London motor show plans fleet test drives
28 May 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
Fleet managers attending next year's London motor show in Battersea could have the opportunity to test-drive new vehicles at Brands Hatch and Silverstone circuits.
The concept was revealed at the motor show's launch evening. A spokesman for the show confirmed to BusinessCar that fleet managers would be "shuttled there and back by helicopter".
No costs or details have been announced, but a Fiat spokesman told BusinessCar, "If 1000 cars were ordered, the cost of the helicopter flight wouldn't matter."
Discussions with the circuits are ongoing and nothing has been confirmed at this stage.
The new London motor show is set to take place between 5-8 May 2016 at Battersea Park in London with adult tickets for the show costing from £13.
Businesses will be able to showcase products by renting a stand at the show for £7500, the show organisers said.
"Jaguar Land Rover UK has been approached by the organisers of the London Motor Show but at this stage there is no agreement in place to exhibit at the show," a Jaguar spokesman told BusinessCar.
An Audi spokesman told BusinessCar that the company would "make a considered decision down the line," on whether or not it would exhibit at the show.
A Tesla spokeswoman said the American firm has "expressed an interest" in exhibiting at the show but said it had not signed any contracts.
"We [the British] are world leaders in design, engineering and technology," Prince Michael of Kent, patron of the show said. "We need a platform to showcase our industry. It will be a major chance for Britain to shine the spotlight on one of the most amazing industries we have in the country."
Prince Michael added that he wanted the show to "rank alongside cities like Geneva and Frankfurt," two of the leading three European events, along with Paris.
According to organisers, experts will be on hand to answer questions, while forums and seminars will take place at the show.
Tiff Needell, the show's president said the time is right to revive a British motor show which last ran in 2008 at London's Excel. "Demand for a new motor show is high from the public and car makers," Needell said.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders owns the British motor show name. Prince Michael told BusinessCar that he would be having a meeting with Mike Hawes, the SMMT's chief executive today.
The event is also being supported by Transport for London. Leon Daniels, managing director for surface transport at TfL said the organisation's "real job is to keep motorists moving".
Daniels said 26 million journeys are made a day through London and that TfL is increasing the level of automation across the network to "help deliver faster journeys across London."
"Engine and efficiency improvements in the last few years is down to motoring industry and it is down to it that our fine has been delayed by Brussels," Daniels revealed. He also said that he is hoping the show will "not just be about cars" and will include sections on motorcycles, taxis and buses too.