Monday, 23 April 2012

Road - Alright on the night

18 hours from opening time!
It’s amazing the useless facts that you pick up if you just keep your lugs open. For instance, earlier today the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders today let slip the fascinating fact that 2,836 tonnes of goods are transported EVERY minute of every day in vans and on trucks throughout the UK. There was a lot of other factual stuff, but that one stuck with me.

Another thing that impressed me was a quick peek into the main hall of the British CV Show which opens at 8.30 am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning – it wasn’t finished. With 18 hours to go before opening, many stands were still being constructed, lighting installed and carpets laid, and of course exhibits had to be positioned.

It’s the same at all vehicle shows around the globe. Everything is timed to the last minute. At the premiere of the new Ford Transit Custom tonight in a hotel 4 miles from the NEC, we were ushered out of the suite at 10.00 pm because the van on display had to be spirited away to take its place on the Ford stand ahead of its European public launch tomorrow morning.

And just as there is an International Car of Year competition so too is there an International Van of the Year competition so Ford had invited the members of the IVOTY jury to the launch and they got ripped right into the van after dinner, pulling and poking, prodding and shoogling. It was like the January sales at Debenhams with cut price knickers and half price TVs on offer – I’m surprised there was anything left to go on show. Remember, this was a pre-production model, so trim fixings might not be quite as robust as they will be in full blown production versions.

Anyway, I was sat with Mike Brewer who revealed that the 15th series of ‘Wheeler Dealers’ has just been commissioned, and will start filming shortly. To that end, he has been across the pond and bought a couple of right tasty American motors for this new series. And he has a few other exotic type machines up his sleeve in far flung places, as well as the usual array of ‘ordinary’ but still interesting stuff, so it will be well worth watching.

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