Volvo at this year's MATS. Photo: David Cullen

Volvo at this year's MATS. Photo: David Cullen

Volvo Trucks has followed the lead of competitor Daimler Trucks North America in deciding not to participate in next year's Mid-America Trucking Show in favor of a biennial schedule.

In May, Daimler Trucks North America said it will not be exhibiting at the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2016, saying it is moving to an every-other-year format similar to the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany.

DTNA intends to return to MATS in 2017 and attend the show bi-annually thereafter.

Volvo echoed Daimler's comments Monday.

"We believe that a show like MATS would benefit from a biennial calendar in the same way that IAA in Germany is held every second year," said Volvo spokesman Avery Vise in an emailed statement. "MATS is an important industry event, and because we believe the industry would benefit from a biennial schedule, we intend to participate in 2017."

The Mid America Trucking Show has been held every year at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center in Louisville, Ky., since it was founded in 1972, and is the largest such trucking show in the U.S.

Saying Volvo's presence will be missed, MATS spokesman Toby Young said in an email, "We knew there was a chance that other truck OEMs may follow DTNA's lead and that the most likely candidates were those that have a significant presence at IAA Commercial Vehicles. Less than 10% of MATS exhibitors participate in IAA Commercial Vehicles and we feel that many of the exhibitors we have in common will continue to support both shows and provide support for both markets in 2016."

MATS organizers Exhibit Management Associates will continue as planned with sales for the 2016 show, beginning on July 15 for returning companies. 

The missing companies could mean an opportunity for other exhibitors, Young pointed out.

"We remain hopeful that the other OEMs and suppliers will have a presence at the 2016 MATS and will see this as an opportunity to improve their locations, possibly increase their presence at MATS, and take advantage of the absence of some of the other manufacturers," Young said.

So far, other major truck makers say they are still evaluating their plans for next year:

At Volvo sister company Mack, John Walsh, Mack vice president of marketing, said in an email, "We are currently assessing our plans for trade shows in 2016 to make sure our efforts meet the needs of our customers and bring the most value to Mack. This evaluation process, which we complete each year for every opportunity, is still ongoing."

Peterbilt, too, says it is "still planning and evaluating our 2016 marketing initiatives, including trade shows," and Navistar also says it has not yet made a decision on MATS 2016. Kenworth officials declined a request for comment.