Italian car show finds new home in Milan for 2014

Ferrari 458 Challenge is a track-ready version of the 458 Italia mid-engined sports car and used in the Italian super sportscar maker’s single-series racing programme. Italy's only annual car show will take place in Milan next year, moving fro
Ferrari 458 Challenge is a track-ready version of the 458 Italia mid-engined sports car and used in the Italian super sportscar maker’s single-series racing programme. Italy's only annual car show will take place in Milan next year, moving from Bologna after this year's event was cancelled due to a lack of exhibitors in a moribund local market. -- FILE PHOTO: FERRARI

MILAN (REUTERS) - Italy's only annual car show will take place in Milan next year, moving from Bologna after this year's event was cancelled due to a lack of exhibitors in a moribund local market.

The event will run from Dec 11-21, 2014, organisers said on Friday.

"We want to give the automotive industry a springboard that can compete with the big European car shows," said Mr Enrico Pazzali, chief executive of the Fiera Milano, the show venue.

The Bologna Motor Show was scheduled to take place from Dec 3-9. But with Italy's domestic car sales having fallen 50 per cent since 2007, carmakers had little incentive to spend the money to show new products.

Car companies spend at least one million euros per brand on a stand at a major international car show such as the ones held in Detroit, Paris, Geneva and Frankfurt.

German carmaker Audi was reported to have spent 40 million euros (S$67.1 million) to deck out its Frankfurt stand as well as other locations during September's event.

The Frankfurt car show in 2013 had 1,000 exhibitors, whereas Bologna last year had 133.

The Milan show will be organised by Promotor, the same group that ran the Bologna event.

"We will start to contact potential exhibitors today," said Promotor Chairman Alfredo Cazzola. "Right now we aren't able to say how many we will have."

A spokesman for Fiat, Italy's largest car maker, said: "we do not believe conditions exist to create a new show. Market problems in the last years have led to the closure of important shows in big European cities".