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2013 Australian Motor Show axed

Tue, 26 Mar 2013

This year’s Australian Motor Show in Melbourne has been cancelled by its organizers three months before its planned opening.

Falling attendance figures played a big part in taking the decision, as did what is seen as a lack of manufacturer support. The Australian International Motor Show Joint Venture's event director Russ Tyrie said the decision was taken "based on a consensus view of the automotive industry to focus limited marketing budgets in 2013 on firm-specific activities, rather than an industry-based motor show."

The Volkswagen Group's decision not to attend may well have acted as the final nail in the coffin along with Hyundai's hesitancy despite initial support. With so many brands under its wing it's hard to imagine a motor show without the VW Group? In total, less than 20 brands were set to appear at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

The decision seems at odds with official car sales figures that indicate an industry in good health. Official VFACTS data released at the beginning of this month by the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showed that 85,430 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in January, up 11.3 per cent or 8,647 vehicles compared to the same month in 2012.

Tyrie insists that this does not spell the end for Australian motor shows as a whole, saying, "In not proceeding with the show in 2013, Australia is following a global trend that has been apparent for several years, where cities do not always have a Motor Show. This trend is evident in the recent suspension of Motor Shows in London, Zagreb and Amsterdam."

Australian car enthusiasts will be disappointed after already seeing the Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth shows axed in the past five years, while the Sydney and Melbourne shows were forced to merge and alternate between cities every year.

By Rufus Thompson