Major truck manufacturers will not attend the Commercial Vehicle Show in April as light commercial vehicles take centre stage at the event.
CV Show director Robert Skelton confirmed to Commercial Fleet that there will be more van manufacturers than heavy trucks on display this year.
“This is perhaps indicative of the growth in van sales predicted for the coming years,” he said.
The CV Show has usually been truck-led, but, as Commercial Fleet went to press, major manufacturers were missing from the floor plan, including DAF, Isuzu Trucks, Scania, Volvo Trucks, MAN, Renault Trucks, Dennis Eagle, Mitsubishi Fuso, Hino and Mercedes-Benz.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) registration figures show light commercial vehicle numbers up 15.6% last year compared to 2014, at 371,830 units. Performance in the truck market is strong too, with registrations up 25.5% to 52,064 units.
The SMMT would not comment on whether there was uncertainty surrounding the future strength of the truck market although chief executive Mike Hawes suggested a “levelling off” of both van and truck sales in 2016.
An SMMT spokesman added: “The 2016 CV Show will play host to a huge variety of companies: floorspace is already more than 90% sold out, with more than 365 exhibitors from the broad spectrum of the commercial vehicle industry signed up.
“Whether companies attend the show is a decision for them to make on an individual basis, and invariably those decisions can change from year-to-year based on a number of factors, including product launch cycles.”
The UK’s biggest van manufacturer, Ford, will be at the show, as will Citroën, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota and Mitsubishi with their LCV line-ups.
The two biggest leasing companies in the UK, Lex Autolease and Leaseplan, have both also confirmed their attendance.
Mercedes-Benz had a particularly large presence at the show last year, but the manufacturer has confirmed it will not be displaying trucks or vans this year.
A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz said: “Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans are currently reviewing their entire events policy to ensure the brand is aligned with key industry segments, ensuring the entire product range is easily accessible and visible to all customers.
“As such, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans are investing in more segment-specific events, and will be rolling out a revised events strategy in 2016.”
An Isuzu Trucks spokesman said none of its new products would be launching in 2016 and it was concentrating on its internal events schedule instead. However, it confirmed it would attend the CV Show in 2017.
Phil Moon, marketing manager, DAF Trucks, said the company had decided to attend the CV Show on a biennial basis.
“This offers a sensible period of time in which all truck manufacturers may have developed new products and services and to bring them to the attention of show-goers,” he said.
DAF Trucks said it has also made it clear to CV Show organisers that it will continue to attend every second year.
Skelton said there would still be a truck presence at the show, as well as the biggest number of trailer manufacturer stands since the pre-recession show of 2008.
He said: “The CV Show has always been and remains the most comprehensive road transport and logistics event held in Britain.
“By the time the 2016 CV Show opens in April, we expect more than 450 exhibitors to have stands booked, occupying some 50,000 square metres of the NEC in Birmingham.”