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Today's Motor Show News

Sat, 26 Jul 2008
Insurer encourages bumps

British International Motor Show sponsor Zurich Connect turned the tables on the traditional insurance company’s approach to motoring in a fun-filled feature at the Show. The insurance company is actually encouraging its daily tally of over 1,300 stand visitors to crash safely into each other on a fleet of 10 Zurich bumper cars.

Spreading the message that ‘9 out of 10 of you could save on your car insurance’, the company brings the fun side of insurance to the full range of ExCeL London visitors from children to celebrities and even thrill-seeking OAP’s.

“We are keen to make our insurance offering as approachable and interactive as possible,” commented Mike Quinton, head of Zurich’s direct & partnership division. “Our association with the British International Motor Show allows us to interact with a diverse range of potential customers and to present the company in an interesting and accessible way.”

Up periscope in Docklands

Visitors to this year’s British International Motor Show are flooding the Royal Navy's stand in the Shop @ The Show area in the North hall near the west entrance. Over the first three days of the Show they have already signed up 22 new recruits who enquired about careers in the Navy. They hope to continue recruiting at the Show at a rate of around ten per day.

Lt Cdr Ralph Dodds said "The Motor Show is a perfect place to gain new recruits as it's more than likely visitors here have an interest in engineering, especially if they have ever had to work on their own cars."

Dodds and his team are at ExCeL London to promote the work the Royal Navy Submarine Service does and the technology it uses. The service, which it says exists in a 'secret world' is at the cutting edge of the Royal Navy and has the skills to deliver sophisticated weapons on target if needed and proudly claim to be the world's finest Special Forces.

Navigate your way through green tips with Citroen

Citroen is rewarding 'green' thinking at this year's British International Motor Show with a competition to win a TomTom satellite navigation system. The initiative is being run from a Citroen Picasso on display at the Greener Driving Pavilion at the Show and is centered on ten top tips to help motorists improve their environmental driving credentials.

To stand a chance of winning, all visitors need to do is pick up a leaflet and answer a simple question based on the top tips, which include, keeping your tyres correctly inflated, as this could improve fuel consumption by 4%, assisting your car's aerodynamics by removing roof racks when not in use and not having windows open when traveling at high speeds. The car maker also suggests that modern cars are generally more environmentally friendly and that thanks to advances in fuel efficiency, emit less CO2.
Sidecar racing on water in Thundercats

Imagine going motorcycle sidecar racing but instead of on a track - on the water in an inflatable rib boat! Well visitors to ExCeL London don’t need to imagine. At the Dockside area with views of The O2, you can watch displays of the Thundercats, at the Motor Show’s Marine Experience, one of the fastest-growing forms of marine sport.

Thundercats race at speeds of close to 60mph, crewed by a driver who has the “easy” job of steering and accelerating and the co-pilot who shifts their weight about the boat trying to keep it as flat to the water as possible. “Flat is fast – the boats are easy to flip but that’s part of the fun,” says Anton Roberts, commentator for the Thundercats at ExCeL.

Already there are British and international championships, racing in flat water and the surf close to beaches. Being Australian, Anton prefers the latter: “But we can race anywhere – for the Motor Show we’ve taken the beach experience and brought it to the city.” He also adds that visitors are welcome to come and try the boats for free. “We’ll take you out, throw you around and try our best not to soak you!”

Shocking future for cars

“Electric vehicles will be the most common form of transport on our streets in the future,” said Lars Holmqvist, chief executive of Clepa, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Components of Success seminar at the British International Motor Show this week.

Holmqvist was underlining the extent of change he thinks faces the automotive industry. He wants rewards for ‘eco-innovation’ and for change to be phased-in as the industry tackles its most expensive challenge - dealing with increasingly tough CO2 legislation.

He pointed out that there is £10 billion available in loans to help the auto industry cope with these challenges and that it is well positioned to use its know-how and strengths to help countries that are yet to embrace the environmental issues that Europe has been making significant progress on.

London visitors gain clues to Kia’s future look

Highlights of the Kia stand at the Show are three versions of a concept car, all of which offer major indications to the brand’s next five-door hatchback, the Soul, to be launched next year.

According to Kia’s chief designer Peter Schreyer, the SOUL Searcher, Diva and Burner closely demonstrate the shape of the car to be launched next Spring. He said: "The SOUL concepts at the London Show display how the car will look in terms of the overall styling and the instrument panel layout. I do think that Soul will become something of an icon model for Kia.”

Kia is also showing a convertible version of its very successful c’eed family car, which is built in Europe. Public reaction to the ex_c’eed has been so strong that such a version is likely to figure in future plans for the model range.

Check the cam to avoid the jam

How many frustrated motorists have heard a radio traffic reporter describe the view from the motorway traffic cameras and wished they could take a look themselves? Well, at the Motor Show they can, thanks to the Highways Agency.

Visitors to the Highways Agency stand in ExCeL London’s north hall will not only be given a free compact UK road atlas, but will also learn about the latest advances aimed at better-informing motorists and beating the jams. The agency’s website includes highly detailed information on the UK road network - particularly motorways.

Drivers can log onto the site, select the motorway they want to use and download detailed and up-to-date information. Included are road works, incidents, the current status of the motorist information matrix signs on the motorway, and now picture stills from traffic cameras. There is also a digital traffic radio service providing updates on the latest conditions.


The British International Motor Show is open to the public until 3 August 2008 at ExCeL London. Adult tickets start at just £10, children’s tickets from £6. Family tickets cost from £25, while group tickets start at £8. For more information about the Show or to book tickets visit www.britishmotorshow.co.uk or call 0871 230 5588.

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