A good truck charm

Melbourne is emerg­ing as the top show city with the in­dus­try’s back­ing, writesGRAHAMSMITH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

MELBOURNE looks like ben­e­fit­ing from the the Truck In­dus­try Coun­cil’s (TIC) re­fusal to back the fu­ture of the Syd­ney Truck Show.

Also in doubt is the coun­try’s pre­mier truck show in Bris­bane, the TIC pre­fer­ring to sup­port just one ma­jor show ev­ery two years rather than the three it be­ing asked to sup­port now.

The win­ner in this show stand­off is likely to be Vic­to­ria af­ter the suc­cess­ful in­au­gu­ral stag­ing of the Melbourne Truck Show in May.

Ac­cord­ing to a TIC in­sider who didn’t want to be named, there is lit­tle or no in­dus­try sup­port for the Syd­ney show, even though a sub­stan­tial num­ber of TIC mem­bers dis­played at the week­end’s show at Home­bush.

The in­sider says there is ev­ery chance it could fold be­fore the next show in two years time.

In­dus­try sup­port through the TIC, which rep­re­sents ev­ery truck man­u­fac­turer on the lo­cal mar­ket, is es­sen­tial for a ma­jor show to suc­ceed.

That sup­port guar­an­tees ev­ery maker will show up and dis­play their latest ve­hi­cles.

Com­pa­nies such as Isuzu, Hino, Iveco, Volvo and Mack have cho­sen to be at Home­bush this week­end, while oth­ers have cho­sen to be rep­re­sented by their lo­cal deal­ers.

The fu­ture of the Bris­bane show, long an in­dus­try favourite, is also on the skids as far as the TIC is con­cerned.

The coun­cil aims to sup­port the show show­ing the in­dus­try in the best light and now con­sid­ers the Bris­bane show un­suit­able.

The sug­ges­tion is that the Bris­bane or­gan­iser doesn’t read­ily ac­com­mo­date their needs, the venue re­quires too much money to be spent to bring by man­u­fac­tur­ers to bring it up to the re­quired level of pre­sen­ta­tion for each show, and it has evolved into a much broader-based show with re­duced em­pha­sis on the trucks.

The trucks share the lime­light with hand tools, small pieces of equip­ment like chain saws and the like.

While Bris­bane’s RNA Show­grounds venue is be­ing de­vel­oped, the TIC is not con­fi­dent the re­de­vel­oped site will suit mem­bers’ needs any bet­ter than now.

With Syd­ney and Bris­bane likely to miss out on TIC sup­port, and re­vert to lo­cal or re­gional shows, Melbourne has be­come the firm favourite.

It is rated the best venue cur­rently in use and is likely to be even bet­ter with the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment spend­ing more money on fur­ther de­vel­op­ment.

Melbourne is also re­garded as the cen­tre of truck­mak­ing in Aus­tralia, with Ken­worth and Iveco man­u­fac­tur­ing here and many other mak­ers us­ing the city for their lo­cal head­quar­ters.

It is also con­sid­ered a suit­able city to which they can in­vite deal­ers, cus­tomers and for­eign vis­i­tors to con­fer­ences and en­ter­tain them in style.

While in the past the lure of the sun, sand and surf has made Bris­bane a pop­u­lar show for truck mak­ers to in­vite guests and over­seas ex­ec­u­tives, the show no longer has the im­age the in­dus­try wants to project.

‘‘It’s be­come a show with too many bikini-clad girls, old trucks and beer-swill­ing spectators,’’ the TIC in­sider says.

‘‘We want to show­case our in­dus­try in a way that high­lights the tech­nol­ogy, ef­fi­ciency and en­vi­ron­men­tal friend­li­ness of the prod­ucts we pro­duce.’’

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