A Splendid Achievement
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
THE first question that we were asked on almost every stand that we visited at the Commercial Motor Transport Exhibition was: "What do you think of the Show?" It was a natural anxiety on the part of exhibitors to know how those with recent experience of Continental exhibitions of a similar nature would react to the British effort.
They need have had no fear; we are giving not only our own view in stating that this is the finest display of commercial vehicles that has ever been staged in this country or any other, and, what is more, it is attracting the right customers—the buyers from abroad, for whom it was primarily organized.
Excellent and Lasting Effect First impressions are often considered to be correct, and we write this in the early days, but we are convinced that all concerned will, in summing up their opinions after the Show is over, conclude that it has been the high spot of the industry. and one which will have an excellent and lasting effect, not only upon our overseas trade, but, eventually, in our home market.
There are high lights, such as the marked improvements in design made since the Show of 1937, and in the busy period following the recent war. In many cases, there is definitely also a "new look" not only in chassis and bodywork, but also in equipment and accessories. The goods vehicles are eminently practicable and their bodies show many interesting developments in construction and materials, whilst passenger vehicles are attracting great attention for their high quality, comfort and finish. Incidentally, there were many difficulties in obtaining the correct constituents for the finishing materials, but to judge by the results most of these must have been overcome.
As regards the attendance, there were, roughly, 2,000 more arrivals during the first hour of last Saturday than there were in the corresponding period of the 1937 Exhibition. This is perhaps more indicative of the public interest than the figures for other days, but it helps to show how road transport has penetrated so deeply into the life of the Nation. There arc a few criticisms that can be made. For example, some of the stands are too crowded with exhibits. This makes it difficult for each model to be adequately displayed and inspected. That this factor was realized by the managing director of one important manufacturing concern is indicated by his action in ordering two vehicles to be removed from the stand immediately he saw the effect.
The arrangements for the opening by Earl Mountbatten were also not organized quite so well as they should have been, and those responsible might in future take some hints on this matter from Continental shows. During his tour of the stands the Earl was supposed to have been accompanied by the elite of the industry, but this party was joined by many smaller fry, which made it appear somewhat ragged. Also, many of the " reserved " seats in the gallery had been taken before their, rightful occupants arrived.
The speakers' voices, although amplified to a great extent, were not clear, with the result that people began to lose interest and move about, which must have been rather disturbing for those at the microphone who could view almost the whole of the arena.
Early Orders for Export As regards the actual exhibitors, many have expressed considerable satisfaction with the inquiries and particularly with the orders already received. In some cases, it was proved in the first two days that the expenses of exhibiting were fully justified and more than covered, and although it is too early to particularize, some really large and important contracts were secured during that time, and there is every hope that many more will follow.
The sufferings of the home market, however, can be gauged by the fact that one coachbuilder was asked for details and prices of a particular body of a goods vehicle, but when he inquired as to the delivery date of the chassis this was given as two and a half years. As this particular exhibitor does little or no export business, he naturally -felt a little disheartened, but, after all, it is, as we said earlier, mainly an export Show.