That’s the warning from Brian Spratt, chief executive of the Automotive Distribution Federation, which had supported AutoExcel.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to provide the aftermarket with the exhibition it requires,” he says. “The ADF has consistently expressed its commitment to working with those who, through their appreciation of the aftermarket and their careful attention to the needs of exhibitors, can organise an event to showcase products and services, and attract, entertain and inform visitors. That continues to be the case.”
Automotive consultant Brian Taylor of Trend Tracker, another AutoExcel supporter, says it’s a sad indictment of the British aftermarket. “This was an opportunity for the UK’s aftermarket to get a great show to rival the ones in Europe, something that more reflects the Las Vegas show with more excitement. Neither of the other two offerings are able to compete with shows at Paris and Frankfurt. Now all we are left with is two half-shows,” he says.
The SMMT, which organises ATS as part of the CV show, expects a good turnout next April.
“We felt we were doing what the industry wanted by combining these two shows,” says chief executive Christopher Macgowan. “That was our feedback.”