Australia’s Brisbane International Motor Show becomes the latest victim of the global economic crisis with the cancellation of the 2009 event.

The Australian Automobile Dealers Assn. says the show, scheduled for Feb. 6-15, has been called off because most auto makers and distributors expected to participate have signaled they are not planning to attend.

Things reached a tipping point when Toyota Motor Corp. Australia Ltd. and Volkswagen Group Australia Pty. Ltd. joined the list of no shows.

Show organizer Chris Beecham tells the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the growing number of cancellations means the show no longer is financially viable and would not be particularly attractive to the public.

“Unfortunately, the world economy has turned against us and we’ve had to pull the pin,” he says. “Every single car manufacturer (that planned to show its vehicles) has a head office overseas, and they’re all looking at ways to save money. We don’t control those budgets.”

The Brisbane show has been staged annually since its inception in 1964 and attracted 120,000 visitors this year. Beecham says the focus now will shift to planning the 2010 show.

Newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne say international auto shows in their cities also are under threat. Organizers are trying to broker an agreement to hold one show a year in alternating cities.

More than a dozen brands will not be participating in the Melbourne show Feb. 27-March 9 because the cost of exhibiting at both events is not viable.

There were similar absentees at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October, where attendance dived 44% to 137,000 people.

Auto makers want a single show each year, saying it costs as much as A$1million ($650,000) each to exhibit at Melbourne and Sydney.

The Melbourne Age newspaper reports the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, which runs the Melbourne show, and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, organizers of the Sydney event, are close to an agreement on holding their events in alternate years.

FCAI Executive Director David Purchase is quoted as saying the likely agreement will see Melbourne and Sydney sharing the show from year to year, with Melbourne hosting a smaller show in the years that Sydney holds the international version.