Notable absentees were Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Renault and Peugeot but due to the timing of their product cycles, Sockl said: “We do expect to see some van manufacturers back next year.”

In particular he pointed out that Vauxhall would be anxious to promote its new Luton-built Vivaro while Renault will be launching its next-generation Trafic in 2014.

“Being at the show is an opportunity to look customers in the eye,” Sockl said.

But with a strong turnout from HGV manufacturers, including the return of DAF and Iveco, Sockl was confident the show would be a success.

He expected visitor numbers to reach 16,000, on a par with 2012, and once more forecast a profitable event – the previous two shows finished about £300,000 in the black.

This year’s figure will be announced in June but Sockl said: “We are a profitable show, it secures the future of the event.”

He said exhibition space booked across the three halls had increased by 2100 square metres this year and calculated that on average, exhibitors took 75 square metres for each commercial vehicle.

Following last year’s exhibition, the CV Show gained accreditation as an International Motor Show and Sockl said: “We can stand alongside the other International shows in terms of status.”

However, he acknowledged the right-hand drive requirement of UK vehicles restricted the event’s ability to attract international launches.

The 2014 Commercial Vehicle Show will take place from 29 April – 1 May.