Good, bad, ugly of motor show

Bobby Cheetham

THE Johannesburg International Motor Show draws to a close this weekend but there’s still time to see some of the most exciting vehicles on the African continent all under one roof.

Hurry down to the Nasrec Expo Centre before Sunday afternoon to see the good, the bad and the ugly at this year’s event which has visitors flocking to the venue.

THE GOOD:

Nissan has set the ball rolling with the announcement that the Leaf electric vehicle is now on sale at selected dealers throughout the country.

This is the first electric passenger vehicle to be sold in SA, but it does not come cheap.

Priced at R446000 it will be interesting to see if South African motorists, with long distance travel the norm, will accept this form of motoring.

Nissan justifies the price tag by saying that one should take overall running costs into consideration.

Volkswagen should be joining the electric vehicle bandwagon with the e-Golf next year. BMW will also add the futurist i8 to the no-fuel line-up of vehicles.

General Motors dropped strong hints that the ever so cute Opel Adam and small Opel Mokka MPV, which are undergoing evaluation here, might grace dealers’ showrooms next year.

Hats off to the Citroen people who put on an inspiring show in unveiling their products. A woman playing the electric violin suspended by wires from the roof and athletic acrobatic dancers doing the impossible with their bodies!

Citroen’s stand goes to show that one not need spend up to R50-million (as some exhibitors did!) to impress the media and the public.

And then there was Honda’s futuristic NSX concept car which highlights the direction the company is going. If that’s correct, watch Honda get into top gear on the sales charts!

THE BAD:

Thankfully visitors will be spared some of the bad moments at the show which the media was exposed to.

For instance, a company CEO and his staff, who could not correctly pronounce the name of their own products.

Also there were those whose unintelligible babble had the media scratching their heads as to what these illustrious captains of industry were talking about. Clearly they were overcome by the moment.

It certainly was not a case of: “Give that man a Bells” but rather a subscription to the Dale Carnegie course on public speaking and How to Win Friends and Influence People!

THE UGLY:

The dark art of building bullet and bomb proof cars was one of the lesser publicised events at the show.

Mercedes-Benz and Audi both had vehicles on their stand which could withstand most attacks which would normally destroy an ordinary vehicle.

Security was tight and no pictures were allowed.

It was real James Bond stuff. In fact, if I had to tell you more about the cars I would have to kill you!

Talking of killing, there were at least two international motor companies who brought their own security teams of ex-CIA, FBI and other former spy agency staff to keep a watchful eye over their charges.

Nobody was taking any chances!

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