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British International Motor Show

The entire AM team is heading down to the British International Motor Show on the press day next month.

According to a recent press release from the people behind BIMS, there will be 20 global debuts unveiled at the show, but is that really true anymore?

Pretty much all new models are previewed to the public through the media and spy shots months before the models are seen in the flesh.

Take for example the new Insignia. It won't be much of a surprise when it's unveiled, I've seen it already.


Toyota's Aygo Crazy unhinged sports concept will also debut at BIMS, but it's outside our office right now for the Max Power crew down the office to rag about on the surrounding roads.


What I'm getting at is that motor shows seem to have lost their ability to surprise people. Nothing is exclusive anymore. The immediacy of online news and leaked pictures means there's so many opportunities to spoil the surprise. So instead of a grand old opening for new models, motor shows have become the last stop on a promotional tour, rather than the first.

This is obviously something manufacturers are cottoning on to. Several headline names like BMW, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche and Volvo won't be having stands at the BIMS this year, presumably because they don't see enough return on investment. These manufacturers have instead opted to display at London's Motor Expo, which is free to enter.

Changing the show from its previous central location in Birmingham to London has also excluded a lot of paying retail customers that would have gone down to the BIMS.

It's still a great opportunity for the press to speak with a lot of manufacturers about their future plans but as a retail customer prospect, the idea's running a bit thin. I don't think putting Status Quo on is going to help either.



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