The Show will open its doors for the first time ever on a Monday - starting on May 11 and finishing on Thursday, May 14. Organiser EMAP automotive Events said the move to a Monday kick-off was designed to avoid the 'half day' syndrome on Friday, when many people were tempted to leave early.
The change of dates is part of a much wider-ranging raft of improvements to the Show format as it looks to the next century. Other changes include a totally revised floorplan, improved test driving facilities and routes, and stricter visitor quality control.
Group events manager Chris Lester said: 'The change of venue from Silverstone to Donington will mean easier access for both exhibitors and visitors, but the change is not just about access, it's also about raising the profile of the event and being part of an on-going strategy for the Show that will take us up to the year 2000. This is simply stage one.'
This year's attendance of just over 10,000 is expected to be beaten next year as - tempted by Donington's more central location - more visitors from the north of the country make the trip down the M1. Vauxhall has already confirmed it will attend next year's event to preview the new Astra after its absence last year and the vast majority of the major manufacturers, plus a wide cross-section of the service sector, will again be represented.