Next year's British Motor Show has been cancelled.
According to CAR magazine, the decision to cancel the 2010 event follows a summit of car company chiefs at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) last week, the body which has owned the show since 1903.
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: "The global credit crunch has placed the automotive sector under unique pressure and has created a level of uncertainty that deters manufacturers from committing to large-scale, international events."
Speaking on behalf of International Motor Industry Events (imie), the organisers of the British International Motor Show, joint managing director Rob Mackenzie, said: “Given the great strides that the motor show has taken since its return to London, we fully endorse the decision to postpone BIMS until market conditions will again permit us to deliver a world class event that truly showcases the UK industry.”
Organisers claim the event could return when the economy picks up, but industry commentators believe that even when the economy bounces back, the show will not.
The SMMT recently closed its exhibitions department and industry sources say now is a good time to bury an event that has been in terminal decline for years.
In its heyday in 1978, 908,194 car fans attended the show held at Birmingham’s NEC. But in recent years the Brit show struggled to draw half a million visitors, despite moves to boost attendance including a return to London in 2006.
In 2008, stay-away brands left noticeable gaps in London ExCeL’s floor plan. Among the Germans, only Mercedes joined the party, while Volvo, Aston Martin and Fiat added to the growing list of no-shows.