MOSCOW - Unhappy importers plan to pull out of the Moscow International Motor Show in August, blaming poor sales in Russia and the high cost of exhibiting.
General Motors boycotted the 1999 event for the same reasons. With other European, North American and Japanese importers planning to withdraw this year, the show is practically an all-domestic affair. However, South Koreans Daewoo Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. still plan to exhibit.
The show is scheduled to run from August 23-27.
There were 870,000 vehicle sales in Russia during 1999. But only 40,000 units were sold by importers.
'We have some 30 brands competing for that tiny portion,' said one marketing chief in Moscow. 'We cannot spend up to $400,000 to exhibit at the show every year - the numbers just do not stack up.'
The European Business Club Automobile Manufacturers Committee and other non-European brands have told the show organizer, London-based ITE Group plc, that they want the show's frequency reduced to every two years.
A statement from the committee said: 'Some manufacturers can spend up to $400,000 on this show. When divided by the number of sales, this puts a significant amount on the cost of a car. If we don't exhibit we can keep the price of our products down.'