The British International Motor Show 2000, the 73rd to be organised by SMMT, will take place at the NEC in October. The first SMMT Motor Show was held at Crystal Palace in London in 1903 and around 10,000 visitors came to look at the new models on display. Interestingly, at that time, there were just 8,000 cars on the road in the whole of the UK!

The Motor Show soon became a major event in the UK and by the 1970s, the exhibition had grown too big for London. The decision was made to move the Show to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham to allow for a multi-halled exhibition in 1978, and the Show gets bigger every year.

Exhibition space in 1998 covered 62,441 square metres yet 63,320 square metres have already been filled and there's still two months to go! The Show attracts visitors from far and wide - 709,422 visitors attended in 1998 and the 2000 Show looks set to break the three-quarters of a million barrier.

And it's the same story all over the world where other international motor shows attract similar levels of interest. In 1998, visitor attendance figures for other Shows were as follows: Detroit 791,311; Paris 1,250,021; Brussels 730,522 and Turin 582,127.

Now, nearly 100 years on from the first SMMT Show, the expectations for the 2000 exhibition are high; reflecting the high use and ownership of cars in the UK (over 26 million on the road, with 2.2 million new cars sold each year). It also highlights the great consumer interest in the automotive industry and the publics' desire to see the host of new and exciting products on offer.

To link to the above event in the just-auto.com events calender, please click here