DC100 and DC100 Sport at LA Auto Show

While the foreign press announced this bit of news in November, it’s now making the media rounds here in the U.S. that Jaguar Land Rover has opted to skip the 2012 North American International Auto Show (i.e. the Detroit Auto Show or NAIAS). Instead, the company will showcase its products at Auto Expo 2012 (i.e. the New Delhi Auto Show) in Tata Motors’ home market of India. 

The decision by Jaguar Land Rover did not come as a big surprise to industry watchers and below you can read about a few reasons JLR took a pass on Detroit. But first, we should point out Jaguar Land Rover is hardly the first major auto manufacturer to have skipped the show. Other automakers that have declined the Motor City in the past include Nissan, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Suzuki, Infiniti, Rolls-Royce, and Ferrari.

A Few Reasons to Skip Detroit

The DC100 and the Los Angeles Auto Show

Land Rover opted to reveal its DC100 and DC100 Sport concept vehicles to the American public at the LA Auto show just last month. The DC100 concepts are the only major new developments on Land Rover’s 2011/2012 show season list. If there was a new production model on tap, it’s likely Land Rover would have been more keen on attend the Detroit Auto Show. As it is, the DC100 has already been seen in the U.S. and will not go into production until roughly 2015. All other North American products are either carryovers, or in the case of the Range Rover Evoque, have already been burning up the media in a big way.

The Global Automotive Market

The Asian region is an increasingly important area for Jaguar Land Rover; much more so than the U.S. market on a growth basis. It is expected that China will become the company’s largest market in the near future. China has already put the U.S. on notice for the #2 spot and Jaguar Land Rover is partnering with Chinese automaker Chery for manufacturing and product co-development. Additionally, India itself is a growing market for the company and now also hosts Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facilities.

Detroit’s Declining Influence

The Detroit Auto Show used to be an annual pilgrimage for not only automotive journalists, but also for any serious enthusiast who could beg, borrow, or steal some media credentials. Today, not so much. While still certainly a major player on the auto show circuit, the North American International Auto Show is no longer the end-all, be-all show in the United States. The show has lost influence to events in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. As we mentioned earlier, Land Rover unveiled its DC100 concepts to the North American market just a few weeks ago at the Los Angeles auto show and other automakers have opted to do the same.

Conflicting Dates

Another factor is simple timing. The Detroit Auto Show runs January 9th through the 22nd (the public show runs from the 14th through the 22nd). The New Delhi Auto Show will run January 7th through the 11th, which overlaps the important press and industry preview days in Detroit. Anybody who has organized a major trade show — been there, done that — can tell you it is a logistical circus.

North American Truck of the Year

On a related note, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque has been named a finalist for the 2012 North American Truck of the Year award. Although not sponsored by the North American International Auto Show, the North American Car and Truck of the Year winners will be revealed on January 9th at Cobo Hall. The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are voted on by a panel of automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada.

DC100 and DC100 Sport VIP Reception

The DC100 and DC100 Sport on display at a VIP reception at Two Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, on the eve of their U.S. debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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