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Melbourne motor show axed, Sydney may follow

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by grange, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Falling attendance figures mean the Melbourne Motor Show has been axed and Sydney may follow.

    AUSTRALIANS might be treating themselves to a record number of new cars but we no longer want to pay to go and look at them.

    The Melbourne motor show has been axed for the first time since World War II - and next year’s Sydney motor show is hanging in the balance.

    The news comes less than three months before Melbourne was due to host its first motor show in two years after alternating with Sydney since 2009.

    The two shows had joined forces and agreed to alternate annually in an attempt to combat falling attendances and rising exhibitor costs.

    “We have made the decision not to proceed based on the consensus view of the auto industry to focus limited marketing budgets on specific activities rather than an industry motor show”, Russ Tyrie, event director of the Australian International Motorshow, told News Limited this morning.

    Motor shows have suffered globally as new-car shoppers do most of their research online before they buy.

    Brisbane's Motor Show was axed in 2009 after several car manufacturers pulled out of the event due to poor attendance figures in Sydney in 2008.

    Car makers have also become increasingly concerned about the rising cost of floorspace in exhibition centres, with many opting to use the money in more targeted marketing campaigns.

    “The exhibitor costs were getting out of hand and there are better and more effective ways to spend the money,” said one car company executive who wished to remain anonymous.

    The going rate for floorspace, the elaborate stands and the people to work a motor show for up to 10 days was close to $2 million for each of the big brands, said one insider.

    In 2008 Mercedes-Benz rented the Mount Panorama race circuit for an entire week for less than it would cost to exhibit at the Sydney show. It invited VIP guests for track test drives and says it sold more cars than it would have done at the motor show.

    Another year, the absence of sportscar maker Porsche prompted the headline: “Motor show without Porsche is like a pub with no beer”.

    At last year’s Sydney show Ford ambushed rival car makers by building a mega outdoor site designed to intercept customers before they made it to the front door. Ford had planned to do the same at the Melbourne motor show in June.

    At its peak in 2001, when the new Holden Monaro was unveiled, the Sydney motor show had 320,000 visitors through the turnstiles. Last year just 135,500 people attended, the second lowest result in the past decade.

    By comparison, the Melbourne motor show saw 160,000 visitors in 2011 -- but this was well down from the peak of 257,000 visitors in 2004.

    Meanwhile both the Melbourne and Sydney motor shows were struggling to attract car makers -- even after they began to alternate annually.

    The last Melbourne and Sydney motor shows attracted just 27 car brands each -- less than half of those on sale. News Limited undersands only 20 brands had signed up for this year’s Melbourne show.

    The Sydney motor show was due to move to the Homebush Bay Olympic site in August 2014 while the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre closes for renovations. But those plans are now under review.

    “Decisions on future shows will be made by the committee based on market research and exploring opportunities as to how this event can best meet the needs of the industry and the public,” Tyries said.

    The Melbourne motor show had been running since 1925 but was not held for three years during the Great Depression (1930 to 1932) and for eight years during and after World War II (1941 to 1948).

    Melbourne motor show attendance numbers:

    Peak: 257,000 (2004)
    2008: 240,000 (last time Sydney and Melbourne shows are held the same year)
    2009: 193,755
    2010: (no event, joint venture with Sydney)
    2011: 160,000
    2012: (no event, joint venture with Sydney)

    Sydney motor show attendance numbers:

    Peak: 320,000 (2001)
    2008: 137,000 (the last time Sydney and Melbourne shows were held the same year)
    2009: (no event, joint venture with Melbourne)
    2010: 124,000
    2011: (no event, joint venture with Melbourne)
    2012: 135,050

  2. I just saw this myself, it makes me sad :(
  3. Can't say I'm surprised. The few times I've ever been to the Sydney or Melbourne motor show I considered it a waste of money.

    If entry was free or just a small nominal amount, say $5, it might be worthwhile if I was car shopping and wanted to see all of the contenders in one small area.
  4. The expense of getting in is the main problem fukkemall
  5. No great loss. Between the expense, the crowd and the fact it was 95% the same every year, it was an event I avoided.
  6. The other ofputting cost was the cost of parking. $25 /hour. They can get stuffed
  7. That's a shame. I used to love it when I was young. Free posters, gearboxes to damage, expo girls...Haven't gone since they started to rid of concepts and the like. Who wants to see the latest mazda 3? Snooze
  8. yeah a great shame they have stopped it, had great memories going with my dad back in the day, seeing the enzo, monaro concept etc, getting all the cool show bags and other assorted promotional crap, getting driven around that awesome 4x4 track they used to do, i remember being amazed by the pajeros awesome gauges that show if your upside down etc.

    I went last year as a guest of Honda with toadcat for the first time since i was a kid. To be honest i was pretty disappointed and found most fun talking crap about cars in front of mean promo girls who wouldnt let me have a good look at their car. (e.g. jags that had the seatbelt clickers from a 99 ford focus, and the HSV staff for keeping their cars locked, sorry mate, my taxes are the only reason you even have a car still, least you can do is let me sit in your tarted up taxi)

    but yeah, generally the show was pretty boring i mean, it was all just normal cars that i could have seen in a dealer if i wanted, if i was a paying attendee i would be rather pissed i mean, shit its not cheap to park there, and its really just a bloody car dealership now, mostly full of low end cars like come on, 40 bucks or whatever it is? go to a dealer and you can do it all for free and the people will actually want to talk to you.

    Pretty sad though i guess, i know for a lot of people it was a great father son activity, but what can you do, would have been nice to go if i ever had a son.

    They need to be more like the motorcycle show, keep all the good stuff on display, let everyone take a seat and have a play, doesnt matter if it was a 1098, ducati had no problems with punters jumping on and having a go, same for the k1600, gold wing, whatever. Thats why people are going there, to have fun and play with stuff they likely would never get to see, if you want to buy a car a dealer is clearly the best place to go i mean, your not exactly going to get a great look at a car if its filled with 20 random people.

    at least i hear that they are doing well, looking forward to the next one. Is it back in sydney this year?
  9. It would be like going to an exhibition to look at toasters. Boring.