IN WHAT is surely no surprise to followers of the up-and-down affair, Expertise Events has confirmed that the 2010 Brisbane Motor Show has been cancelled.
In a statement posted on the event's website, the company said that while it had bent over backwards to build interest, a lack of manufacturer and dealer support had ultimately lead to the event being canned.
"The Motor Show is admitting defeat," the statement reads.
"Despite changing the date at the request of the industry, listening to the market and lowering space fees by providing a walk-on stand package which saves over $100,000's of dollars in stand build, reducing the number of days from ten to five and producing a comprehensive entertainment program that no other show in the country has ever contemplated, there is just not enough content to stage a show that meets the public expectations."
The announcement follows a release just last month declaring the event "on track" for its June opening - a date that left less than four months between the Brisbane show and Sydney's significantly larger Australian International Motor Show in September.
Gary Fitz-Roy, Managing Director for Expertise Events, said that although many manufacturers had promised support, most had not officially signed on.
"We were promised by major dealers that the brands would be represented, however in the last three months and each week there has been a delay or a new excuse," Mr Fitz-Roy said.
Manufacturers that had signed contracts included Hyundai, Honda, Holden, Ford, Land Rover, Kia, Isuzu Ute and Peugeot. Mr Fitz-Roy acknowledged the support of these manufacturers.
"My Team and I are gutted at having to make this decision after coming so far and so close, however we know deep down it is the only decision to make," he said.
One of the more notable appearances at the show was to be the Sonata-replacing 2010 Hyundai i45, scheduled to launch in Australia next month.
Is there more to this story? The Brisbane Motor Show is staged by the retail automotive industry body, Motor Trades Association - Queensland (MTA-Q). The Sydney Motor Show by a joint venture between Victorian industry body VACC and the national manufacturers' body FCAI.
With the national motor trades association MTAA currently fractured (and at loggerheads), and with MTA-Q aligned with VACC and MTA-NSW, there may have been other pressures on the Queensland body to cancel the event besides lack of manufacturer support.
We'll watch this space.