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Industry gives thumbs up to standalone ExCeL show

London Eventco says it is confident it has the industry backing it needs to stage a standalone UK aftermarket show in the first quarter of 2005.

The official go-ahead for Auto-ExCeL at the ExCeL Centre in London's Docklands will be announced at the end of this month. But event director Richard Abels says: “Any doubts there may have been when we announced our plans are fairly well dissolved. Plainly we've got an event here.”

As reported in AM, June 27, London Eventco said it would not proceed with AutoExCeL unless it had the collective mandate of all sectors of the aftermarket. It has since been lobbying for support from the major players. Abels says more than 30 individuals have applied to become founder members of AutoExCeL.

“What is really encouraging is that the applications have come from right across the board – trade bodies, buying groups, components suppliers, bodyshops and repairers,” he says. “We are way ahead of where we thought we would be.”

Meanwhile the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says the aftermarket has “resoundingly confirmed the popularity and good business sense” behind the decision to run a revived Automotive Trade Show as part of the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham, in March 2004.

The SMMT adds that the new ATS format has the support of the Garage Equipment Association and the Automotive Distribution Federation. It also quotes Banner Batteries' managing director Alec Morgan as saying: “This should have been done years ago. There are obvious benefits in being able to talk to two industries at one event – and the over 50 per cent cut in stand space cost makes it an unbeatable formula.”

Haymarket Exhibitions is maintaining a two-shows-in-one strategy by incorporating an expanded PACE parts and accessories event in Autosport International 2004 at the NEC, from January 8-11. The PACE element has been renamed The Aftermarket Show.

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