Smaller truck body and truck trailer manufacturers — not the “big five” — made most of the new vehicle news at the Amsterdam RAI, the European Road Transport Show held in mid-October. Many of those new vehicle developments are shown on the following pages.
This was the 27th edition of the Amsterdam Commercial Vehicle Show. Up to now, it has been a regional show held every two years in early spring. In 2003, it moved to an October date and acquired new international importance with an “A” status. The only other transport show with an “A” status in Europe is the IAA commercial vehicle show that is held in Hanover, Germany, in September of even-number years. The RAI will be held in October of odd-number years. The “A” rating is conferred by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).
It is fitting that such a large commercial vehicle exhibition be held in the Netherlands. Dutch transport companies are responsible for more than a quarter of the international transport of goods in Europe, according to Robert J C Sinke, chairman of the exposition committee of the European Road Transport Show 2003.
However, the Netherlands is suffering from the same general economic slowdown prevalent throughout the world. Registrations of light vehicles were 6% less in the first half of 2003, and heavy goods vehicle registrations were 2.5% less than the comparable period of 2002.
This did not prevent transporters from packing the 11 exhibit halls at the RAI center, plus a big tent pitched in the outdoor space. Attendance was 140,794.