Organisers of the 2009 Commercial Vehicle Show plan to go ahead with the event in April despite the decision by the leading commercial vehicle manufacturers not to exhibit.
Mercedes was one of the last to pull out. Ian Jones, managing director, commercial vehicles, said: “We are on record as being among the most committed supporters of an annual Commercial Vehicle Show in the UK. We remain convinced that under normal market conditions, the UK commercial vehicle industry needs and deserves such a platform once a year.
“However, we feel that the withdrawal of the majority of the largest manufacturers from the show means that it has now lost the appeal required to draw the necessary visitors. In light of this, and the current severe financial climate with its consequent market conditions, it will be necessary for us to explore alternative ways of communicating with our existing and prospective customers in the coming year.”
And MAN’s CEO, Des Evans, said: “Following announcements in recent weeks of the withdrawal of a number of other high profile exhibitors, we had become increasingly concerned about the commercial viability of exhibiting at the event. While we wanted the Show to go ahead we have to be realistic about the investment involved in the current economic climate.
Hans-Christer Holgersson, managing director for Scania (Great Britain) said: “While the downturn in the global economy and the difficult trading conditions our industry is currently experiencing cannot be ignored, we have decided to redirect our resources for 2009 towards local marketing campaigns and exciting new customer initiatives instead.”
Volvo Trucks said it would focus its resources on customer and prospective customer-oriented regional and local activities. Managing Director Göran Nyberg said: “Fuelwatch is central to our programmes to help customers reduce their fuel bills. This autumn we held a number of customer events hosted by the Dealer Network to introduce the new truck range and the new 11-litre engine.
“Our customers are telling us that they want to see more of this type of event. In the light of the current economic circumstances, we will work even more closely with our customers and we believe that this requires a much more local and regional approach by working through our dealers.”
Nigel Emms, director brand & communication at Iveco, said: “This difficult choice has been taken in light of the extraordinary economic and market conditions. However, Iveco remains committed to supporting the CV Show and believes that under normal circumstances it represents a fantastic opportunity to exhibit products to a wide customer base.”