International links set to benefit the Big Show

Pula Dippenaar

The recent acquisition of a majority share in SA Show Services by Messe Frankfurt, of Germany, is seen as holding significant potential benefits for the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show which takes place at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, from October 14-25.

Messe Frankfurt, one of the largest trade fair organisers in the world, has offices all over the world and extensive expertise in exhibition organisation, which puts it in a strong position to assist its SA subsidiary with leveraging international involvement with next year's show.

SA Show Services is the company appointed by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (NAAMSA) and Expo Centre to organise and manage the two previous Johannesburg Motor Shows, held in 2011 and 2013. Now the newly-named SA Shows Messe Frankfurt will also take over the role from Expo Centre as NAAMSA's joint venture partner.

"NAAMSA welcomes the new international link with Messe Frankfurt and is looking forward with great anticipation to that company's specialised input into the creation of the local motor industry's best ever motor show," said the president of NAAMSA and CEO of Toyota SA, Dr Johan van Zyl, addressing guests at the launch of the 2015 motor show in Johannesburg today (September 25).

Dr van Zyl also announced that WesBank will be the Platinum and lead sponsor at next year's show after filling this position at the 2013 event.

"We welcome WesBank's ongoing support and enthusiasm for our industry's biennial showcase and look forward to a long and successful association between WesBank and NAAMSA," said Dr. Van Zyl.

The president of NAAMSA went on to say that the rate of technological developments in the automotive industry was now proceeding at an unbelievable rate and that the show will be the ideal opportunity for exhibitors to display and demonstrate these new technologies and explain the benefits to consumers.

Many of the exhibitors are expected to bring prototypes to the show to give visitors a glimpse into the future.

"The management team of the 2015 motor show is investigating various interesting overseas and local innovations top provide a 'wow' factor for visitors, but for now we are keeping these exciting plans under wraps as we finalise the offering at one of the largest consumer shows in the country. The lifestyle aspect of motoring will also feature in exhibits and activations at the show to extend its appeal and reach," added Dr. Van Zyl.

The 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show will be the fourth such event held under this banner since 2008, after it succeeded the Auto Africa Motor Show which was staged six times from 1996 to 2006.

The Johannesburg Motor Show will again be staged under the auspices of the International Organisation of Vehicle Manufactures (OICA) as a world-ranked event on the official calendar. The only other OICA accredited show on the African continent is held in Cairo.

The Johannesburg International Motor Show is further endorsed by various industry bodies including the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI).

As usual this SA show will cater for all segments of the local vehicle market, being cars, light, medium, heavy and extra-heavy trucks and buses. It will also feature displays by manufacturers and suppliers of automotive components for the OE and replacement markets as well as service providers to the automotive industry.

Lifestyle double cab pick-ups will be exhibited with the passenger cars, but the other commercial vehicles will be displayed separately. Medium, heavy and extra-heavy trucks as well as buses co-located at Expo Centre as the Johannesburg Truck & Bus Show, while components and accessories will be on display in the Auto Shop.

"The Johannesburg International Motor Show is also an excellent platform for the SA motor industry to promote itself as one of the major success stories of democratic South Africa," added the executive director of NAAMSA, Nico Vermeulen.

"The industry continues to face an extremely tough and competitive business environment, both locally and internationally, requiring continuous re-examination of the prevalent business model to ensure global competiveness into the future. It plays an important role in the local economy, being responsible for some 8% of the country's gross domestic product while contributing more than 12% of the value of South Africa's export.

"From a manufacturing perspective the challenge is to provide products that comply with a myriad of regulations and changing requirements globally as well as the adoption of new automotive technologies.

"On a retail level the challenge remains to ensure the ongoing viability of the dealers while satisfying ever-increasing customer demands and expectations.

"The 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show will offer local consumers and visitors from beyond our borders a unique insight into the rapidly changing automotive future. Exhibitors will grasp the opportunity to showcase new technologies, either production ready or at an advanced stage of development as well as launching many new models for sale into the Southern African market.

"Most of all the show will provide consumers with an opportunity to compare makes and models at one place and at one time, while experiencing the excitement of our industry up close and personal," concluded NAAMSA's executive director.

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