SCOTLAND: SHOW/NO SHOW
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• The Scottish Motor Show has reached an interesting point in its development. It is the last of the big old-style provincial motor shows whcih have had to cede prominence to the biennial extravaganza at the NEC in Birmingham, to the new and different biennial Motorfair in London, and to smaller local shows.
In many respects, the Scottish Show has lost some of its clout (despite having been moved into the smart new Scottish Exhibition Centre from its dreary former home at Kelvin Hall). For example, no fewer than three of Britain's ten heavy goods vehicle manufacturers/importers are staying away this year, even though theoretically it is their dealers rather than they themselves who have to bear the cost of exhibiting.
It can be argued that there is no need for a Scottish Show in these days of rapid and efficient communications from one end of the country to the other. Surely, it can be said, a major show in Birmingham every two years serves the buyer and seller better.
It can slso be said, however, that a show in Glasgow will attract visitors who would never go to Birmingham, and that is a very powerful argument. After all, one of the principal reasons for having a motor show at all is to let the vendors meet potential customers who do not visit their showrooms or who are not otherwise known to them. Any event which does that must have some merit.
The Scottish Motor Show must surely face a watershed this year, however. If 30% of the truck companies in the market stay away and find they can survive without Scotland, more will be tempted to pull out next time. That would diminish even further the stature of the show, and reduce its appeal to the buying public, which goes to shows because they are those rare places where one can theoretically see all the competition lined up for close comparison.
There is enough of merit at Scotland this year (with several world premieres, for starters) to make it a worthwhile show. What the industry must do before the next show is come to a concerted decision as to whether or not the Scottish Show is one which the truck industry as a whole will support.