In an interview with AM-online Alan Pulham, national franchised dealer director of the RMI, cast doubt on the future of motorshows in the UK, warning that the Birmingham and Scottish events may soon fall victim, like this year's Earls Court event, to manufacturer indifference and cost- cutting measures.
Here, Douglas Robertson, executive director Scottish Motor Trade Association, responds to Mr Pulham's comments.
“As owners and organisers of the Scottish Motor Show, we read Mr Pulham's comments, regarding the future of motor shows and especially the Scottish Motor Show with interest. We consider his comments to be misguided and exceptionally ill-informed. The 2001 Scottish Motor Show opens eight weeks today (Nov 9th) in Glasgow and is being excellently supported by manufacturers and dealers. Indeed, dealer pressure has had a lot to do with the decision of some manufacturers to attend. This indicates to us that his opinion is not representative of franchised dealers.
We are already aware of the UK launch of two, possibly three, new models at the Show together with the first public viewing of the next 'James Bond' car - the Aston Martin Vanquish.
Whilst Mr Pulham's comments may have been his own personal opinion they do not represent the opinion of dealers, certainly north of the border. One phone call prior to expressing his opinion would have confirmed this. His comments do not reflect the opinion of Scottish franchised dealers who, through membership of the SMTA, are part of the NFDA.
Whilst the SMTA has always had an excellent working relationship with the NFDA and the RMI, the comments attributed to Mr Pulham show a scant disregard for his colleagues in Scotland. They may also explain why the RMI does not operate in Scotland and why it is so necessary to have a strong, vibrant and independent association representing its members interests north of the border.
The Scottish Motor Show runs from November 9th-18th in the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow. The 2001 Show is sponsored by Newsgroup Newpapers through its 'Scottish Sun' newspaper. A six figure sum is involved - hardly a sign of a show with a limited life?
Incidentally, an airline ticket from London to Glasgow can be even cheaper than one to Geneva.”.
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