Italian carmaker Fiat will shun the only annual car show in its home turf in 2014, further giving the event a big blow after it was cancelled this year due to lack of exhibitors. Organizers are even shifting the show from Bologna to Milan next year as they hope to attract more interest. The event will now be known as the Milano Auto Show, and will be set to occur from Dec. 11 to Dec. 21, 2014.
According to Fiat, the auto shows in Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris are sufficient for carmakers to showcase their offerings to the public and media. The Italian carmaker said that they don't believe "conditions exist to create a new show," noting that market problems in the recent years have caused important shows to close in big European cities.
Fiat controls 30 percent of the Italian vehicle market, which is expected to contract further this year to below 1.3 million units, from a 2.5 million peak in 2007. The decline in vehicle sales in the country has made it more difficult for carmakers to invest to show new products to a public that is not even interested in purchasing their offerings.
The Milan show will be organized by Promotor, which ran the Bologna event. Promotor Chairman Alfredo Cazzola said that they have already started contacting potential exhibitors, adding that as of now, they cannot say how many carmakers will attend the Milan show. With regards to Fiat's statement, Cazzola was quoted by Italian newspaper La Repubblica as saying that "Fiat's business is to build cars, not to organize shows."
He told the daily that Fiat will reconsider its decision after it sees the project for the Milano show. Carmakers typically spend at least EUR1 million per brand on a stand at a major international car show. Audi was reported to have shelled out EUR40 million for its stand and other locations at the Frankfurt show in September. Around 1,000 exhibitors attend the 2013 Frankfurt show, while only 133 took part in the Bologna event in 2012.