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April 4, 2016 5:01 AM, EDT

ATA, HDMA Partner to Develop New Trucking Event

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — American Trucking Associations and the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association have entered into an agreement with trade show firm Messe Frankfurt Inc. to develop a new, biennial North American-based trucking and transportation event.

The groups said they want to develop an event that would take place in the early fall during odd-number years. The IAA Commercial Vehicles Show takes place in Hanover, Germany, in even-number year and generally is considered one of the most significant trucking events on the calendar.

The announcement comes as the Mid-America Trucking Show kicks off here at the Kentucky Exposition Center. It is billed as the largest annual trucking show in the world, but all truck manufacturers have elected to sit out the event this year.

Daimler Trucks North America was the first truck maker to announce its decision to skip MATS in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Transport Topics in May, DTNA President Martin Daum was the first to publicly call for MATS to move to a biennial schedule.

“That makes sense for our industry because we don’t have the short-lived cycles like the passenger-car industry. We have longer investment cycles,” Daum said at the time. “It is not that easy to every year make a big splash.”

It was at the 2014 IAA show where he also spoke of a need for a similar show to be developed in North America, one with a focus on future technology and that brought together more customers and suppliers.

That sentiment was shared by industry officials in the March 31 statement about the possible new trucking event.

“While ATA already provides fleet executives with a number of opportunities to see the latest in truck, trailer and other technology, we believe there is an appetite for a larger-scale event,” ATA President Bill Graves said.

“We intend to fully explore what creating a show of this kind will mean for the transportation industry, as well as for commercial vehicle OEMs, systems and component suppliers and other supply chain elements, the investment community and trade, financial and general media,” said Tim Kraus, HDMA’s chief operating officer.

HDMA is a unit of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association. Messe Frankfurt said it conducts events in 40 locations around the globe. Its North American headquarters is in Atlanta and produces 10 trade shows in North America.