Motor Show Shock
next British Motor Show could be held in the grounds of the
famous Goodwood House, we can exclusively reveal. Industry
insiders have told us the West Sussex stately home is in the
running - along with four other venues - to host the 2006
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) - which
organises the show - hinted that it might no longer be held
at its traditional home, the Birmingham NEC. And now the group
has admitted it's inviting other sites to pitch for the contract.
A spokesman said: "We are writing to alternative exhibition
organisers asking them to provide plans of what they would
do for a 2006 show. While we're still in talks with the NEC,
we are effectively putting the contract out to tender."
Five venues are thought to be under consideration, but the
SMMT is tight-lipped as to their identity. "The British
Motor Show is the UK's biggest public exhibition," said
the spokesman, "so we are only looking at organisers
with a track record of holding large events. A decision will
be announced in December."
Despite the secrecy, we have learned that Goodwood is on the
short list. The 1,200-acre site, which is home to the annual
Festival of Speed, has its own race track, a hill-climb circuit
and a 4x4 course. This would make it ideal for the British
Motor Show's live attractions - which proved a big hit with
the 461,000 visitors to this year's event. However, a lack
of indoor exhibition halls and poor transport links could
prove a drawback. Other possible venues could include Silverstone.
The Northants track has the infrastructure to support a motor
The modern ExCeL exhibition centre in London's Docklands is
also in the running, as revealed exclusively by Auto Express
in Issue 824. Built in 2000, it has 65,000m2 of floor space
- that's less than a third of the NEC's. The expo could even
return to Earls Court, but this would require it to be scaled
down and the 'live' element reduced.