Steane Klose | Mar 11, 2009

The official figures are in, and the numbers show that 160,000 Aussies and friends turned out to the see this year's Melbourne International Motor Show. Organisers were pleased with the numbers despite not being able to best record attendance figures of 248,000 from 2008.

The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and its new car division, AADA (Vic), said that despite the drop in attendance, the Motor Show is still Victoria's largest indoor event.

Motor Show director, Russ Tyrie had this to say:

“In any other year, we would be disappointed with a crowd of 160,000. But considering the impact of the global economic slowdown and with households watching every cent, achieving this number of visitors is encouraging for an industry feeling the pinch.

The tough financial climate meant we were not expecting anything approaching the record numbers of 2007. "

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As the 75th Melbourne International Motor Show closes its doors, a new era of motor show begins in Australia.

A recently signed joint venture between VACC, AADA (Vic), and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) - organisers of the Sydney show - will see a single "Australian International Motor Show" as of next year.

The event will alternate between Sydney and Melbourne, with Sydney having the honour of hosting the first of the joint venture's shows in 2010.

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VACC Executive Director David Purchase is looking forward to the joint venture:

“It is sad to see the end of the Melbourne Motor Show, but we are excited about the future. The partnership with FCAI is an opportunity for the Motor Show to develop and grow. It has the backing of the manufacturers and will provide better participation from overseas, more new releases, show specials and concept cars when it returns,”

All things considered, the Melbourne Motor Show performed as most expected given the rough economy.

In recent years, Motor Show crowds have been wowed by the likes of Holden's Monaro concept and last year's Coupe60 unveiling. You know times are tough when the talk of the show is the Holden Cruze.

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