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“The British Motor Show will be everything that traditional motor shows are not”

Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Turin, Detroit and Tokyo all have something in common. They are, or have been, traditional venues for world-class motor shows, sometimes notorious, but increasingly obsolete. Trouble is, as the car show capitals of the world, they are now dead or dying.

The reasons for their disappearance are manifold. Most shows were staged during the cold fall or freezing winter months when organizers seized exhibit halls at the lowest prices, forcing spectators like me to freeze our terminals while queuing for enter. They’ve stuck to the tired old formula of static cars for too long. doing nothing and going nowhere, despite warring manufacturers suffering from “mine is bigger than yours” syndrome and blowing untold millions on their monumental, blingy, gin-palace-like booths. Patrons blocked by cordoned-off areas, glass walls and booted and suited bouncers were another nail in the coffin.

But it’s not all bad news. At the other end of the spectrum is the British Motor Show, which was reborn last August when it took over the Farnborough show halls and adjacent grounds. Many people – myself included – were pleasantly surprised by larger than expected crowds, endless riding and driving opportunities, stunt shows and dozens of other activities designed to entertain, inform and educate. The organizer has now confirmed that it will return to Farnborough for at least the next four years, from August 2022. There is 30% more space for exhibitors, an expected 49% increase in the number of visitors, but no increase in ticket prices.

Very deliberately, our new National Auto Show is, and will continue to be, everything these traditional shows are not. CEO Andy Entwistle would of course love to see the latest products from all automakers, but he assured me that he encourages automakers and other exhibitors to spend wisely and not waste their money on colossal, lavish booths that can alienate viewers.

The cars will once again be the undisputed stars of the British Motor Show in 2022, alongside several motoring celebrities, automotive industry leaders and designers, racing and stunt drivers, major broadcasters, major retailers, specialty businesses and countless others. But this isn’t just a car show for tankers. There will also be areas for the increasingly popular electric vehicles, motorhomes and DIY van conversions. There will also be bicycles; auctions in collaboration with BCA; cars and karts for children and adults to drive; self-built and retrofitted vehicles; courses or sessions on education, careers and technology; award ceremonies; halls (plural) of fame; world record attempts – you name it.

Oh yes, the deliciously deafening din and unmistakable smell of almost everything automotive and motorsport is guaranteed for the British Motor Show 2022. You’ve been warned.

Did you go to the British Motor Show 2021? Tell us what you thought below…

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