Address by Mike Whitfield, President of NAAMSA at the SA Festival of Motoring Launch







Auto industry representatives and colleagues; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen

As President of NAAMSA it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all on behalf of the Association and our show management joint venture partner, SA Shows Messe Frankfurt.

Today’s event is a prelude to the South African Festival of Motoring, which we’ll be introducing for the first time this year.

We are thrilled to officially announce the five-day Festival, taking place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and the International Convention Centre from the 31st August to the 4th of September.

The Festival is a worthy successor to the Johannesburg International Motor Show. JIMS was Africa’s largest auto industry event and one of the top 10 global events in its category.

Tribute to DTI

The Festival – as with JIMS – is made possible because South Africa has a vibrant auto industry. So from the outset, I would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to the Department of Trade and Industry, on which we, the auto industry, depend. The Department plays a key role in developing and growing our industry through its Industrial Development Policy.

We are grateful to Government for its innovative and progressive Industrial Policy Action Plan. The Action Plan provides certainty and stability to vehicle manufacturing and associated industries through 2020. This is a major factor in instilling confidence in multi-national auto companies who generate significant foreign direct investment – and, in turn, an increase in vehicle production and exports to over one hundred international markets.

We would also like to commend the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies. Dr Davies is passionate about growing and industrialising the SA auto industry. We appreciate his hard work and open-door policy in striving to reach key auto industry goals.

About SA Festival of Motoring

Automotive shows help to put our industry in the spotlight. When throwing around ideas with SA Shows Messe Frankfurt to stage a new event, we were looking for the “Wow” factor – a fresh approach to automotive marketing and exhibiting.

As a result, we have come up with a new concept and approach inspired by the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom. Goodwood started out more than 20 years ago for motorsport enthusiasts and now attracts over 100 thousand people to its three-day event.

Our Festival of Motoring – taking place at South Africa’s home of motor racing – will encompass motorsport and much more. There will be something for everyone – from car enthusiasts to motorsport lovers to families looking for a fun day out.

The Festival will combine a focus on automotive lifestyle with entertainment, motorsport displays and vehicle-drive opportunities. It will also serve as a platform for auto companies to showcase our latest product offerings.

We’ll have driving demonstrations and a vintage car exhibition. There will also be music and entertainment, celebrity appearances, lots of family events and a choice of fine food – all served up in the perfect location.


This really is a new era in motor shows.

It comes at a time when car manufacturers and importers have to be at the very top of our game.

We’re being pushed to offer affordable solutions for cash-squeezed consumers; to keep pace with everevolving smart, connective, accessible technology that enhances the drive experience and the car’s performance; and to provide eco-friendly options that demonstrate our concern for the planet.

Auto companies are already meeting these customer expectations and examples will be out in force at the Festival. From passenger to crossover to sports cars; from hybrid to hydrogen to electric green cars; from light commercial to sports utility to multi-purpose vehicles.


A lot of work has gone into the planning of the SA Festival of Motoring and we are immensely proud that it is on the brink of becoming a reality.

We believe that, with your support, the inaugural event will be a huge success and that it will become an annual event on South Africa’s automotive calendar.

Thank you for joining us today. We look forward to welcoming you to the Festival of Motoring’s debut in August.

I thank you.