The fourth annual Festival of Motoring which was held at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from August 22 to 24 again hosted the four-day event dedicated to the celebration of motoring and the motor industry.
The NAAMSA endorsed, national industry-supported auto show, drew an impressive attendance of 64 308 visitors over the four public event days. Notwithstanding the challenging trading conditions faced by the automotive sector, over 20 motoring brands were represented at the 2019 show.
The show provided increased and varied content of a high quality, taking the concept of the interactive experience to a new level. Track content on both the main circuit and handling track was increased with the 4 x 4 Zone proving very popular, attracting a record ten motor manufacturers. There was also an increase in content to widen the appeal of the event to families, including the Volkswagen Ferris wheel, a kid’s area in the show, the PUMA Energy kiddies area, and a broad offering of live entertainment and catering options. Not to mention aerial displays by the Puma Flying Lions and a range of retail and automotive aftermarket companies who exhibited their products and services.
The opportunity for show visitors to be driven around the Grand Prix Circuit and the challenging 4 x 4 facility continued to have a strong appeal. The manufacturers present created interactive displays, showcasing current and future models with thousands of test drives taking place in various models around the two main circuits. The Gumtree self-drive handling track added to the visitor experience, allowing prospective buyers an opportunity to test drive some of the latest models in a controlled environment.
One of the major attractions at this year’s show was the increase of quality motoring content at the event. A major theme was the celebration of V8 power. Various displays both on and off the circuit provided lovers of the V8 an opportunity to share in the passion of power, sound and speed that the iconic engine has to offer.
The Mobil 1 V8 Supercars and Cape Town based V8 Masters racing categories provided thrilling track action with official races held on both Saturday and Sunday. The action commenced on Friday with event Grand Marshal Ben Morgenrood setting the fastest lap time. Race 1 was won by Franco di Matteo with Mackie Adlem taking victory in race 2.
Many past and present motorsport legends visited the festival and a wide variety of historically significant race cars, modern supercars and GT race cars added to the exciting mix of content on display. Pablo Clark ensured that Ferrari was once again well represented – with over 30 cars present on each day. Drifting demonstrations added to the variety of the experiences available to show visitors.
NAAMSA Automotive Conference The NAAMSA Automotive Conference, held in association with The Innovation Group and AutoTrader, was extremely well attended with 450 delegates attending the leading automotive conference in SA (an increase of 50 people compared to the 2018 conference).
An impressive list of industry-leading speakers included trade and industry minister, Ebrahim Patel, Ghana Msibi, the executive head of the motor division of WesBank, Douglas Comrie, managing director of B&M Analysts and keynote speaker Bruno Grippay, of Nissan International who is the regional director Africa-Middle East-India, for Connected Cars and Intelligent Mobility coordination.
Based on the rapid changes in the motor industry around future mobility, the AutoTrader Tech Zone proved to be a popular attraction to the 2019 event.
This important element will be expanded on in 2020 as consumers will need to keep pace with a fast-evolving industry under pressure from environmental challenges. The well attended Auto Trader Tech Talks proved both extremely popular and informative. A variety of high-level guest speakers added value to important and relevant topics in panel discussions focusing on the rapidly changing mobility sector.
Improved logistics and event operations
Taking lessons from past events and improving operational and logistical challenges was one of the main focuses in 2019. Improved access into the venue and better implementation of the parking plan allowed for a more efficient visitor experience. Improved on-site signage and information booths made it easier for show visitors to locate the various attractions and exhibitor locations. A park and ride system was implemented from the Mall of Africa. This initiative, sponsored by FNB, proved very popular.
Gautrain also ran a bus.service from the Midrand station.
Joshua Low, managing director of Messe Frankfurt South Africa, thanked the sponsors, exhibitors and visitors for their The 2020 Festival of Motoring will again take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in August.
CAPTION: Big attraction: this exhibit drew a lot of attention. Picture: Quickpic