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Rivals line up for motor show

London’s Earls’ Court and Excel exhibition centres are submitting bids to hold the 2006 British International Motor Show.

Birmingham NEC, which has hosted the event for the past 26 years, has also had to reapply to the SMMT to keep the show.

However, a fourth contender, Silverstone, has been ruled out. An SMMT spokesman says the race circuit is “not in the running”. AM broke the story in its November 8 issue that the 2006 show might quit Birmingham.

Bids will be put before carmakers’ UK marketing directors on December 6, but the SMMT spokesman says: “The outcome of the meeting is that not necessarily any of these three will be given the nod. It’s possible that none of the venues will be seen as sufficiently attractive to embrace the entire industry in a 2006 event.”

Sources claim several prestige marques, including BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, have questioned using the NEC, and are thought to favour a London venue – but one that offers value for money. They want to cut the cost of attending motor shows in a bid to boost footfall.

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