Move to NEC welcomed across the board

The move of this week’s LAMMA show from its outdoor venue at Peterborough to Birmingham’s NEC was welcomed across the board by visitors and exhibitors alike – see the editor's blog – with attendance on both days appearing strong from first thing until late in the afternoon. But from a dealer and manufacturer point of view, perhaps one of the most interesting aspects was the re-establishment of a major UK exhibition as a launchpad for new products from international manufacturers.

While never truly an international show - and notable this year for the absence of some key names among the larger multinationals - LAMMA is well-known as a key show for UK manufacturers involved in sectors where UK engineering is particularly strong - sprayers and hedge trimmers, for example, with those companies often using the event to launch their key new products.

This year, though, it was notable that key global players used the reinvigorated event to make major launches. Among them was the UK’s largest privately-owned maker of farm equipment, JCB, which revealed a completely new cab design for its key Loadall telescopic handler models. Featuring more space, improved vision and enhanced operator controls, it will feature on the new III-series Loadall range, which consist of four models with up to 200kg greater load capacity than the models they replace.

Among the overseas-based multinationals to make a major announcement was fellow handling specialist Manitou. The French firm made a global announcement that it was integrating its Mustang skid-steer range into its Manitou product line, under the full Manitou brand and livery. The firm’s separate Gehl skid-steer range remains unchanged.

But there was also plenty from the UK makers who almost always use the show as their major launch event. Shelbourne Reynolds announced larger diet feeder models and a twin-rotor hedge trimmer head, while Knight revealed a series of upgrades for its key trailed and self-propelled sprayer lines.

Off the back of a successful first year at its new venue, the future development of the show will be interesting. Many visitors were heard to express their surprise and dismay at the lack of some key names, although those makers that were present among the likes of the tractor manufacturers took full advantage of getting show visitors onto machines they had perhaps never looked closely at before the event, and were also singing the praises of helpful show and venue organisation staff.The absentees still appear to be concerned about cost versus value, but there remained some obvious spare space in parts of the halls, and it remains to be seen whether that is taken up at LAMMA 2020.

Read Martin Rickatson's full LAMMA report in the next edition of Service Dealer magazine.

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