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Bentley’s big product announcement this year was the Bentayga, the brand’s first crossover.
Chris Paukert/CNET
The group of automakers skipping over Detroit’s 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) continues to grow this week. Bentley became the fourth automaker to announce its intention to pass on NAIAS. In fact, the brand won’t make an appearance at any US auto show in 2016.
“Our focus for 2016 is on more intimate and experiential events, including working more closely with our dealers in key cities,” Bentley spokeswoman Erin Bronner said. “Do not look at this as policy, but how we feel the focus needs to be at this point in our brand development.”
Auto shows are an expensive proposition for manufacturers that don’t sell tens of thousands of cars each year — the cost of setting up and manning a display could very well outweigh any additional profits brought in by an uptick in sales.

This makes Bentley the fourth automaker to leave Cobo Hall for the year, following Mini, Jaguar Land Rover and, most recently, Tesla Motors. Thankfully, the newfound floor space gives Aston Martin a chance to return to NAIAS for the first time since 2009, and BMW swallowed up Mini’s former space.
Don’t think that the show will be light on content given the recent slew of departures. “We’re trending over 40 vehicle reveals [this year],” NAIAS spokesman Max Muncey said.
The joke’s on the departing automakers, though. They’ll be missing out on the launch of Roadshow, CNET’s forthcoming spinoff that will provide definitive coverage of the rapidly evolving world of transportation. Roadshow will be the official digital news and video partner for this year’s Detroit show, as well.

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