Tim O'Brien | Jul 6, 2011

Strong attendance figures for the first weekend of the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne confirm support for the change of date from March.

From the show's opening to the public on Friday evening, to close on Monday, more than 80,000 visitors had been through the doors to Jeff's Shed.

While not the all-time record, these figures are up 27 percent over the same period at last year's Sydney show, and up 41 percent over the same time-frame at the last Melbourne Motor Show, in March 2009.

Australian International Motor Show event director Russ Tyrie said the attendance figures indicate that moving to the new July date has been a success.

“The move to July has been met with approval by visitors and exhibitors alike,” he said.

As we had commented in an earlier piece, Mr Tyrie said that "the clear space around the show on the international motor show calendar has allowed manufacturers to bring in drawcards" we perhaps might not otherwise see.

There are certainly more special vehicles at this year's show - like the Audi e-tron, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept, Mazda Shinari concept, Toyota FT-86 II and Lamborghini Aventador - than we had become accustomed to seeing in recent years.

“The Melbourne public hasn’t had a show for the last two years, and the combination of a host of star cars and the winter school holidays has seen people return in good numbers,” Mr Tyrie said.