Goodwood has confirmed it will launch a new motor show this summer to help fill the void left by the cancellation of the traditional British Motor Show at Excel.
The Moving Motor Show will take place on the Thursday before the Festival of Speed and will allow new car buyers to test drive cars around a "special evaluation route" on the Goodwood estate.
"A new pavilion is being built to be a focal point of our road car displays, and the Moving Motor Show will be a key part of the Festival," said Lord March. "We're the biggest car show in the world and manfacturers can get their new cars in front of enthusiastic and knowledge public."
Goodwood's supercar run at the Festival of Speed has rapidly gained in popularity over the years, as the public have enjoyed seeing the exotica close up. This, along with the demise of the bi-annual SMMT shows, has encouraged Goodwood to set up its own show.
If it's a success, the show could be extended and allow for specially-themed days for certain types of cars, as well as dedicated days for fleet, private and trade buyers.
"A new pavilion is being built to be a focal point of our road car displays, and the Moving Motor Show will be a key part of the show," said Lord March. "We're the biggest car show in the world and manfacturers can get their new cars in front of entusiastuc and knowledge public."
The increasing popularity of manufacturers' static stands at the Festival has also encouraged the launch of the show. Many brands have reporting direct sales from the Festival, which is known for attracting affluent showgoers.
Most manufacturers selling in the UK, both niche and major, will be in attendance at the show ensuring all market sectors in the UK are covered.
Lord March, who founded the Festival in 1993 and owns the Goodwood estate, said, "The Moving Motor Show is a direct response to the continued enthusiasm and demand from vehicle manufacturers and the general car-buying public alike for an annual motor show in Britain. In recent years the British Motor Show has been bi-annual, and has now been cancelled altogether for 2010.
"My hope is that the Goodwood Moving Motor Show will become a ‘must-attend’ annual event, enabling car buyers to see and experience the latest models, and giving vehicle producers the opportunity to showcase their products in a stunning setting and a relaxed environment.”
Also confirmed today at the launch of Goodwood's summer motorsport programme was the theme for the Festival of Speed itself, where Alfa Romeo will take centre stage in its centennary year. The theme Viva Veloce! The Passion for Speed celebrates all things Italian, as well as Alfa itself.
Alfa will be providing the annual sculpture which will sit in front of Goodwood house over the weekend. The 'Central Feature' will include many of Alfa's more iconic cars.
Alfa will also be bringing over more than 50 its cars from its Museo Storic historic collection in Milan, many of which have never been seen before in the UK. Its new Golf-rivalling Gulietta hatch will also be on display. It made its UK debut at today's Goodwood press launch.
This year's Festival will also be celebrating 60 years of the F1 world championship with a special display of cars from the sport's history. Five of this year's field is already confirmed for attendance. As ever, Goodwood will be running its forest rally stage and Sebastian Loeb is already confirmed in the line-up, as is the Peugeot IRC team. Ken Block will also drive his 800+bhp Fiesta show car.