Motorshow 2011 victim of the finance squeeze

EASTBOURNE Motorshow will not go ahead this year after local dealerships were unable to commit to the event.

The popular summer show has been held at Sussex Downs College for the past 12 years.

The current financial climate is being blamed for this break in the show’s successful history.

Paula Edwards, from Motorshow Events, the event organiser, said, “The last thing we wanted was to run a sub-standard show and let the public down. For the show to remain successful we need to have the commitment of 20 or so local dealerships, but it seems the current economic climate made this impossible for some companies.”

Eastbourne Franchised Motor Dealers Association (EFMDA) treasurer Patrick Warner, managing director of Sterling Automotive - Eastbourne’s MG dealership, said he was disappointed the 2011 show was not going ahead.

He said, “We were keen to go ahead from an MG point of view. It is sad there will not be a show this year but I think it is a sign of the times.”

Mr Warner explained the stands are charged per square foot and added, “We have a smaller stand but other dealerships would need bigger stands and would have to pay more. This comes at a time when people are looking to control and eliminate costs.”

The MG dealership has been involved in the Eastbourne Motorshow for the past two years and Mr Warner said the successful event provided an opportunity for car dealers to take products to the marketplace in a relaxed setting.

Mr Warner was hopeful the event would return for 2012. He added, “I will stay in contact with Motorshow Events. I am sure lots would support the return of Eastbourne Motorshow in 2012.”

Peter Collins, EFMDA chairman, said he hoped the show would come back as a ‘bigger and stronger’ event next year.

It is unclear how many dealerships did not commit as some did not want to comment. Over the years, Eastbourne Motorshow has grown to be the largest event of its kind in the UK.

Several new car models received their UK unveiling at the show which has been hosted by a variety of motoring experts including James May, Richard Hammond, Tiff Needell, Chris Goffey, Mike Brewer and most recently, Jason Dawe.