Advanced vehicle technology captivated much of the attention at the recent CES 2024 (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas as the event enjoyed a major resurgence with more than 135,000 attendees, more than 4,300 exhibitors and more than 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space.
According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) president & CEO Gary Shapiro, “The resurgence of CES proves that face-to-face conversations and meetings are a necessity for the technology industry.”
Many of those attendees and exhibitors were from the vehicle technology space, as the number of exhibitors in this category more than doubled.
These numbers confirm that while traditional auto shows may be losing their luster for automakers and their top-tier suppliers, CES has solidified its position as one of the world’s largest and fastest growing global automotive, mobility and transportation events.
Don’t believe us?
Here’s what transportation reporter Joann Muller of Axios wrote about CES 2024: “In many ways, CES has replaced traditional auto shows as the preferred venue to showcase futuristic vehicle concepts and technologies. And while it’s really a trade show for tech suppliers and their customers, all the hoopla around CES also represents the biggest stage for newcomers seeking to make a splash.”
A year ago, veteran automotive analyst, journalist and Autoline host John McElroy said: “CES is the best auto show in the world. It’s not the largest … but it’s the best. You can see more automotive technology there than anywhere else in the world.”
Jamie Butters, executive editor with the auto industry’s newspaper of record, Automotive News, wrote: “The reason the show is so valuable is that the 100,000-plus people who come here from across a range of industries around the world included a lot of smart people from up and down and across the industry. It was a chance to touch base, talk about priorities for the new year and far beyond …”
Conspicuous by their absence
As all but one of the world’s top five automakers declined participating at the show for various reasons, those four were conspicuous by their absence this year. This gave their smaller competitors – such as BMW, Caterpillar, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, PACCAR, and upstart Vinfast – less competition for attention, and allowed them to offer attendees their own vision of a brighter, cleaner, more efficient and safer automotive future.
This year, however, the number of vehicle technology suppliers grew significantly over 2023 – effective doubling from 300+ in 2023 to 700+ this year.
Suppliers of everything from EV components and charging systems, to lidar and other sensing technologies that enable automated and autonomous driving, to software and hardware offerings that are bringing about the software-defined vehicles, the automotive ethernet, V2X (vehicle-to-everything) and connected cars, smarter navigation approaches, in-vehicle comfort, convenience, safety and entertainment systems, and more were at CES 2024 in a big way.
Among the many traditional top-tier automotive suppliers exhibiting at CES 2024 were: 3M, American Axle & Manufacturing, Aptiv, AVL, Bosch, Bridgestone, Continental, Covestro, Denso, Eaton, FEV, Forvia, Gentex, Goodyear, IAV, Mando, Magna, Mahle, Marelli, Plastic Omnium, Valeo, Yazaki, and (client) Yanfeng.
From a public relations standpoint, some 25,000+ pieces of content or stories helped to generate more than 160 billion media impressions for CES and its exhibitors. And though CA has not yet released the official numbers yet, more than 5,000 media professionals from around the world attended the event.
Should a vehicle technology supplier participate in CES?
You may want to sign up now for an exhibit for CES 2025.
Yes, it can be expensive. Yes, it can be a lot of work. Yes, it can be logistically challenging. And yes, it’s difficult to win attention there amidst all the hoopla and other exhibitors.
But it’s still the best automotive technology show there is. Bar none.
Automotive News’ Jamie Butters summed it up in this headline in his post-CES column: Is CES worth (the) auto industry’s time? You better believe it.
Only you can determine if CES 2025 is worth yours.
For insights (gained over our multiple years of supporting clients there) about leveraging your presence at CES 2025, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call; +1 248-269-1122. And for information about exhibiting at CES2025, keep an eye on the CES website here.
Author: Jim Bianchi
As president of Bianchi PR, Jim has helped B2B automotive and industrial suppliers to raise awareness and win business for more than 40 years. He has also attended and worked CES many times,
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