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Durban Motor Show 2006

Broadcast date : 2nd April 2006

The Standard Bank Durban Motor Show held at the Exhibition Centre in March attracted upwards of 40000 people this year, and was considered a success by exhibitors and the public alike.

The event’s history goes back all the way to 1992 when the Early Ford Car Club first mooted a "Wheels" festival.

This year 31 manufacturers were represented, as well as many more peripheral suppliers.
Many manufacturers took the opportunity to launch new models to the public, and as the KwaZulu-Natal region represents 17 per cent of the total South African new car market, most manufacturers present were excited about reaching out to a very important client base.

Toyota has the biggest motoring presence in KwaZulu-Natal, thanks to its position as South Africa Number One vehicle manufacturer, and its plant located near Durban Airport, which employs over eight-thousand people.

Four new models not yet seen by the public were on display. These included the revised Prius Hybrid luxury hatch, the new locally-produced Fortuna, the new RAV 4 sports utility vehicle and a special preview of a model prior to its press launch.

The Yaris sedan made its debut ahead of the media launch, something that doesn’t happen very often in South Africa. Like its hatch counterpart, the Yaris sedan is expected to be a runaway sales success.

Hyundai’s Azura was another brand new car to debut in Durban. Even newer was Nissan’s Tiida, a locally-produced MPV, built at Nissan’s Rosslyn plant near Pretoria, that will only launch in July.
The Tiida will be Nissan’s first MPV to be launched here and although it has a strong styling resemblance to the Renault Megane, Nissan insists it will have its own identity.

There’s no mistaking the Renault influence. But the Nissan Tiida will use its own rugged Japanese engine, transmission and running gear to give it a unique flavour.
The most dramatic car launched at the show was the Peugeot 407 Coupe, also offered with a new turbodiesel 2,7 litre V6.

The svelte new-wave styling of Peugeot’s corporate look is perfectly suited to the coupe format.

The car is far more convincing with its long Ferrari-like snout as a two-door than as a four-door coupe or wagon.
The Fiat Croma also made its Durban debut as well as a special version of the Palio.

Moving from the affordable Fiat Palio Vibe to the Lotus Elise represented a 180 degree shift in motoring priorities.

Right next door to the Lotus stand was Proton, these affordable Malaysian cars enjoying their first motor show airing in the city of Durban.

Along with the new Arena pick-up and funky Savvy, the Gen2 was garnering lots of attention, and the winner of Car Torque’s Proton Gen2 competition arrived to claim his prize.
To round out a creditable motoring experience, the Durban Show featured a high quality King of Custom section.

This 1932 Ford Coupe was beautifully built from one of Pretoria street-rod expert Etienne Bothma’s kits, and the attention to detail was stunning.

A Subaru owned and built by Jan Steyn of Pretoria won a special award for its modified engine presentation, while the Chevy pick-up, owned by Pierre de Waal of Durban, wasn’t too shabby either.

Attracting even more admiring glances was Pierre’s delightful Renault 4CV, fitted with radical Gordini running gear and a custom yellow paintjob.

And just to keep the Decibel Junkies nodding, Image Audio from Durban had its radical Ford Bantam pick-up pumping out sound and DVD movies every which way you turned.

All in all, a bumper Standard Bank Durban Motor Show.

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