The VACC and RACV have joined forces to launch the Australian Motoring Festival – a four-day celebration of all things automotive set for Melbourne in 2015.
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The successor to the Melbourne leg of the Australian international motor show that was last held in 2011, the Australian Motoring Festival will run from March 26-29 at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

VACC executive director David Purchase said the new festival would differ greatly to the traditional display-style motor show, giving enthusiasts the opportunity to interact with vehicles and car technologies in a much more hands-on way.

“The Australian Motoring Festival is a new concept and devised to connect automotive manufacturers and distributors with the vehicle-buying public in a new and dynamic way,” Purchase said.

“Extensive research shows that people want to be able to engage and interact with the exhibits and activities at motoring events and that’s what we intend to deliver at the Australian Motoring Festival.”

Interactive on- and off-road drive and ride experiences, new and historic car and motorcycle displays, aftermarket exhibits, car-themed film screenings and activities for children will headline the festival’s key events.

RACV motoring and mobility general manager Gordon Oakley said the two organisations were aiming to deliver a world-class motoring event.

“The Australian Motoring Festival will provide a wonderful experience for our members and their families, with visitors of all ages treated to a vast array of memorable and informative experiences,” Oakley said.

“This will be an entirely new event on the Australian motoring calendar and it will be a very different experience from the traditional motor show.”

A lack of support from manufacturers and falling attendance figures forced organisers to cancel both the 2013 Melbourne and 2014 Sydney legs of the Australian international show last year.

A host of big-name brands – including Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, Mini, Renault and Volvo – chose not to attend the 2012 Sydney show, with some claiming the $1 million-plus cost of operating a show stand for 10 days was prohibitively expensive.

Crowd numbers fell to 135,000 in 2012, down from 2004’s record attendance of more than 250,000.