“Technology is disrupting every industry worldwide, and motor retail is not going to be spared. Disruption is coming – from online retail to driverless cars – and those who don’t learn to innovate now will find themselves left behind.”
This is according to Shayne Mann, from Mann Made Media, who will be introducing some of the accelerating trends coming the way of motor retailers when he addresses the CAR Conference at Kyalami on Thursday, 1 September. This important, biennial motor industry conference is being co-located with the South African Festival of Motoring and enjoys sponsorship form Tracker and Gumtree.
Mann, who has already been involved in developing virtual automotive showrooms for local dealer groups, offers some advice and examples of how dealers can catch the wave and start innovating faster.
He says that It’s time to reboot! .He says it is not necessary to throw away the expertise and physical footprint offered by traditional dealerships, but rather to re-imagine their role in an uncertain (but exciting) future.
Mann Made Media is a Sandton-based Pan-African brand experience agency which operates as four business units: activations, events, video and interactive.
The remainder of the CAR Conference programme offers delegates an excellent, all round panorama view of the South African motor industry, both from the OEM and retail aspects, while an international speaker, Martyn Briggs, the UK, will spice up the programme with his presentation on “Megatrends and the future of mobility”.
There will be many delegates looking forward to hearing from Mark Lamberti, who took over as CEO of the Imperial Group in 2014. Imperial is a major player as an importer and retailer in the local motor industry, with a host of different brands in its stable so his address should be one of the highlights of the conference.
All in all there will be 10 speakers during the all-day conference which has as its topical theme “Consumer Trends and Disruptions: How South African automakers can drive the change required to adapt to as new future.”
There will obviously be a great deal of interest in the presentation by Sizwe Nxedlana, the Chief Economist of First National Bank, seeing as it follows a time of political upheaval in the country as well as following the SARS squabble between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Hawks.
Mike Whitfield, the President of Nissan SA who assumed the additional role of President of NAAMSA earlier this year, will make his presentation in his latest role as a head of the important industry body.
A recent addition to the list of speakers was Adrian Velaers, a Senior Technical Advisor at Sasol, who will address of thorny question of fuel in South Africa where legislation about upgrading the refineries to produce cleaner fuel continues to be delayed to the dismay of the OEMs and importers. Velaers’ topic at the conference will be: “South African fuel trends – towards enabling modern technology.”
The conference will conclude with an interesting topic to be debated by a panel of five industry experts. The wide-ranging topic is: “The state of the South African automotive industry and change required to compete in world markets.”
The panel who will discuss this topic is made up of a number of industry experts with Treeshake founder Dave Duarte as the person delegated to control proceedings. The panellists are: Mike Whitfield, Jeff Osborne, the Head of Gumtree Auto; Thomas Schaefer, the President and Managing Director of Volkswagen; and Chris de Kock, the CEO of WesBank.
For more information go to www.carmag.co.za
Bookings are still open at a fee of R2 495 per person.