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London show organisers look for dealer support

Organisers of the London Motor Show have unveiled a raft of incentives to persuade manufacturers to attend the 2003 event, including increasing dealers' involvement and broadening the show's appeal. Clarion Events has spoken to 16 dealers in the capital about the Earls Court exhibition, which is being moved from October to June (19-29) to avoid clashing with major international motor shows.

The 2001 exhibition was cancelled after 18 carmakers, including Ford and BMW, withdrew support. Dealers will be encouraged to take part in a London Motor Week which, like the London Fashion Week, will have associated events across the capital, including Hyde Park and the Tate Modern.

“We believe dealers should get involved with manufacturers in the show, which is all about selling more cars,” says Carsten Holm, Clarion Events' show director. He wants manufacturers to offer incentives on cars ordered during the show at participating dealers. Their showrooms will be an extension of the show by carrying branding funded by Clarion - part of a £1.5m marketing budget - to fit in with the overall experience.

“After the 2001 event was cancelled we had an opportunity to talk to the industry and change the show according to their needs,” says Holm. “The 2003 event will get manufacturers and dealers more involved in the process rather than just having people just turn up to view static displays.”

Meanwhile, UK debuts lined up for the Birmingham show in October include VW's 4x4 Touareg and Phaeton, Citroen's C8, the Ford Fusion and Volvo's XC90.

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