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October 5, 2008

Car makers delighted with huge Motor Show turnout

The organisers of this summer's British International Motor Show, which was sponsored by Zurich Connect, have announced that 472,300 people visited ExCeL London, representing a huge increase on the 415,000 who attended the 2006 exhibition.

Throughout the 12-day event, car fans and motoring enthusiasts were treated to a feast of world vehicle premieres, stunning concept cars and driving challenges, while families and children enjoyed a range of interactive events.

By far the biggest consumer exhibition in the UK, the Motor Show hosted 23 global debuts, a total of 600 cars and 60 vehicle manufacturers. The cars on display had an estimated value of over £37 million.

Quality and interactivity
"The success of this year's Motor Show can be attributed not only to the quality of the global debuts and the support of such a fantastic collection of motor manufacturers, but also to the wide range of interactive attractions and family-friendly features," enthused the event’s managing director Kirsty Perkinson.

From luxury yachts and top-of-the-range motor homes to quad-bikes and classic cars, the Motor Show had something for everyone. Almost 6,000 visitors with a ‘need for speed' tried their hand at racing on Mazda's Zoom-Zoom Challenge, while in excess of 26,000 of the bravest visitors took a ride on Land Rover's Ultimate Experience.

Many manufacturers offered test drives of their cars and vans around a specially designed driving route, while Honda presented its entire range in the thrilling live-action Dreamscape show, which ran daily and told the story of the company's 60-year history.

Car makers delighted

The organisers report that feedback from manufacturers has been extremely positive.

"Following our decision to hold the Vauxhall Insignia world debut in London, GM's Motor Show experience was excellent from beginning to end," commented Denis Chick, director of communications for GM UK and Ireland. "The number of people showing interest in all of the GM brands exceeded our expectations, from families and business car drivers drawn to the all-new Insignia, to supercar fans drooling over the new Corvette ZR1 and Chevy Camaro."

Similar growth in interest was seen by Honda, who generated 17% more leads than in 2006, as well as taking 30% more test drive bookings. Meanwhile Peugeot reported that they had increased their customer contacts by a third over the previous show.

Many niche brands we also happy with the event, with Norwegian electric car manufacturer Think experiencing an eight-fold increase in prospective UK buyers following the Show.

Music matters
This year the British International Motor Show wasn’t just about cars, with The Motor Show Music Festival witnessing performances from the likes of Alice Cooper, Blondie and Status Quo, with Meat Loaf closing the final night.

Preparations for the next British International Motor Show are already under way, according to the organisers.

"No sooner had this Show closed than we started planning the next one!" said Perkinson. "We have had a terrific range of events and exhibitors this year, and we will have to work very hard to raise the stakes again in 2010, but we are ready for the challenge.

“The feedback we have had from exhibitors has been immensely positive, so we are confident that the Show will be even bigger and even better in two years' time."

Delivering promises

Commenting on the success of the show, Kevin Murphy, chief executive of ExCeL London, where the event was held, said: "We were absolutely delighted with the return of the Motor Show to ExCeL London. It delivered exactly what was promised – not only were the cars the stars, but the interactive features, music festival, creative use of our 100-acre campus and the numerous global car launches offered something for everyone.

“The feedback has been fantastic from all that were involved – the manufacturers had a very successful show and the visitors had a great day out."

Look out for Ian Whiteling’s interview with Mazda at the Motor Show, next week on EVENTS:review

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