Goodwood's great but car makers still want a proper motor show


Car manufacturers have given the Goodwood Moving Motor Show the thumbs up – but most doubt it will ever replace the British Motor Show.

With an official motor show on hold, manufacturers have said that as good as Goodwood is, they'd still like to see a London or Birmingham event return.

Nissan's marketing director Steve McLennan said the Moving Motor Show, which takes place on 30 June, was an "interesting facet" of the Festival of Speed, but in his eyes not "integral to it" while a spokesman for Toyota said Goodwood's location was a "limiting factor".

It has many unique qualities, but it is a very different event and consumer experience to that offered by a motor show," said a spokesman.

And BMW added it believes there is still an "appetite" for a traditional motor show which is why it attends others around the world.

The big difference at the Moving Motor Show is the fact buyers can get behind the wheel. It's certainly a winning formula for some with many makers reporting sales directly off the back of the event.

Citroen is using the show to premiere the DS4 after several DS3s were sold at Goodwood last year.

"The fact that we chose Goodwood as the UK premiere of the DS4 shows how important it has become," said a spokesman, adding: "We know we sold DS3 from it last year and we believe we will repeat that with DS4."

Abarth boss Ivan Gibson said the Moving Motor Show has the potential to become one of the UK's "premier events".

"For a brand such as Abarth it is essential to have prospective customers sample our products and get a feel of the cars, so to get people behind the wheel is key," he said.

"It is far from a gimmick. Last year we generated a high level of interest and had inquiries from people who took a test drive and then went immediately to their dealer to place an order."

Other manufacturers simply like the fact it's a different way to promote their product in a more relaxed fashion compared to a traditional motor show.

"Driving up the famous hill in the beautiful setting of Goodwood is a unique experience and one which customers remember for a long time," said a Honda spokesman.

And a spokesperson for MG Motor added: "The Moving Motor Show has quickly become a major automotive event. With a product like MG, there is so much more to be gained at events where customers can drive. The MMS gives us just that – we have waiting lists for test drives, so from MG's point of view it's a big success."

Goodwood certainly seems to be ticking the right boxes with a lot of the car makers –even big guns like Ford are impressed.

"The show allows manufacturers to showpiece products directly to potential car buyers and motoring enthusiasts," said a Blue Oval spokesman. "In the absence of a national motor show, smaller niche events such as Goodwood have a bright future."

And a Chevrolet spokesman heaped praise on the Moving Motor Show too: "It's a lot more than a gimmick. Do we sell cars off the back of it? Put it this way, we'll be announcing Camaro and Volt prices at Goodwood, meaning that if anyone wants to buy one, we can make it happen."