The inaugural Johannesburg International Motor Show takes place against an interesting backdrop; the SA vehicle industry is adapting to immense challenges on a retail level, while simultaneously preparing itself for the future.
While there seems to be little for industry insiders to get enthusiastic about, consumers are revelling in what is undoubtedly a buyer’s market.
According to Dr Johan van Zyl, president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) and president and CEO of Toyota South Africa, the slump being experienced is part of the pattern that markets follow and certainly not a reason to panic.
“The show must go on”
“We all need to take a long term view and embrace the show as an opportunity to show off new models, future technology and current offerings,” says Van Zyl. “The show must go on because events like this do act as a stimulus.
“The customers are still out there, they still have aspirations and it is the function of the marketing departments of all the brands in the country to get close to these customers. The show is an opportunity to do this, whether the customer is a fleet owner, an individual, or the motoring media. It’s a great opportunity for networking at various levels.”
Van Zyl adds that JIMS is an event of international standing – one of only two motor shows in the Southern hemisphere accredited with the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) – and attracts foreign media, industry executives from vehicle and component manufacturers.
“The industry's crown jewel”
Around 1 500 overseas guests are expected.
“JIMS is showing a level of maturity which suggests it is now very much part of the motoring landscape,” says Van Zyl.
“It is definitely the automotive industry’s crown jewel, and while the cost of financing, creating and manning a stand could be considered a luxury in the current climate, it is essential that the show is in keeping with its international status.”
Maurice Britten, managing director of the Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors (AMID) agrees that JIMS presents tremendous opportunity.
“The majority of AMID members will be represented at the show, and for our industry it is an ideal occasion to showcase our goods to a slightly different type of buyer and importantly, to those who would not necessarily attend a show dedicated exclusively to motorcycling.
“Through JIMS we hope to reach people who would not necessarily consider two wheels and our members are certainly capitalising on the interactive nature of the event, which will enable some of our members to demonstrate their products in the perfect environment.”
The Johannesburg International Motor Show will take place at the National Exhibition Centre in Nasrec, from Saturday the 1st to Sunday the 9th November.