Makers line up for MIMS
Melbourne to buck motor show trend by being fully subscribed and with few omissions
15 Dec 2008
By JAMES STANFORD in MELBOURNE
The Melbourne International Motor Show (MIMS) is on track to buck the global automotive downturn by filling the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from February 27 to March 9.
While this year’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney suffered poor attendances and next year’s Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth shows have already been cancelled, organisers of the Melbourne event have released a list of exhibitors that indicates several brands are again ready to invest in a large motor show.
While some brands including Mercedes-Benz will miss the Melbourne event, key marques including BMW, Audi and Porsche have signed up for Melbourne despite missing the Sydney event.
MIMS organiser Russ Tyrie said the response from car-makers has been positive.
“Exhibitor interest proves that many major marques are taking a positive view of our automotive future, despite the tough times of recent months,” Mr Tyrie said.
“BMW and Volkswagen have taken extra space this year, which reflects the traditional desire of manufacturers to show their latest models to more than 200,000 people in a single event.” BMW Australia managing director Guenther Seemann said his company had not changed its position that it will attend one national motor show a year, implying the company would not attend the Sydney show if it goes ahead next October.
“We will be there in Melbourne. It is convenient for us because it coincides with a brand offensive,” he said.
Mr Seemann said BMW Australia was disappointed the Brisbane show was cancelled as it usually generated a large volume of leads and suggested the decision to call off the event was not the correct one despite the difficult economic climate.
“We like the Brisbane show. It (cancelling the event) sends the wrong message, I call it the ostrich (sticking your head in the ground) approach.” The list of confirmed MIMS non-starters is headlined by Mercedes-Benz, which has announced an extravagant event that will see valued AMG customers and journalists ‘test driving’ cars around the Albert Park track during the Australian Grand Prix festival March 26-29.
Other makes to miss Melbourne will include Jaguar and Land Rover, Chrysler, Dodge, Volvo, Mini, Smart and all Ateco distributed brands including Citroen, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ferrari and Maserati. Local manufacturers Ford, FPV, Holden, HSV and Toyota have all signed up, as well as luxury brands including Lamborghini, Lotus and Bentley.
Prestige nameplates including Lexus, Peugeot, Renault, Skoda and Volkswagen will attend, as will Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki.
Mazda will use the Melbourne event to preview the all-new Mazda3 for the first time in Australia.
Isuzu Ute Australia will have a presence at the show, as will GM Premium Brands - although it is yet to decide which of its three marques (Hummer, Cadillac and Saab) will be featured.
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