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MotorWorld Sydney to cost brands $50k

Hot laps: Honda Australia will have a presence at the MotorWorld Sydney event in November and there is a chance the all-new NSX could make an appearance.

Organisers press go on MotorWorld Sydney, with the aim of luring 25 brands


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9 Feb 2016

MOTORWORLD Sydney organisers are charging car-makers up to $50,000 apiece to participate in the five-day event, with hopes of attracting 25 automotive brands in its first year.

The company behind the interactive motoring festival, Definitive Events, this week announced further details of the function, which managing director Kris Willand calls, “a retail and drive event (and) Australia’s biggest driving experience”.

An official media launch event is set for this week, with New South Wales minister for trade, tourism and major events Stuart Ayres set to be in attendance. The five-day festival kicks off at the Sydney Motorsport Park from November 30 this year.

Mr Willand said he was confident that 25 automotive brands will be involved in the ‘lifestyle’ event that debuts in around nine months time.

“So 25 brands is clearly the target for us, we’ll have at least 15 to 20 represented there [at the launch] some investigating, some committed,” he told GoAuto.

“We’re officially launching by saying we’ve got the sponsorship behind us, the media behind us and it’s all systems go. There is a substantial marketing fund to make this happen.”

Asked whether he is certain that enough brands will come on board, he replied, “I’m very sure, obviously, as I’m putting my reputation and money on the line here.”

Mr Willand declined to nominate manufacturers that will participate in the event, however he said that five or six are confirmed. Other brands are discussing split funding between dealerships and in-house marketing.

Marques participating in the launch event include Lamborghini Sydney, Ferrari Australasia, Honda, Tesla, BMW Motorrad and the Mustang Owners Club.

Representatives from Premium and mainstream brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Mazda, Volkswagen, Lexus, Volvo, Peugeot/Citroen and Ford also indicated to MotorWorld that they would be present for the launch function.

GoAuto has contacted several automotive brands for comment.

In addition to unspecified funding support from the NSW state government, the event will also be backed by television’s Network Ten, radio’s Nova Entertainment and website MammaMia.

Consumer reach through traditional and social media is pitched as one draw card to get automotive brands to participate.

Mr Willand said he also hopes that MotorWorld Sydney learns from the mistakes of the failed motor show model following the axing of the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in 2013.

“For a major brand the entry ticket would be $1 million and then some,” Mr Willand said, further citing a lack of test-drive conversion for motor show-goers and limited return-on-investment data as other issues MotorWorld is attempting to address.

“For a brand to participate (at MotorWorld) and have cars in all the driving experiences, investment from the brand is no more than $30,000 to $50,000,” he adds.

“We’ve brought it down to a package which is very manageable. A typical car company will have about 10 to 15 cars in action [and] they’ll have other experiences such as a Mercedes-Benz drive academy or off-road course by Land Rover where the cars can be shown in action.”

While each manufacturer will have its own marquee and static display set-up, it will be able to nominate vehicles to participate in such drive experiences.

Vehicles will be able to be driven by show-goers on a circuit, on dirt or on the road an ‘entertainment arena’ will include educational components such as ABS and ESC demonstrations and there will be dedicated 15-minute track slots throughout each day for manufacturers to run specific passenger-ride events such as hot laps, or drag races.

Final entry costs for the public are yet to be determined, however Mr Willand says the aim is for an all-inclusive daily fee of $30 for adults and $70 for a family, while parking at the site 40km west of the Sydney CBD will be free.

Following a decision last October to swap venues from Sandown Raceway to Sydney Motorsport Park due to a “saturated” Melbourne car market, Mr Willand said he is not keen to explore other interstate venues for MotorWorld.

Rather he wants this new-age motor show to stand on its own two feet, likening the Sydney event to Goodwood in the United Kingdom or the Tokyo Motor Show in Japan having only one venue base.

As previously reported by GoAuto, the decision to shift the MotorWorld event from Melbourne to Sydney was pushed along after receiving funding from NSW government agency, Destination NSW.

Last year the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce and the RACV attempted an interactive motoring event at the Melbourne showgrounds, but poor uptake from brands and low attendance numbers meant the show was shelved.

It attracted just six automotive brands to the March, 2015 event including Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Volvo, Toyota, Isuzu Ute and all-terrain vehicle-maker Tomcar.

Another Melbourne-based event, Motorclassica, has grown each year and is seen as a successful example of a new motor show.

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