Many companies have set up brand activations during the show, with many of them involving test drives, either at the wheel or as a passenger.
The biggest hub of these activities will be the Standard Bank-sponsored 4×4 track, where many companies have hosting areas and the public will be able to sample their products on a much-revised driving track with an experienced driver at the wheel.
Companies supporting the 4×4 driving are: Toyota, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Ford, Subaru, General Motors, Kia, Volkswagen and Nissan.
Both Toyota and Suzuki have portable tracks that they will operate at Expo Centre.
The Toyota Urban Trax initiative is a go anywhere, setup anywhere, versatile 4×4 demonstration and instruction track, which will allow the Toyota Advanced Driving team the opportunity to display the various capabilities and functions of the Toyota range of off-road vehicles, through seven man-made obstacles that can be experienced in an urban environment. These include the demonstration of ascending, descending, cross axles, side slopes, traction control, downhill assist control, crawl control, ridge crossing and differential lock. It also features an enjoyment “wow” factor while being educational: “Edutaining”.
Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) continues to impress crowds at key public events across South Africa with its innovative Rockin’ Roadshow. The Suzuki Rockin’ Roadshow offers showgoers a unique opportunity to experience some of Suzuki’s passenger cars and SUVs at first hand, with an experienced driver at the wheel.
A specially constructed mobile test track will allow participants to experience the often extreme capabilities of Suzuki’s all-terrain vehicles. Several fun activities will give visitors to the Rockin’ Roadshow a better understanding of Suzuki’s passenger cars and their particular attributes.
Companies offering ride and drive opportunities include MG, which has recently returned to South Africa, Citroën and Renault.
Maxxis SA will be demonstrating its tyres under the toughest conditions as they are used for rock crawling demonstrations near the 4×4 track.
Toyota and Land Rover are using the opportunity of publicity opportunities at the show to use it as the starting point for two expeditions – the Toyota Enviro Outreach and Kingsley Holgate’s Great African Rift Valley Expedition.
The Toyota Enviro Outreach is an innovative programme in which Toyota and various partners work together to document, protect and preserve South Africa’s rich natural heritage. Over the past two years, the programme has supported the International Barcode of Life Initiative, where local and international scientists work to collect, catalogue and list the DNA coding of plants and insects in order to ensure their survival.
This year the Toyota Enviro Outreach is focusing its efforts on the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (meaning miracle and wonder), as part of the 2011 “International Year of Forests”.
The project officially kicks off from Toyota’s outdoor 4×4 stand at the Johannesburg International Motor Show on Saturday October 8. The event begins with a procession around Expo Centre at 11:00 with the fleet of Toyota Hilux and Fortuner 4x4s, while the official send-off is planned for 12:00.
Renowned 4×4 specialist and eco-warrior Gerhard Groenewald, from the Klipbokkop 4×4 Academy, will be lending an experienced hand, along with representatives from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, various journalists and personnel from Toyota SA.
All of the specially branded Hilux and Fortuner 4x4s are sponsored by Toyota South Africa, with additional sponsorship from 4×4 Mega World, Campworld, Total, Goodyear, the Cross Country X-Club, National Luna and Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve Kingsley Holgate, who is considered one of Africa’s most colourful and accomplished modern-day explorers, will be taking to the road again this time on the challenging Great African Rift Valley Expedition.
The adventure begins with a high-profile send-off from the Johannesburg International Motor Show at Expo Centre Nasrec. The team is scheduled to depart from the dedicated Kingsley Holgate marquee at the show on Sunday, October 9 at around mid-day.
Led by Kingsley and his team, including son Ross, the epic adventure challenge is to complete a world-first 12-month, nine-chapter expedition from the northern point of Africa’s Great Rift Valley in Djibouti through Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi, to its most southern point near Gorongoza in Mozambique.
As usual, the expedition convoy comprises a brace of Discovery 4s sponsored by Land Rover South Africa. The Discovery 4 has provided exceptional performance, comfort and reliability on the two most recent jaunts, despite carrying hefty loads and facing the worst of African conditions.