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Scottish retailers blast 'come-and-see' show

The Scottish Motor Show has this week come under fire from two senior retailers, who question whether it has a future.

Though both individuals, one based in Glasgow the other in Edinburgh and overseeing multi-million pound multi-franchised groups, opted to keep their identities private, each is pessimistic about the show's future. “Just take a look round the show and you will see that the manufacturers are staying away in their droves,” says the Glasgow dealer boss. “The only way they are going to return is if the Scottish Motor Show returns to being a selling show instead of being purely a 'come-and-see' show. Floorspace is hugely expensive and at the moment they see no return on their money whatsoever and that's why they are staying away. It's as simple as that.”

The Edinburgh dealer says he was surprised to be contacted by organiser Clarion Events Scotland – led by Mark Saunders, who was responsible for the London Motor Show – just 10 weeks before the Glasgow-based show opened.

“On top of that, the space costs were horrendous,” he says. “There's just no way we could justify the expense. The way forward, if there is to be another show in two years' time, is for the organiser to put a height limit on the stands like at Geneva.”

Attendances at the show over the 10 days are projected at 75,000, well down from the 110,000 people who visited four years ago.

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