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No-shows undermine Aftermarket exhibition

The organiser of this month’s Aftermarket Show has defended the exhibition following criticism from a number of garage owners.

Many big-name exhibitors were absent from the Birmingham NEC event. While Lucas Oils, Supertracker and Pro-Align attended, noticeable absentees included NGK and Fulda, who took stand space elsewhere in the adjoining Autosport International Show.

“They seem to be taking liberties in calling it the Aftermarket Show when in reality it’s merely a small gathering of trade exhibitors within the Autosport show,” commented one workshop chief.

A few of the equipment suppliers present told AM they were saving their product launches for the larger Automotive Trade Show (ATS) in April. “We’re just here for market presence and sales leads,” one exhibitor said.

The show’s organiser, however, is claiming a success. “We’re delighted with the way the show worked as an event and of course by the enthusiastic response from trade exhibitors,” says Hay- market’s show manager Giles Brown. He argues that the four-day event has “multi-faceted appeal” to trade and consumers, but nevertheless admits it “has some way to go” before it becomes a genuine rival to the ATS event.

Unsurprisingly, Bob Sockl, organiser of the SMMT-backed ATS, to be held alongside the CV Show at Birmingham NEC this April, says Haymarket should concentrate on motorsport.

“I went to Autosport but I didn’t really see the point of visiting the Aftermarket section. It’s a consumer show. The average garage owner isn’t going to see this as a business to business event,” he says.

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