Bosses of the Motor Show have signed a deal to stage the premier car event in London for at least ten years, costing the West Midlands an estimated £500 million.
Last week it was announced that the show - staged in Birmingham at the NEC for 26 years - would be hosted at the ExCeL exhibition centre in London's Docklands next year. However, yesterday it was revealed that the show organisers had agreed a ten-year deal with ExCeL, binding until 2014.
The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has estimated the deal, which means that 2016 is the earliest the Motor Show can return to Birmingham, will lose the local economy more than £500 million because £100 million was made every two years that the show was held.
John Lamb, from the Chamber, said it was vital other avenues were explored to recoup the loss.
"We will have to minimise the blow to the local economy by looking at ways to replace the income and the event," he said.
"It was disappointing enough to find out that the NEC wasn't going to stage the Motor Show next year: this deal is an even bigger blow to the city. We would have loved the opportunity to learn the lessons and re-pitch for the show with a new proposal.
"The SMMT may well regret having agreed such a long contract with ExCeL because we believe the NEC is still the natural home of the Motor Show and should be given the opportunity to win it back."
Kevin Murphy, ExCeL deputy chief executive, said: "A deal has been agreed and signed to take the Motor Show at ExCeL in London to 2014."
The Motor Show's organisers, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), also revealed that the majority of its deals with the NEC had been for three shows, not the five it has agreed with ExCeL.
Nigel Wonnacott, from the SMMT, said: "We could have had a five-show deal with the NEC had they been up to scratch.
"The deal we have signed with ExCeL reduces financial risk and empowers the venue to make the show the best it possibly can be.
"Deals with the NEC provided less incentive to make the show a success." He said the SMMT would look at how successful each show at ExCeL was, but hoped for a longterm relationship with the London exhibition centre.
He refused to confirm whether the NEC would be in a position to re-bid for the event before 2014.
"We understand that this has come as a huge disappointment to Birmingham. We have had a very successful 14 shows with the region, but the reality is that the region could have benefited from an international motor show if the NEC's bid had been strong enough," he said.
"This isn't a snub for Birmingham, it is merely a reflection on the fact that we asked the NEC to present a competitive bid and ExCeL outperformed them."
NEC chief executive Andrew Morris said his venue was looking to host events to rival the Motor Show.
He said: "A lot of people are disaffected with the Motor Show's move to London and will show that with their cheque books. We are looking to fill a hole in the automotive sector and other sectors."