Editor's comment

Lamenting the demise of the British Motor Show

Published:  17 April, 2015

I have just returned from an enjoyable couple of days at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2015, Held at the NEC in Birmingham. I think it is great we have events like this, especially where equipment suppliers can show their products alongside vans and trucks.

Understandably, most of these suppliers were highlighting what their products could do with commercial vehicles. Lifts had vans and lorries sitting on them, parts on display were for trucks and so was the data being offered by service providers. You still get a great idea of what services companies provide and of course they are entitled to show what they want to the audience they expect to get, yet it left me lamenting the demise of the British International Motor Show.

As a kid I loved these shows, the opportunity for the new cars to be seen, the atmosphere and excitement of sitting in them even if it would be a few years before I could drive. I alluded recently about seeing Thrust SSC at one show and at the same time I got up close to Damon Hill's 1994 Williams, buying my first piece of F1 merchandise which I still have today, a (insert cigarette brand here) Williams Renault baseball cap. I remember seeing the MGF launched and wanting to own one someday. The event at Earls Court and the NEC also saw merchandise and equipment companies in a market that was still repairing cars using tools and grease rather than laptops.

Sadly I also attended the last show in 2008 at the ExCeL centre in London and wrote for a magazine at the time that it was great to see the support of the automotive industry in the UK. Now, finally, progress seems to be taking place with the announcement of the London Motor Show taking place in May 2016 at Battersea Park. This would be perfect for the aftermarket, the ability to show car-based products and discuss new technologies, the chance for technicians to see new engine technologies first hand and of course for most of us to geek and dream about sitting in that Lamborghini - I still remember the massive queues in 1998! While I doubt the new event will be as big as the old ones held in massive exhibition halls, at least it is a start. Who knows, maybe we will be talking about two motoring events in the UK fairly soon!

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