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Family focus for MotorWorld

Testing time: Vehicles such as the Jaguar XE and F-Type will be available to test drive at the MotorWorld Sydney event.

MotorWorld Sydney organisers gearing up for December event

20 Sep 2016

PROMOTION of MotorWorld Sydney is ramping up ahead of the four-day event in December, with organisers focused on bringing together an eclectic mix of entertainment offerings beyond automotive brands to ensure it holds broad appeal.

The event, which will be held from December 1 to 4 at Sydney Motorsport Park at Eastern Creek, has softened its earlier emphasis on showcasing the latest new models from various car-makers – organisers originally targeted 25 brands – and is now pitched as a “festival of family entertainment”.

As GoAuto reported exclusively in August, the vast majority of automotive brands have confirmed that they were not signing on in official capacity to the event.

However, various car-makers’ dealer networks and a ‘mega’ test drive arranged by event partner CarAdvice will see new cars and SUVs from about 20 brands available to sample on the test tracks.

Approximately 20 to 30 per cent of the vehicles available to test drive will be sourced directly from car-makers, while about 50 per cent will come from dealerships from the sales area close to the venue.

While brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Tesla and Lotus will be offering up their cars for test drives or drive experiences, many more will be offered through the test and dealers, ranging from affordable, mainstream models to more exotic fare.

Speaking with GoAuto this week, MotorWorld Sydney managing director Kris Willand reiterated that the event would be nothing like a traditional motor show – the last of which was held in Australia in 2012 – and instead described it as “typical festival” offering a variety of entertainment options.

80 center imageLeft: MotorWorld Sydney managing director Kris Willand.

“For your ticket price you expect entertainment value and that is what MotorWorld Sydney provides,” he said. “And the value is centred around cars, motorbikes and bikes – really anything on wheels. And that’s what we are focusing on.

“The entertainment could be anything from slot cars or radio-controlled cars all the way up to $500,000 supercars that you actually have access to, to not just see in action, but if you are lucky enough – there are limited spots – you can jump in them.” Mr Willand said the event would appeal to car enthusiasts as well as consumers, with punters able to make a purchase on-site if they like what they see.

“I think it will be quite an eclectic mix,” he said.

“We have people who will be there to just enjoy the day, see demonstrations and not actually get in a car or test a car. But some of the entertainment is great to take the family to. Kids can do kids bike licence, they can race slot cars, drive kids’ ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) on an ATV track, they can ride electric bikes etc.

“Then there is obviously going to be the car enthusiasts because we have a very good showing of smaller boutique car companies.”

Mr Willand highlighted Autohaus Hamilton, Classic Throttle Shop, Shogun Conversions and the Autosports Group dealer group as a small selection of the 60 companies showing their wares at the festival.

“There will be both old and new cars but these are cars that are actually going to be moving on the track, not just on display,” he added.

“Plus 20-odd car clubs at the moment. The car clubs are going to come out and show their nicest cars. These include car clubs like Porsche or Aston Martin and other beautiful cars we are expecting.”

He said the car test drives would provide an opportunity for people to learn more about cars and get tips on vehicle purchasing.

“We want to have people there advising on not just car purchases but also driving skills. So we have a skills program where you can actually get trained and pitch yourself against others. There will be a lot of education, not just for car buyers but for general drivers,” he said.

MotorWorld was originally set to be held in Melbourne, but due to an oversupply of automotive events, including the Formula One Grand Prix, Motorclassica and the short-lived Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce and RACV-backed Australian Motoring Festival, the organisers instead turned to Sydney.

The decision was made easier when New South Wales government agency, Destination NSW, offered to partly fund the event following the demise of the Top Gear Festival. The agreement with NSW is to hold the event for three years with an option of two more years.

Mr Willand acknowledged that some punters will have a preconceived idea of what the festival will be, but added that promoting the event appropriately would be the key.

“An event like this has not been seen in Australia before. Punters will no doubt compare it to things that have gone before and will either give it a good or not so good vote. But it will be all about the education and stories we put out there,” he said.

The organisers are targeting a crowd of between 30,000 and 50,000 across the event, and Mr Willand said he was “very confident” of achieving that number.

He also said the event was still sustainable if the number was 20,000.

“I think we should get the numbers we want and have a very good basis to build the event over the next two to three years,” he said.

Mr Willand said the event is covered by insurance and that there would be marshals and event managers on hand. Punters would be required to complete a mandatory safety briefing if they want to drive a car and the track will be in ‘racing mode’ ensuring the highest level of safety.

He also addressed concerns about the limited public transport options in the area and said there would be ample parking, additional to what there usually is at the venue, parking will be free of charge and there would be free shuttle buses between Blacktown train station and the venue.

Music acts will perform at various times, although the artists are yet to be announced, and there will also be an outdoor cinema.

The festival is also targeting women with a ladies’ day on the Thursday, sponsored by media network Mamamia. As well as women’s test drives, there will be a Women’s Choice Award and a ladies’ night cocktail party on the Thursday evening.

“The reason we are doing ladies’ day is because it is less intimidating, we hope, for women. That’ll expand. On the Friday we focus more on performance cars. And Saturday and Sunday are clearly the family days and probably the days with the most visitors as well,” Mr Willand said.

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