Completion of construction of parts of the new Boardwalk Convention Centre and Hotel complex in Port Elizabeth has enabled South African Automotive Week (SAAW) to return to its original venue at The Boardwalk on the Metro’s beach-front.
“We hosted the first South African Automotive Week Tradeshow at The Boardwalk in 2007, but outgrew the venue. With the international and local interest in the 2012 edition, no venue in the province has been big enough to accommodate the 10 000 square metre tradeshow and a host of related automotive meetings and activities,” says Andrew Binning, director of SAAW 2012.
“This is the third time we have outgrown our venue,” he says.
“Fortunately, The Boardwalk was able to open up to us an underground level of a new international standard convention centre. The venue offers a number of advantages in terms of accessibility to the main hotels, parking and other facilities, such as restaurants and coffee shops,” says Binning.
“Most importantly it creates the kind of impression that resonates with international investors and national visitors.’’
“This will be the first of many international conventions and expos to be hosted in the new venue, which is part of a R1-bn investment in Nelson Mandela Bay by empowerment leisure company Emfuleni Resorts,” says Boardwalk general manager Clifford Ngakane.
Over 300 exhibitors are expected to be showcasing their products and equipment at the South African Automotive Week Tradeshow, which is the only dedicated automotive components industry showcase in South Africa.
Delegations have been confirmed from Thailand, China, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe and the United States, while individuals from a number of other countries have also registered, according to Binning.
National pavilions will showcase the industry in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the North West, the East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), and the Coega IDZ.
A 270 square metre Coega IDZ pavilion will be one of the highlights of the expo, according to Binning
“Together with its suppliers and those in the East London IDZ, as well as exhibits by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), the Eastern Cape Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the expo will make a powerful statement about automotive manufacturing in the Eastern Cape Province,” he says.
The South African Automotive Week will include a number of conferences focusing on key challenges and opportunities in the South African automotive industry.
SAAW 2012 is being held in Nelson Mandela Bay from October 10 to 13, 2012.
South African Automotive Week is made possible by the Eastern Cape Province, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Coega, the East London IDZ, merSETA, the IDC and Transnet.