The Best of Two Worlds: the new SA Festival of Motoring promises both – Motion and Emotion

The Best of Two Worlds: the new SA Festival of Motoring promises both – Motion and Emotion


South African Festival of Motoring

Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, 31.08 – 04.09.2016

The Best of Two Worlds: the new SA Festival of Motoring promises both – Motion and Emotion

The Johannesburg International Motor Show has been re-imagined as the SA Festival of Motoring, which will take place from the 31st of August through to the 4th of September 2016. The event promises to be a spectacular drawcard for both car enthusiasts, and families looking for a rewarding, engaging, entertaining day out. The Festival will remain sub-Saharan Africa’s premier auto-show, but will now also feature halls and attractions that encompass the best of food, fashion, kid’s entertainment, educational opportunities and celebrity moments. The aim is to create an absolute ‘must-do’ on the social calendar, rivalling events like the J&B Met and SA Fashion Week.

Relocating the festival: the drive to the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit

The SA Festival of Motoring has shifted venues to the newly upgraded and spectacularly refurbished Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit & International Convention Centre, near Midrand. For aficionados, this is a unique opportunity to experience the heritage of South Africa’s iconic racing venue. It also increases the thrill of touching, feeling and steering potential vehicle purchases. Visitors may now be able to take their test car for a spin on the track! Demos and displays will remain part of the mix, while the alwayspopular 4×4 track will be expanded for those ‘off-road’ enthusiasts.

Families, potential car buyers, and lovers of a good day out will also find Kyalami an attractive proposition. With room to move, and several halls to explore, there promises to be plenty to keep all ages happy

The road so far: lessons from an international experience

The SA Festival of Motoring exponentially builds on the success of the Johannesburg International Motor Show. This event was postponed in 2015 due to calendar clashes with the Rugby World Cup and Sandton’s Eco-Mobility event. There was also a feeling among the local car manufacturing community that – while motoring would always be the anchor – the show should evolve to attract a broader audience. This is very much in keeping with international examples which draw in the crowds with automotive displays – accompanied by a mix of live music, sculpture and luxury brands.

‘Motion’ – cars will always be aspirational

‘Cars remain the stars,’ says Francois Loubser, NAAMSA Show Co-Ordinator for the 2016 event. As always, new models will be unveiled – with sneak previews of the latest introductions to the South African market. Visitors will be able to engage with these future models, exploring specifications and modifications.

Racing fans can take their front row seats to watch motorsport, and supercar demonstrations. Marque Clubs will welcome their VIPs to select tents. Scheduled daily parades of vintage and veteran cars will add to the sense of expectation, variety, and fun.

An innovative tech lab will present future trends, and their impact on the automotive industry. Solar, hybrid power, the convergence of mobile technology – is this a vision of the ‘connected car’?

Suppliers of automotive components and accessories for the Original Equipment and replacement markets, as well as service providers to the automotive industry, will also be represented.

‘Emotion’ – adding lifestyle to the event

In terms of lifestyle, there is a natural expansion of brands and offerings. Many car manufacturers have developed their own fashion lines, for example, brands like Mercedes Benz already sponsor catwalk occasions. Inviting local designers and fashionistas to add their glamour to the Festival feels like a logical next step. Who will be best dressed? Who will vie with the cars to be the sleekest and most elegant?

Celebrity chefs will also be on hand to offer demos and ‘padkos’. Expect artisanal food and drink, designed with the premium palate in mind. Live music will add to the vibe, too – how about a playlist of favourite road trip tracks?

The target market for the SA Festival of Motoring is definitely an aspirational one. The event will present a red-carpeted driveway to car enthusiasts – along with young professionals, families, and those simply looking for something different. Fleet managers, dealers and financial institutions will also see the benefits of attending.

The organisers are also creating an interactive website that will allow the public to share and suggest what they’d like to see at the Festival.

About the organisers: getting down to the nuts and bolts

The SA Festival Motoring is an experiential showcase for the local automotive industry. This industry is one of the country’s largest employers, adding over 7 percent to the GDP. The Festival not only demonstrates this contribution, it also reflects the industry’s positive sentiment and commitment to the future of South Africa.

The Festival started its journey in 1996 as Auto Africa, joining the ranks of international motor shows such as Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt and Tokyo when it gained a ranking from the International Organisation of Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) in 2004. The only other OICA accredited show on the African continent is in Cairo.

In 2008, the show shifted ownership, with the rights held by the South African motor industry through NAAMSA (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa).

In 2016, the Festival changes gears again. It is still a NAAMSA centrepiece, but the new concept opens up the offering. The focus is very much on consumer cars, and the Truck & Bus Show will no longer form part of the event.

The SA Festival of Motoring will be managed through a joint venture entered into with global exhibition giant Messe Frankfurt, which has acquired a majority stake in the local management company South African Shows.

‘This partnership ensures that the 2016 SA Festival of Motoring will be a true global showcase drawing on the Messe Frankfurt group’s international strengths and network, whilst retaining a strong African identity,’ says Pula Dippenaar, who, along with her responsibilities as Show Director of SA Festival of Motoring and CEO of South African Shows – Messe Frankfurt (SASMF).

The SA Festival of Motoring is further supported by various industry bodies including the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI) and the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC).

Nico Vermeulen, executive director of NAAMSA: ‘The SA Festival of Motoring is also an excellent platform for the local motor industry to promote itself as one of the major success stories of a democratic South Africa.’

2016 SA Festival of Motoring at a Glance

31 August – 4 September 2016
Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit & International Convention Centre Midrand

Background information on the SA Festival of Motoring

The SA Festival of Motoring is a joint venture between the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) and South African Shows Messe Frankfurt (Pty) Ltd.


The National Association of Automobile Distributors of South Africa (NAAMSA) is the official representative of new vehicle manufacturers, assemblers, importers and distributors in South Africa. It is the pre-eminent organisation for all franchise holders marketing vehicles in South Africa and has played an important role in the South African automotive industry for over 50 years.

NAAMSA is an important source of information about the automotive industry in sub-Saharan Africa serving as an in-depth source of analysis and data on the South African automotive industry. NAAMSA has a number of working groups focusing on all topics relevant to the automotive industry including local content to vehicle crime and safety legislation. The NAAMSA Export Division focuses on growing international markets and a range of activities related to the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP).

Further information on NAAMSA can be found at

Background information on SA Shows Messe Frankfurt

South African Shows Messe Frankfurt (Pty) Ltd (SASMF) is a subsidiary of the Messe Frankfurt Group. The SASMF portfolio includes Automechanika Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Boat Show.

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around EUR 554 million in sales and employing 2,130 people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 29 subsidiaries and 57 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 121 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.

Comprising an area of 592,127 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two Congress centres. The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds. Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.

Further information on the company can be found at