The British Motor Show planned for next year at London’s Excel Centre has been cancelled due to the recession. It is the first time the show has not taken place since the Second World War.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the trade body which organises the two-week show in July, said it had consulted with its members before making the decision. It said it would be inappropriate to expect struggling carmakers to commit themselves to taking part. A number of manufacturers had already indicated they would not attend the event.
Planning for such an event usually starts at least a year in advance, the recent motor shows in Detroit and Geneva took place despite the state of the car industry due to the fact that most companies had already committed to taking part.
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."
The British car industry is in limbo as companies wait to find out who will be eligible for the £2.3bn package of loans and loan guarantees from the government. Companies have to submit projects to develop fuel-efficient technologies to qualify for the financial support, and it will take weeks for them to put together their applications and get a decision.