DETROIT -- Toyota and Lexus will remain active in auto shows around the U.S. but aim their displays and their spending more directly at consumers and less at the media, brand leaders told Automotive News on Thursday.

"We are making adjustments," said Bob Carter, head of sales for Toyota Motor North America. "Auto shows are still a critical part of the business, and they're critical from a consumer perspective. Most buyers — 35 percent of the people who are going to buy a car in the next 12 months — stop by an auto show. It's a very important place to communicate."

Carter said he was "shocked" by Mercedes-Benz's decision to skip the 2020 New York auto show, given the size of the market and its importance to the luxury segment. He said Lexus and Toyota would continue to have a presence in New York and other large and regional shows, but that the automaker may aim its marketing dollars more at experiential marketing at the shows — including ride-and-drives at auto shows — instead of press conferences.

"What you will see us do is align our investments to those shows relative to the size of the markets," Carter said. "We'll adjust the investment on media days, but to the consumer, it's still the place to be."

Carter said Toyota and Lexus planned to launch 31 new vehicles or derivatives of existing vehicles over the next three years — seven more than it had done over the previous 36-month period.

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1981: Michigan Supreme Court allows Detroit to demolish up to 1,500 homes, more than 140 businesses, a hospital and 6 churches in Poletown neighborhood for construction of Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly. Former Dodge Main plant is demolished on Hamtramck side of site.

1985: Production begins. Vehicles built in plant's first 25 years include the Cadillac Seville, Eldorado and DeVille; Buick Riviera, LeSabre and Lucerne; and Oldsmobile Toronado.

2010: Chevy Volt production begins

2013: Chevy Impala production begins

2015: Cadillac CT6 production begins

2016: Buick LaCrosse production begins

March 2017: GM eliminates second shift

November 2018: GM "unallocates" D-Ham, Lordstown Assembly, Oshawa Assembly and transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland

February 2019: GM postpones end of production from June 2019 to January 2020

March 2019: Volt, LaCrosse production end

October 2019: UAW ratifies contract that keeps D-Ham open with $3 billion investment

January 2020: CT6 production to end

February 2020: Impala production to end

2021: Electric pickup, van production to begin

2023: Electric GMC Sierra, Cadillac Escalade production to begin

Source: GM, LMC Automotive, Automotive News research

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