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March 12, 2010

UK: British motor show future in doubt

The long term future of the British motor show as a traditional ‘cars on carpets’ event remains in doubt, it’s been revealed.

The long term future of the British motor show as a traditional ‘cars on carpets’ event remains in doubt, it’s been revealed.

Exhibition organiser, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has confirmed it’s already in talks with vehicle manufacturer members about the next one, scheduled for summer 2012.

The plug was pulled on the 2010 show – originally to be staged at London’s ExCeL venue in Docklands next July – as far back as March 2009. It was cancelled after car companies signalled their lack of support because of the recession.

SMMT communications chief Nikki Rooke told just-auto: “We’re already talking to the manufacturers about if, where, when and how they want a British motor show. There’s interest in having some kind of event that showcases their products and the industry as a whole, but it’s not clear whether it will take place in 2012.”

She said no decision had been taken about whether it would be a traditional motor show and added manufacturers were open to new ideas.

At its heyday in the late 1970s, over 900,000 visitors attended the show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham where it had been moved from London’s Earl Court.

But in the more recent past, and despite new ventures such as stunt shows and night-time music concerts, it’s struggled to reach the half million mark.

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