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New-look car show set for 2015 return

It’s not on: Organisers are now looking at the future of car shows in Australia.

International motor show to return to Australia, just not as we know it

25 Feb 2014

THE glitz and glamour of an international motor show could return to Australia as early as next year – although it is unlikely to be anything we recognise from the past.

Instead, the joint partners behind the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) last held in Melbourne in 2011 and in Sydney in 2012 will go their separate ways as they explore what new format the show will take on, with the first new-format event taking place as early as next year.

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and the NSW-based Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) – the organisers behind the AIMS that flip-flopped between Sydney and Melbourne for a couple of years after protests from car-makers that annual shows in each city was costing too much – said today they would dissolve their long-standing partnership, with the VACC set to develop a “new-look motor event”.

The move ends a somewhat rocky period for the joint venture after its formation in 2009, which saw declining attendance numbers and shrinking new-car displays rob the event of its life force.

“VACC has enjoyed working with the FCAI on the Australian International Motor Show. The relationship was extremely productive and cordial,” VACC executive director David Purchase said.

“Organising two major annual motor shows in two cities had become unsustainable and, after reviewing the business models, and agreeing to work together, we produced an internationally recognised event,” he said.

VACC media and communications manager Murray Collins told GoAuto that the VACC planned to stage its first standalone event in Melbourne next year.

Event organisers are believed to have had a close look at how people have reacted to Ford’s Smart Drive campaign, which allowed potential customers to experience the car-maker’s products in a controlled environment.

The suggestion is that any new format for the show needs to offer more than static displays to attract people through the doors.

“It doesn’t mean the end of motorshows, just the motorshow as we know it,” Mr Collins said.

The FCAI declined to say if it would plan an event for Sydney in 2016, given the VACC’s move to hold an event next year.

Mercedes-Benz corporate communications senior manager David McCarthy said his brand would wait and see what was on offer before committing to any future event.

“I think, not so much us but a lot of other brands, have voiced the opinion that the old formula wasn’t working and we need to replace it with something else. Certainly less static was part of the discussion around moving it to Olympic Park in Sydney,” he said.

“There’s no commitment either way from us, but we will certainly have a good close look at it. What they’re suggesting is probably worthy of a look, but let’s see.”

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