Zim cancels motor show

HARARE - Zimbabwe has cancelled this year’s edition of the Motor Show that was slated for next weekend until further notice due to deteriorating economic conditions in the country.

This comes as sad news to thousands of motoring fanatics and enthusiasts who were looking forward to one of the few remaining, most exciting and memorable events on the local calendar — clearly showing that all is not well in the country.

The esteemed outdoor event, which was scheduled to take place from September 23-25, 2016, usually features all of the major passenger and commercial vehicle brands, alongside the primary suppliers and partners with the motoring industry, boats and earth-moving equipment.

Some of the latest vehicles to enter Zimbabwe that enthusiasts were looking forward to sample at the event include the new Mitsubishi Pajero, Jaguar F-Pace, new Toyota Hilux and Toyota Fortuner, and 2016 Volkswagen Passat, Jetta and Golf 7, among others.

After a 10-year hiatus, the motoring exhibition only returned to the Zimbabwean shores in the 2011s when the economy slowly improved and was an instant success with the country’s discerning motor enthusiasts.

However, this is not going to be the case this year as the economy is quickly receding into a recession and there is no respite on the horizon.

“The show is being postponed due to the current challenges in the economy in general and the motor industry sector specifically and includes for some brands the lack of vehicle stocks for exhibition,” Zimbabwe Motor Show Trust chairman Dzi Matanhire.

He added that this regrettable decision was arrived at after due and extensive consultations with major vehicle franchise holders who exhibit at the motor show and careful consideration of the implications of such a late notice to all stakeholders.

Over the last few years, all the major brands like Toyota, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, Mazda, Isuzu, Nissan, Hyundai, VW and BMW, to mention just but  a few featured at the event as well as a whole host of auto related exhibits, finance stands, oils and tyres among others.

The vintage section, however, proved to be the most popular of all exhibitions.

But with the economy expected to decline further this year due to the absence of a stimulus package and any meaningful policies, worsening liquidity and cash crises, low disposable incomes and skyrocketing unemployment rate, it was going to be a tall order for the event to attract a sizeable crowd.

Matanhire said the Motor Show would not be able to maintain the quality and interest it is reputed for if the major vehicle brands are not represented or do not have their latest models to showcase to motoring enthusiasts and valued members of the public.

“The Trust took this severe decision despite the advanced state of preparations by all stakeholders to maintain the integrity and prestigious value that the Zimbabwe Motor Show has come to represent,” he said.

The date when the next motor show — organised under the auspices of the Motor Industry Association of Zimbabwe which  operates on a non-profit basis — will be advised in due course.

*Till next week, drive safely! For feedback contact me on +263 772 214 432 or kachemberej@dailynews.co.zw

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