2019 Wesbank Fuel Economy Tour

Motus aims to build brand awareness by sponsoring media team in fuel economy tour

Charl Wilken
Wesbank Fuel Economy Tour

The management of Motus Corporation, which was established as a standalone entity when Imperial Holdings was split into two public companies a year ago, intends using the sponsorship of a four-car media team in the upcoming South African Fuel Economy Tour, sponsored by WesBank in partnership with FNB, as a brand building tool, among other objectives.

This was stated by Corné Venter, CEO of Motus Retail and Rental, when announcing this company’s involvement in this important event, which takes place from November 12-16, taking competitors from Johannesburg to Cape Town via Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and George.

Another objective is to provide a service to vehicle owners and potential buyers in terms of the everyday fuel economy figures they can expect from the four vehicles that the media representatives will drive, a Fiat Tipo 1.3 Multi-Jet Easy, Nissan Navara 2.3D SE double cab bakkie, Ford Fiesta and Honda Civic 1.5T Sport.

“South African consumers are tightening their belts, not only with the initial purchase price of an asset, but also in the case of buying a car, are the running costs, where fuel is a major expense, along with maintenance, security and insurance,” explained Corné Venter.

“This was confirmed recently in focus groups conducted by Motus where consumers said that fuel consumption is becoming increasingly important when choosing a new vehicle. Motus sees the Fuel Economy Tour as an ideal opportunity to participate in an event that will produce realistic fuel consumption figures for South African motorists and highlight the most fuel-efficient vehicles in each vehicle category,” added the senior executive of Motus Corporation’s Retail & Rental division.

Motus Corporation, the largest retail automotive group in South Africa, represents

23 OEMs, through 356 dealerships locally. The Motus dealer network also includes 112 outlets in the United Kingdom and 30 in Australia. Motus holds a new car market share of approximately 20% in the local car market.

The eight media representatives selected to make up the Motus team come from Sowetan Motoring (Brenwin Naidu and Bruce Fraser), Driven magazine (Lerato Matebese and Deon van der Walt), Media 24 and Die Burger (Ferdi de Vos and Charlen Raymond) and lastly Lenasia Motoring, with ex-racing driver Riad Jaffer partnered by seasoned National Rally co-driver Kesh Naidu.

 “Motus may be a comparatively new brand name on the block in terms of automotive retailers, but we intend to rapidly grow brand awareness and build on the brand values that made Imperial such a successful and trusted brand over many decades.

“We have the benefit of a long history, as the Motus story dates back to 1946 with the opening of a motor dealership – Barney’s Super Service Station – in downtown Johannesburg. The business adopted the Imperial name in 1964 and this laid the foundation for the Imperial Automotive retail division, ,” commented Venter.

Imperial Holdings listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1987 and grew into one of South Africa’s largest diversified conglomerates., In 2017, a strategic realignment of the business resulted in Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Imperials’ vehicle retail, rental and aftermarkets parts division being merged into one brand, Motus. In addition to familiar retail brands in the Imperial brand stable, (Imperial Auto, Imperial Select and Auto Pedigree), Motus also retails new and used vehicles through 70 franchised dealerships across South Africa.

 “The sponsorship of the Motus media team of four cars in the highly publicised South African Fuel Economy Tour sponsored by WesBank in partnership with FNB will play an important role in broadening awareness of the Motus brand and we are delighted to be involved in the inaugural event,” concluded Corné Venter.