Even though it may not have the presence of at least some of the major truck OEMs next year, Mid-America Trucking Show organizers say they will continue to put on what is in reality a national and international show, despite the name, and offer a broader audience for supplier and manufacturer exhibitors.

Reacting to announcements that Daimler Trucks North America and Navistar have made a commitment to the new North American Commercial Vehicle Show for 2017 and will not exhibit at MATS next year, organizers of the long-running spring show in Louisville, Ky., released the following statement:

“We have been informed of DTNA Corporate’s and Navistar’s decisions to exhibit at the 2017 NACV Show. We are still communicating with the individual DTNA brands and the other North American Truck manufacturers to determine their plans for MATS 2017.

“While we had hoped that DTNA Corporate and Navistar would be present at the 2017 MATS, we understand that they are focusing their marketing efforts on the medium to large-sized fleets and are placing their bets with the new show. As we have for the last 45 years, MATS will continue to be a national show that addresses the needs of the North American trucking Industry as a whole, including small/medium-sized fleets, owner-operators and drivers, as well as suppliers and manufacturers seeking to engage with this broader audience.”

NACV organizers and Daimler Trucks North America characterized existing shows such as MATS as “regional” shows, but MATS organizers point to attendance and exhibitor numbers they say “clearly identify that MATS is much more than a ‘regional show.’”

The 2016 Mid-America show, which did not have any Class 8 truck OEs exhibiting, still had more than 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, 1,102 exhibitors from 45 states and 12 countries, and nearly 75,000 attendees from all 50 states and from 67 countries.

We asked Toby Young, with MATS show planners Exhibit Management Associates, about comments we heard in our reporting on the new NACV show characterizing MATS as a show for owner-operators and families.

“The North American trucking industry is composed in large part of small fleets and owner-operators,” Young said. “Small businesses are the backbone of the United States and those small businesses depend on family. We understand this dynamic, and take great pride in supporting and helping to grow these small businesses and the North American trucking industry.”

The 2017 MATS is scheduled for March 23-25, 2017. More information is available at www.truckingshow.com

In this video from the MATS website, exhibitors share their thoughts on the broad nature of the show.