Well, I suppose it’s not really a great surprise, but it’s still sad to see the demise of the British Motor Show.
The SMMT (organisers of the British Motor Show) announced this lunchtime that the 2010 show has been cancelled. They stated that this was due to the crisis in the car industry at present and the ongoing world financial crisis. And although they were at pains to say that the British Motor Show is only cancelled in 2010, in reality I guess that is the end of that for ever.
The British Motor Show has been unwell for years. It currently only gets around half the visitor numbers it used to in the Earls Court glory days and has only been held every other year for some time. So it was in decline long before the current economic woes overtook the car industry, so it seems likely this will be the end.
But it could well be the end for Motor Shows as we know them. The world has changed massively in recent years, and Motor Shows don’t hold the attraction they once did. When I was a boy, it was the only chance most mere mortals got to see exotica. But the web has changed all that. Every piece of information you could want and every image you need to drool over is but a Google search away.
And if Motor Shows do survive it will probably be in very different locations to now. Yes, there will still be a European Motor Show (Geneva in particular is excellent – great parties!) and a North American one (even though Detroit was but a shadow of itself this year) but I think we will see the big shows in the Middle East, China and other new powerhouse economies that are rising round the world.
Oh, well. I guess we’ll be going long haul for most Motor Shows in a few years!
And just as a bit of real nostalgia, have a look at this video of the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show. Now that was so far removed from much of the greyness of everyday life, it’s no surprise it was such a success. So many long-gone marques and models.