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Detroit Auto Show circling the drain UPDATE #2 Nissan and Infiniti are the latest automakers to announce they are pulling out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January. Their withdrawals bring to seven the number of car companies that are skipping what has become North America’s premier showcase for the auto industry.

Furthermore, Honda said Monday that it was canceling its plans to have a press conference and product introduction at the show for the production version of the new Insight hybrid sedan. Instead, Kurt Antonius, a Honda spokesman, said that executives would be made available for interviews during the show and that no other activity was planned.

Nissan and Infiniti, which traditionally had prominent displays in a central area of Cobo Center, where the show takes place, will not even have a public display of vehicles, said Tim Gallagher, a Nissan spokesman.

Earlier, Mitsubishi, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Suzuki and Land Rover all said they would not attend the 2009 Detroit show. Last year, Porsche removed itself from the Detroit lineup.

Spokesmen for Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota, Audi, Ford and General Motors all said their plans remained on track for new-model introductions in Detroit. But most said they planned to scale back on the usually festive trappings at the show.

“Like other carmakers, we are carefully reducing costs and maximizing efficiencies,” said Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman. “You won’t see anything lavish.” NY Times

11/24/08 Nissan Motor Co. became the third Japanese automaker to pull out of the North American International Auto Show when it announced Monday that it would skip the Detroit and Chicago shows early next year to save cash.

Nissan has already unveiled the three new additions to its U.S. lineup -- the Nissan Cube compact, the Nissan 370Z sports car, and the premium Infiniti G37 convertible shown last week at the Los Angeles car show.

In weighing whether to come to Detroit and show the vehicles again, "we felt this was probably right now, not the best way to invest marketing money," said spokesman Alan Buddendeck.

"This is not a comment in any way about the importance of the Detroit or Chicago auto shows," he said.

The company said in a statement that its decision was "based on the fact that we have no major new products to show at the 2009 Detroit and Chicago auto shows as well as the current economic conditions which will impact the shows' marketing effectiveness."

Suzuki Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. also said recently that they would not participate in the Detroit show. Previously, Germany's Porsche pulled out, saying the Detroit show did not reach its clientele as well as some other shows.  Detroit News

11/23/08 Mitsubishi has withdrawn from the Detroit Auto Show.  The Japanese automaker said it's pulling out of the Detroit auto show in January as it looks to save money in light of global economic problems and an industry-wide sales decline.

Mitsubishi follows Rolls-Royce, Land Rover, Ferrari and Suzuki in withdrawing from the 2009 Detroit show, which will be held in early January. Porsche left the Detroit show after the 2006 event.

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