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Despite the failure of a number of UK aftermarket and tyre shows in recent years, three groups are now vying to take a share of what is a shrinking cake. Having cancelled its event this year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is to revive its aftermarket show in 2004 by combining it with the highly successful, NEC-based CV (Commercial Vehicle) show, thus benefiting from economies of scale, writes Ian Wagstaff.

However, just-auto learned last week that another aftermarket show, AutoExCel, is planned for London’s Docklands in 2005. The same day, PACE, the aftermarket side show to Autosport International, which regularly fails to live up to its hype, announced it would include an area for tyres. This is despite the fact that as many as three tyre industry exhibitions have been cancelled this year.

A not always gentlemanly fight already exists between the SMMT and Haymarket Exhibitions, the organisers of PACE. London EventCo, the organisers of AutoExCel, has now pitched in with some admirable, but not new, ideas for its ExCel based event. It is interesting to note that it has already given itself an escape route in the statement that “we will only proceed if AutoExCel has the unequivocal commitment of the great majority of leading exhibitors and trade bodies. If the consensus is negative, we will withdraw (by the end of October 2003).”

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