Chris Heffner, public relations manager for Mack Trucks, said this week that Mack Trucks will join several other major truck manufacturers in their decision to skip the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2016.
“With other truck makers already announcing their plans not to attend next year, Mack was concerned about how that reduced attendance could impact our return on investment based on our participation in the show,” he said.
“We haven’t made any decisions about our participation at MATS in the future. We’ll definitely base that on our strategic planning that we do internally here, and we’ll be sure to communicate that at the appropriate time.”
Daimler Trucks North America confirmed in May that it will not attend MATS in 2016. DTNA intends to return to the MATS in 2017 and attend the show every other year thereafter. Navistar has announced it will go to a biennial schedule. And in July Volvo Trucks North America Manager of Public Affairs Avery Vise said that MATS is an important event and, while they plan to opt out next year, the truck maker intends to participate in 2017.
Although Mack didn’t specify, the reason the other OEMs are skipping MATS every other year is that they are planning to head overseas next year to the International Motor Show (IAA) event in Germany. The huge commercial vehicle show is held in Hannover during even-numbered years.
The Mid-America Trucking Show happens in the spring of every year and producers call it the largest annual heavy-duty industry event in the world. Held in Louisville, the show attracts 70,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors from the U.S. and abroad.
Show producers say MATS has a contract with the City of Louisville and the Kentucky Exposition Center through 2020, so the show will continue on an annual basis as scheduled.
“The MATS 2016 schedule will not change,” said Adam Weckman, spokesman for Exhibit Management Associates. “It’s on for March 31 through April 2, 2016, and we’re excited to see the sales season kick off at such a strong and positive pace.”
Senior Editor David Tanner contributed to this report.
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