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FCAI defends show

Revealing: Alfa Romeo unveils the 8C Competizione at last year's show.

AIMS will still shine, despite the no-shows: McKellar

General News logo9 Aug 2007

By MARTON PETTENDY

THE Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has defended the decision of at least five high-profile vehicle brands not to attend the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Sydney from October 11.

As GoAuto reported last week, Jaguar, Mini, Alfa Romeo, Citroen and Fiat have chosen not to be seen at Australia’s biggest motor show this year because they believe their marketing dollars can be spent more cost-effectively elsewhere.

“There’s no denying the issue that you highlighted in terms of (the non-attendance of) those brands,” said FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar.

“Whether from year to year you have individual brands determining for their own marketing purposes whether they’re in or out, that’s quite normal and that’s something we have to live with.” Mr McKellar said that, as always, the amount of exhibition space sought by car companies exceeded what was available.

“In the ideal world I would love to have them all, but the reality is we have limited space and we can’t meet everyone’s requirement. And then they have got to look at the costs and what they’ve got in terms of new product and what’s effective for them, so they make their own call on that basis.” Mr McKellar agreed that the increasing number of mediums via which car companies can now expose their vehicles had provided greater competition for motor shows.

“There has been an unquestionable proliferation of means of communicating with your market. Everybody is looking to communicate with their market in the most cost-effective way, be it by the internet, print media or other means,” he said.

Mr McKellar expressed surprise at the no-show of luxury brands including Jaguar, and suggested the future of the motor shows as an institution depended on the support of exhibitors.

“I respect the decisions of those that have decided not to take part in this year’s show, but as a forum for presenting luxury vehicles, the motor show represents a very viable option,” he said.

“Would I rather they were there? Yes, I would, but they’re not, they’ve made that decision and we’ve been able to fill their place very adequately with other effective and attractive displays.

“I’m confident there’s a strong commitment there for the motor show and for motor shows around the country on the part of the industry and of a very wide cross-section of brands.

“So as long as each year and with each show we are able to bring a very strong interest factor and ensure we keep getting the concept and production vehicles for the public, then the public will continue to support it and they do,” he said.

Mr McKellar welcomed the return to Sydney of Lamborghini and Porsche, along with a bigger presence from BMW, and said confirmation of up to two global debuts and the recently announced deal to house the Volkswagen, Skoda and Bentley brands exclusively in Hall 8 would soon be followed by news of unprecedented interactive innovations at Darling Harbour come October.

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