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CV show renamed as van manufacturers pull out

Date: 08 January 2009

CV Show website

Organisers of 2009's crisis-hit British Commercial Vehicle Show are changing its name and re-orienting the event in a bid to save it from cancellation.

It will now be known as CV09 The Road Transport and Engineering Show, with more stress laid on the wide variety of products and services that are available to support the road transport industry.

The move follows the withdrawal of almost all the major van manufacturers.

"In effect this would recreate the format of the original, highly successful, Institute of Road Transport Engineers shows, but on a larger and more national scale," the organisers stated.

As BusinessCar reported yesterday, Volkswagen and Citroen have become the latest to pull out, following cancellations by Vauxhall, Mercedes, Iveco and Isuzu. The attendance of Ford, Toyota and Nissan is also in doubt.

Most cite the tough economic conditions as the reason for staying away, although the majority are currently pledging to return in 2010.

"At present there is nothing to suggest that the show will not take place, although it will be smaller than previous events," said a spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, one of the organisations backing the event.

"While it is true that around 50 vehicle makers exhibit regularly, we have some 300 to 500 exhibitors involved in other areas of the industry," he continued, "As a consequence I think it's fair to say that the event has very much evolved into a road transport engineering show over the past nine or 10 years."

Commenting on the situation What Van? editor Neil McIntee said: "It's the vehicles, however, that pull in the visitors. Their absence could result in the crowds thinning out drastically, a point not lost on the suppliers of products and services whose loyalty the show organisers are hoping to retain. Michelin is one product supplier that has already decided not to attend."

Scheduled to take place on 28-30 April at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, the event is held by the CV Show Partnership. As well as the SMMT it includes the Road Haulage Association and the IRTE, a professional section of the Society of Operations Engineers. Just under 28,500 visitors attended the show in 2008.