Ford Motor Co. has pulled out of the 2019 Geneva auto show, joining Volvo in skipping the annual event that marks the start of Europe's show calendar.
Ford said last week that the decision was made because the show's timing didn't fit its launch schedule and therefore wouldn't represent good value.
"It costs a sizeable amount of money," a Ford of Europe spokesman said. "If you're not going make a return on the investment in terms of media attention or people on the stand, why do it?"
Instead Ford will stage its own event focusing on electrified vehicles to be held sometime in spring.
Ford will also skip the Paris auto show in October, as it has in previous years, but this will be the first time in recent years that the brand has missed the Swiss event.
More and more automakers are pulling out of major global shows as they redirect marketing spend to more targeted events. Confirmed absentees from this year's Paris show include Nissan and Volkswagen brand, while Fiat Chrysler Automobile brands are also expected to skip this show.
Automakers have mostly stayed loyal to Geneva because it's well attended by media and its 'neutral' location means coverage is not dominated by local manufacturers as happens in the biannual shows held in Paris and Frankfurt. Opel caused a stir by becoming the first major manufacturer in recent years to miss the Geneva show held in March. Volvo was the first automaker to say it will skip next year's Geneva show.
Ford said it will stage another "Go Further" event in Europe, similar to past events where it launched models such as the Mondeo, Mustang and Fiesta. The event in 2019 will feature the launch of an unnamed new car and will broadly focus on "electrified vehicles," the spokesman said. Ford is expected to show its first mild-hybrid passenger car, as well as reveal the production version of its Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van.
The event will likely be held shortly after the Geneva event. "By delaying it you get more coverage for potentially less spend," the spokesman said.
The location hasn't been decided but Ford is likely to choose a country that has embraced electrification, for example Norway or the Netherlands, the spokesman said.
Ford's targeted events will include the Goodwood Festival of Speed event held in southern England starting July 12. The brand will show the new Focus compact publicly there for the first time, as well as the performance ST version of the Fiesta subcompact.
The sell-out show represents Fords' largest event marketing spend in the UK, its largest market in Europe, Ford UK's marketing director Lisa Brankin told Automotive News Europe. "It gets a very good audience, an audience that's really enthusiastic about cars. It's a great place to showcase new products," she said.