London motor show back for 2016 | CAR Magazine

London motor show back for 2016

Published: 05 December 2014 Updated: 26 January 2015

Prince Michael of Kent has announced that a major motor show is planned for London in 2016.

Speaking last night at the Guild of Motoring Writers’ annual awards dinner, HRH Prince Michael revealed that plans are underway for the revival of a major motor show in the capital.

Will it attract a similar level of importance to the likes of Geneva and Frankfurt? It’s highly unlikely in the short term, but the organisers of London 2016 hope to dovetail with existing motoring events to create a UK summer season for petrolheads and consumers alike. 

So the British motor show is back?

Not entirely. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (the SMMT) was previously responsible of the British motor show and still owns the name but isn’t involved in the upcoming 2016 event, which will instead be called the London Motor Show.

The last British motor show was held at London’s ExCeL arena in 2008, with plans for the next instalment in 2010 ultimately floundering in the financial crisis.

Check out our coverage of the 2008 London motor show here.

Where and when will the 2016 London motor show be?

The show is earmarked for the 5-8 May 2016 at Battersea Park on the south bank of the Thames. Its position in the calendar is designed to slot neatly into the lead-up to the minor Canary Wharf Motorexpo show in June and the same month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Moving Motor Show, which in recent years has arguably been the closest equivalent to a British motor show.

HRH Prince Michael hinted that the show’s emphasis will be on ecologically friendly technology, education and road safety, although the event’s basic website holding page suggests there will also be more usual motor show fodder such as displays of supercars, classic cars and ‘the latest gadgets and gizmos.’

What else at London 2016?

Stands and debuts from ‘the world’s leading car makers’ are also promised. A definitive list of manufacturers attending is yet to be confirmed, with the invitation process currently underway.

Is the return of a major motor show to London something to get excited about – or should our expectations be cautious? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer