The 2010 British International Motor Show has been cancelled due to the global economic crisis, the organisers have announced.
"We didn't want the situation of planning a show against a background of uncertainty, so we crystallised debate very quickly: could manufacturers commit to the show for 2010?" said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which owns the rights to the event.
"The manufacturers are all in the process of making redundancies, cutting salaries, cutting working hours and trying to save money. It would have been foolhardy for them to come to us and commit to spending very significant amounts of money at such a time. Unsurprisingly, the people we asked all said they couldn't commit, so we have cancelled."
It is not clear when the show will be reorganised.
Everitt said: "When the economic situation improves we will be back, but the truth is that nobody knows when that will be. If there is an upturn in the next six months as sharp as the downturn has been in the past six months, then 2011 is possible. Realistically, though, it's a date beyond that."
However, 2012 has always presented problems for show organisers, as it would clash with the London Olympics, making 2013 the earliest realistic date for another show.
Rob Mackenzie, who organises the show for International Motor Industry Events (IMIE), added: “Given the great strides that the Motor Show has taken since its return to London, we fully endorse the decision to postpone BIMS until market conditions will again permit us to deliver a world class event that truly showcases the UK industry.”
Everitt added that a London base was a given for any future show, but said that the event format may change significantly.
"As a result of the cancellation we have time to consider what we want from a show," he said. "We are committed to displaying the achievements of the industry, but perhaps in a different way than we have done previously.
"We want to look at other shows and decide where we want to go. Some are very good at attracting consumers, while others have set up as key strategic events for the manufacturers. We need to discuss what we want our focus to be."