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Standards lower at Melbourne show: VACC

Non-starter: Melbourne Motorshow may need to be remodelled before it returns.

Melbourne motor show promoters cancelled 2013 event because standards not as high

22 Apr 2013

By IAN PORTER in MELBOURNE

The 2013 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne could have gone ahead, but promoters were unwilling to put on a show that did not measure up to earlier exhibitions.

The show’s promoters still believe there is a need for a motor show, but that it needs to be remodelled to increase its relevance, according to executive director of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) David Purchase.

The VACC promotes the Australian motor show with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), alternating annually between Melbourne and Sydney.

Mr Purchase said the show scheduled for Melbourne this year could have gone ahead, but it would not have met the high standards set by previous exhibitions.

“We had exhibitors who had accepted that represented more than 70 per cent of the vehicles on the road,” he said.

“But we did not have enough to produce what we felt was the standard we had developed over the years. So, therefore, we cancelled it.

“We didn’t cancel because we did not have anyone accept. We cancelled it because we didn’t have enough to produce the standard that we know customers/attendees have come to expect.”

Mr Purchase acknowledged that some companies were spending more than $1 million on their stands for the motor show, importing displays from around the world in order to exhibit the cars on a show stand built to international standards.

 center imageLeft: Executive director of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce David Purchase.

He said he believed some of the car-makers that pulled out because of cost had brought some of that financial pressure down on themselves.

“They have set themselves very high standards and there are always costs associated with that,” he said.

“Everybody wants their product to be good, look good and be the best. That is what happens in the commercial world. But that is a factor.”

However, he acknowledged that motor shows now had competitors in the form of the internet and websites where buyers could do much of their research.

“We’ve now got technological competitors to the motor show, and the internet is indeed a technological competitor, where people can go on, look at cars, do their research, make their comparisons, absolutely,” he said.

“But every bit of evidence we’ve got shows that while people can go on to the internet and do all their research before they go and actually purchase a car, they still want to touch it, smell it and have a look at it.”

Mr Purchase said he was confident motor shows were still relevant and appreciated by car buyers.

“Every bit of research we’ve got shows that all these other technological competitors, so to speak, even though they exist and everybody likes them, before they part with their cold, hard cash they like to go and see a vehicle in the flesh, they like to touch it, they like to smell the leather, and so on,” he said.

“That’s what a motor show does. It enables consumers to go from stand to stand and touch and feel and smell and do what they can’t do on the internet.

“They may have done all their research, they may know all the details about the vehicles but, ultimately, they need to sit in it.”

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