Volvo is the latest manufacturer to pull out of next year's event and three other key brands are expected not to attend. They would join Peugeot, Volkswagen, SEAT, Skoda and Audi, as well as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
But Mark Saunders, a show director, said there would definitely be a London Motor Show next year and Andrew Morris, managing director of organiser Clarion Events, said: 'We will undertake to ensure a comprehensive range of cars is represented at the show. We will commit substantial investment to the show to make it a resounding success for both visitors and exhibitors.'
Although Volvo will not be exhibiting as a manufacturer, it said it may support its London dealers if they wanted to attend. In a statement, Volvo said: 'Faced with a trend of declining attendance figures at the London Motor Show over recent years, the withdrawal of a number of other manufacturers and the need to ensure we obtain the best value from our marketing expenditure in 2001, we have reluctantly taken the decision not to exhibit at the 2001 show. If we are approached by our London dealers, then we will see how we might support them.'
Clarion Events says more than 200 exhibitors are already confirmed, and both Ford and Vauxhall intend to exhibit.