Mack exits MATS for 2016; latest OEM to leave show

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Mack Trucks is latest trucking OEM electing to skip the 2016 Mid America Trucking Show (MATS), scheduled for March 31-April 2 in Louisville, Ky.

Kylie Rae Harris performs at the Mack booth at MATS last spring

MATS, the largest annual show of its kind in the U.S., has already lost commitments from Mack’s sister company Volvo Trucks, along with Navistar and Daimler Trucks for 2016.

“With several other truck makers having already announced their plans to not attend next year, Mack was concerned about reduced attendance and a diminished return on investment from our participation in the show,” says Chris Heffner, Mack Truck’s manager of public relations, adding Mack’s decision to not participate in MATS next year does not affect the company’s plans to attend other industry events in 2016.

“We have decided to use the funds we would have spent on MATS for other customer engagement efforts,” he says.

Daimler Trucks and Navistar have each expressed interest in seeing the annual MATS show adjust its cycle to odd-numbered years, a move that would relieve a financial conflict for global truck OEMs also attending the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany which is held on even numbered years.

And while both companies say they plan to exhibit at MATS in 2017, Heffner says Mack will evaluate plans for MATS 2017 at the appropriate time.

To-date, Paccar sister companies Kenworth and Peterbilt are the only North American Class 8 manufacturers who have yet to pull out of next year’s MATS show, and company officials say they are still evaluating their plans for 2016 and have not reached a decision.

Next year’s MATS also must face competition from NADA/ATD’s Annual Expo, which is also set to kick off March 31 in Las Vegas.