British Motor Show: the verdict

* Glitz, glamour, pop stars and PMs * World debuts of new cars * Absent manufacturers...

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Jim Holder
23 July 2008

British Motor Show: the verdict

There was glitz, glamour and even a star turn by pop star Alesha and some dancing girls. Oh, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown breezed in and out to show off his green credentials.

The opening day of the British Motor Show set the tone for what we hope to be a vibrant and successful show in London's ExCel.

Highlights? Pick from the world debuts presented by Ford, Honda, Lotus, Nissan, Renault, Seat, Subaru and Vauxhall.

All had new cars or concept cars that have made headlines around the world, and proved that the British Motor Show has a significance well beyond these shores.

What's more, Alfa Romeo, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Citroen, Saab, Hummer, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Peugeot and Toyota all had cars or concept cars that had never been seen before in Britain.

New metal is the lifeblood of a motor show, and all these cars will give the majority of visitors the chance to see a whole range of machinery for the first time.

However, you can't escape from the fact that the buzz from every major new-car launch is counter-balanced by a nagging feeling that the absence of heavy-hitters such as Audi, BMW and Volkswagen undermines some of the feel-good factor.

It's clear that the show organisers need to do more work to convince these companies to attend, particularly as they represent such a significant proportion of the car-buying public.

So although it could be better, their absence shouldn't deter anyone from attending the show.