It will now be known as CV09 The Road Transport and Engineering Show, with more stress laid on the wide variety of products and services that are available to support the road transport industry. “In effect this would recreate the format of the original, highly successful, Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) shows, but on a larger and more national scale,” the organisers state.

Making a virtue out of necessity, the move comes in the wake of the withdrawal of all the major truck makers from the event. So far as van manufacturers are concerned both Vauxhall and Volkswagen have elected not to be present. “We’ll be diverting our budget to other ways of improving brand awareness,” says VW.

Other van producers — including LDV, Nissan and Peugeot — remain undecided. “We are considering our options,” says a Nissan executive. “We want to support the show, in fact we’re being pretty positive about it, but we need more clarity about the way in which the event is being changed,” says a Peugeot spokesman.

Ford was unable to give a definitive answer about its attendance at the time of writing. Truck makers Mercedes-Benz, Iveco, Isuzu Truck and Renault Trucks all have light commercial ranges, but having decided not to bring their heavy vehicles along it seems unlikely that they will bother to exhibit their lighter models on lcv-only stands.

“At present there is nothing to suggest that the show will not take place, although it will be smaller than previous events,” says Robin Dickeson, pr manager, commercial vehicle issues, at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT); one of the organisations backing the event.

“While it is true that around 50 vehicle makers exhibit regularly, we have some 300 to 500 exhibitors involved in other areas of the industry,” he continues, “As a consequence I think it’s fair to say that the event has very much evolved into a road transport engineering show over the past nine or ten years.”

It’s the vehicles, however, that pull in the visitors. Their absence could result in the crowds thinning out drastically, a point not lost on the suppliers of products and services whose loyalty the show organisers are hoping to retain. Michelin is one product supplier that has already decided not to attend.

“I have no idea whether we’ll be exhibiting or not, but I’m somewhat nervous about the show given that the truck manufacturers have pulled out,” says Karen Crispe, a director of Tachodisc, a supplier of tachograph-related products and services. “It looks as though it will be a very different event from the one that was held last year and I suspect that the footfall will be down. I think you have to question whether customers will have time to visit the show, especially given the current economic climate.”

Scheduled to take place on 28-30 April at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, the event is held by the CV Show Partnership. As well as the SMMT it includes the Road Haulage Association and the IRTE, a professional section of the Society of Operations Engineers. Just under 28,500 visitors attended the show in 2008.

Meanwhile, across the Channel The European Road Transport Show (TERTS) organising committee has unanimously decided to cancel plans for the 2009 TERTS event due to the current economic situation within the transport industry. The enormous bi-annual event was scheduled to be held from 29 October to 5 November at the Amsterdam RAI exhibition centre.