But Bob Sockl, chief executive of Crystal Communications, and sales and marketing consultant to the CV Show partnership, has poured cold water on Abels’ claims.>P? “We do not want to get into points scoring, and it’s not for Abels to justify what the SMMT is pointing out. The show isn’t even owned by the SMMT, but by the CV Show partnership, which is made up of the SMMT, the IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers) and the RHA (Road Haulage Association).
“Around 90% of this year’s ATS exhibitors are coming back – this is a stronger show offer: all promises we have made, we have delivered.”
A Lucas TRW spokesman says the company would not rule out attending AutoExCel , but that it would return to ATS@CV Show. “We were tucked away in the corner but we had plenty of passers-by," he says.
David Houlden, managing director of National Autoparts, says the standard of visitors attending ATS@CV Show was high.
“Sockl did a good job with it, but backing the same horse all the time doesn’t always produce a winner,” he says. “For us Automechanika is the show to be at – there are no ifs or buts about that.”
Abels is adamant that AutoExCeL will be the best trade show for the UK aftermarket. “SMMT shows are held in the wrong place,” he adds.