Navistar's booth at this year's MATS.  Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand

Navistar's booth at this year's MATS. Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand

Navistar is following in the footsteps of Daimler Trucks North America and Volvo Trucks in deciding to skip exhibiting at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show, with plans to return in 2017.

The annual show, founded in 1972 and held in March at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center in Louisville, Ky., is the largest in the U.S. The 2015 show set an all-time record for attendance with 81,768 attendees. There were more than 1,000 exhibitors filling 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space.

"We’ve made the decision to not attend the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show," Navistar spokesman Steve Schrier told in response to an email query. "We look forward to returning to the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2017 to showcase our technology and products."

Toby Young with Exhibit Management Associates, which puts on the show, told Truckinginfo, "Navistar has been a strong supporter of MATS, participating every year since the first MATS in 1972. Their presence at the 2016 show will be missed.

Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand

Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand

"We will continue as planned with sales for the 2016 MATS beginning on July 15 and, given the recent news, additional exhibit space opportunities for returning and new exhibitors."

In May, Daimler Trucks North America said it will not exhibit 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.

At that time, Navistar Truck and Parts President Bill Kozek commented in response, "Although we have not yet committed to attending MATS in 2016, we do believe that moving to a bi-annual schedule would be beneficial to exhibitors and customers alike."

Just days ago, Volvo Trucks followed Daimler's lead, also saying that it believed "a show like MATS would benefit from a biennial calendar."

One major trailer maker, Wabash National, hasn't exhibited at MATS for the past few years, according to Dana Stelsel, corporate communications manager. “TMC [the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting and expo] is our ‘big’ show of the year on the van and composites side.”

Senior Editor Tom Berg contributed to this story.

Updated July 11 to add Navistar comment.