A sold-out CV Show in Birmingham again proved the sector’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions and remain a vital contributor to the UK economy.

MP Sir Mike Penning opened the show, alongside SOE CEO Bruce McGill, RHA Chief Exec Richard Burnett and SMMT CEO Mike Hawes - the other show partners.

Highlights of the first day included a launch of the new Vauxhall Vivaro and electric models from Peugeot and Citroen. DAF Trucks exhibited its CF Electric on stand, which drew in big crowds.

SOE held an irtec celebration party on its stand after reaching 10,000 licence holders and invited many of the commercial vehicle professionals that have been instrumental in making irtec the industry standard.

Organisation such as DAF, MAN, Ryder, Scania, Ford & Slater and Arriva have all made huge contributions to the success of the irtec licence and played important roles in maintaining safety standards in the UK. Quality assurance provider IMI was also recognised on the stand.

The independent technician accreditation reached the milestone after a surge in applications at the beginning of 2019. As some licence holders have moved up accreditation levels, there are now well over 11,000 licences in circulation.

Bruce McGill said: “SOE has grown considerably in the last ten years and the irtec licence has been a major factor in that expansion. Transport organisations large and small recognise the importance of safety and standards, and technicians want something to show for their dedication to their profession.

“The accreditation is now growing exponentially as it becomes a precondition for many transport operators. It is time to celebrate this huge milestone for SOE,” he added.

A renewable and voluntary accreditation scheme for technicians working on HGV, PSV and trailers, irtec assesses candidates on their theoretical and practical skills. It has been recommended that vehicle inspectors “achieve an automotive technical accreditation such as irtec” in the DVSA’s Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.

In response to another sold out event, Rob Skelton, CV Show Director, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the industry’s response to this year’s CV Show and to have achieved a fifth successive year sold out.

“There’s lots of talk of uncertainty in the market but that’s not been evident in commercial vehicle sales or the enthusiasm and excitement of the industry for the CV Show,” added Rob.