take place. In recent years, the show has attracted 400,000 to 500,000 visitors, making it the largest fair in the kingdom.
For the past few days all eyes have been on the band Stellantis (Fiat, Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, DS, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati), after that D’Ieteren, leader of the Belgian automobile market with 23.5% of the shares (VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini), made it clear that he did not intend to participate in the show. A tile, while the exclusive importer of the Volkswagen group in Belgium occupied two complete palaces during the last edition on the Heysel Palace.
“Before covid, a third of the market volume came from the auto show. The show remains an essential part of our strategy.”
Stellantis confirms this Friday that it will be present with all of its brands present on the Belgian market. “The show remains the showcase of the automotive sector in January. Before the covid, a third of the market volume came from the motor show. The show remains an essential element of our strategy,” said Dominique Fontignies, communications director of Stellantis in Belux.
On the Febiac side, we do not want to communicate the names of those present and absent. “Most of the brands will be present. If we register for the biggest event in Belgium, we have to be credible “, says Gabriel Goffoy, communication director of Febiac.
D’Ieteren Auto nevertheless confirms that it will not be present at the event, with any of its brands. It was already known for Volvo. All in all, it comes back to us that brands representing nearly 70% of the market have confirmed their presence. Renault, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, the brands sold by Alcopa (Hyudain, Suzuki, etc.), should all be present.
Mazda would have declined, but could change your mind again with the participation of Stellantis. A decision is also expected in the coming days for Jaguar Land Rover, which would make the participants go beyond the 70% present.
If Volvo will not be present, its cousin and electric brand Polestar should be in the show, so that it could push Tesla to also invest the Heysel palaces, a question still unresolved.
A new electric story
“Vehicles have evolved considerably over the past two years, particularly in the offer of alternative engines and connectivity. More than ever, it is essential to inform the general public, but also the authorities and the media of the advances made by our sector, particularly in the fight against global warming and the improvement of air quality. “, says Andreas Cremer, CEO of Febiac.
“We are not a mobility show. The show will be primarily an auto, motorcycle and light commercial vehicle show.”
Nowadays, 60 fully electric models and 180 electrified models are already offered by the brands in Belgium. It is now about convince as many customers as possible to take the plunge. The show contrasts a bit with recent editions. “We are not a mobility fair, although obviously we are in favor of multimodal mobility and mobility as a service. The fair will mainly be a car, motorcycle and light commercial vehicle fair”, reveals Goffoy.
As we explained several days ago, the show will take a classic form. “The measures taken by the Regions to ensure the highest possible vaccination rate reinforce our ability to ensure the smooth running of our event”, indicates Pierre Lalmand, director of the Show. The event will therefore adapt to the measures in force in January and therefore does not yet announce a covid safe ticket.
Focus on the individual market
The Show is also the tool par excellence for B2C, essential for brands such as Renault, Ford, Citroën and Peugeot.
The automotive market has suffered greatly in the retail segment since the start of the pandemic. This is one of the arguments that prompted D’Ieteren Auto not to come this year. Builders hope thanks to the show convince Belgian individuals to go back to “buy mode”.
At the Auto Show, brands establish contacts with potential customers that they redirect to dealerships. But the internet is also playing this role more and more. D’Ieteren’s budget will therefore not be saved, but reallocated to this channel.
Denis Gorteman, CEO of D’Ieteren Auto: “The lack of a show in January had no impact”
D’Ieteren Auto will not participate in the show, why?
The conditions were not met, and we drew the conclusions from the absence of a 2021 show. According to our analyzes, it did not influence the level of the market or our sales up or down.
Does that mean that you question a participation in the future?
We will draw our conclusions next year. This year, sales and dealership appointments were much more qualitative and allowed customers to have better information. With all the changes and developments in electromobility or taxation, the customer expects a lot of information. It’s hard to answer that at a trade show.
Did selling online influence your decision?
The customer finds more and more reliable and quality information before coming to the dealership. However, very few Belgians are already ready to press the “buy” button at home for a car. It makes perfect sense for any tax or technology issue.
Isn’t it dangerous for brands like Seat and Skoda not to be present?
In the past, small brands enjoyed a show more than large ones. But all of the dealers represent our five brands. We no longer have a small brand at D’Ieteren Auto.
Will you keep the commercial momentum?
Yes, the months of January and February are still very strong.
The retail market has suffered greatly, isn’t it a risk not to go to the show in this context?
B2B takes a strong lead in the market. We also believe that at the individual level, there are still a lot of uncertainties and that they will still be there in January. This is one of the reasons for our absence. Professionals are less interested in a salon. They love to meet up, but it can be done elsewhere.
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