Disquiet is the mood amongst many truck manufacturers in relation to TIC’s plans to stage a truck show in Melbourne in March 2021 up against the long running Brisbane Truck Show, scheduled just two month later in the Queensland capital.

Truck and Bus News has spoken with several manufacturers about the  proposed Melbourne Show and all have expressed doubts about  the plans for the rival expo which will apparently be run by Deutsche Messe, the company appointed by TIC to handle the new truck show, and which runs the giant Hannover Truck Show in Germany as well as the North American Truck Show in Atlanta every two years.

It is understood that at least three major players in the industry will break ranks with the Truck Industry Council and will be opting out of the Melbourne Show in favour of the traditional Brisbane Expo.

Truck and Bus News has been told that one significant issue has been the increased cost of  participating in the Melbourne Show compared with the Brisbane event.  T&B News understands that the cost of floor space for the Melbourne Show will be at least 20 per cent higher than the rates charged by the HVIA, which runs the  Brisbane Show, while the scheduling of the Melbourne show in the week of the Australian F1 Grand Prix will result in a large increase in accommodation costs and a scarcity of available accommodation at a time of high demand in the city.

One truck company executive who asked not to be named, told T&B News that the plan was ‘folly and there are serious misgivings about  the cost and benefit of TIC staging its own show.”

Another truck company CEO who also insisted on anonymity, told T&B News that he has told the staging compnay that  they would not be at the Melbourne Show.

“We were told that one of the reason for staging the Melbourne event was to lower costs and yet we have now been told the costs will be significantly more for floor space not to mention the cost of accommodation and other expenses that will come from it being up against the Melbourne Grand Prix, and on that basis I have toild them no thank you,” the CEO said.

We believe Paccar is the only truck company to have committed to the Melbourne Show at this stage.

We understand that Daimler and Volvo Group, both of whom market three brands of trucks in this country, are both likely to opt out of the Melbourne event, while two other major brands with large market share and volume are seriously considering not going to Melbourne.

Despite telling T&B News back in mid-July that a statement about who would be running the proposed Melbourne Show, along wth other details, would be made by 31 July, nothing has been formally announced yet.

If the companies we have spoken to follow through with the threat to not display at the Melbourne Show the halls at the Exhibition Centre on the banks of the Yarra are likely to  be sparsely populated come March 2021. 

However history shows that despite pushing back against similar plans for new truck shows in the past, the fear of missing out often kicks in and the companies relent and spend the money to be at the new event. Time will tell if the truck makers stay true to their protests this time or if they fold and support the new show up against the tried and proven Brisbane event