After a serious makeover spanning seven months, Volkswagen of South Africa's AutoPavilion now features a host of multimedia attractions that will draw even more visitors to Uitenhage, the base of the auto manufacturer.
The AutoPavilion, Place of Cars and Legends, first opened doors in 2004, the result of a need for a modern, state-of-the art heritage centre to replace the existing museum that housed the Company's old vehicles.
The multi-million rand attraction is unique as it is the only automobile discovery centre on the continent and only the fifth worldwide.
The AutoPavilion has the following galleries:
Volkswagen of SA history
The Volkswagen brand experience, in which we see sub zones such as a "Technology of the Future" zone complete with a first-in-Africa hologram type PC screen which "floats" in the air and is used by merely pointing at it with your finger or waving one's hand in the air
The Volkswagen Group Gallery, showcasing in very innovative ways the entire group's brands, such as Bentley, Lamborghini, Audi, Skoda, Seat, as well as Motorsport
The Nostalgia zone - where you experience the good old days with the first Kombi and Beetle in South Africa and much more
The AutoPavilion's primary function remains to introduce visitors and scholars to the history of Volkswagen of South Africa and its brands and establish brand awareness amongst the youth.
It is also aimed at educating school children about modern and future technologies. The centre's many new interactive exhibits assist in this education through the medium of edutainment.
The AutoPavilion features some unique vehicles, prototypes and record breaking cars. Highlights include a cut-through collapsible new Beetle, as well as a VW Nardo W12, a world record beating super-car.
Other highlights include 27 static and graphic displays and over 20 interactive exhibits.
Examples of exhibits include brain teasers, knowledge quizzes about cars, a hydrogen manufacturing demonstration in the "Future Technology" section and many more - most of them custom built to world standards.
The centre lends itself to "edutainment, education, brand awareness, nostalgia and a sense of the warmth of belonging to the 'Volkswagen family'," said AutoPavilion Manager Johan Wagner.
More than 70 000 visitors (around 2 000 per month) have taken the time to visit the centre since its opening. These figures have contributed to making AutoPavilion the most important tourist attraction in Uitenhage.