A big thanks to all as I vacate driver’s seat
After 11 years and more than 500 editions, it’s time for me to say goodbye as the editor of Business Day Motor News. It has been an incredible journey, one that started in January 2007 when I was hired by Wilken Communications to be the editor of Motor News, which was then a joint venture between Wilken and BDFM.
Over the years the role has taken me around the world, to some amazing places and to drive some amazing vehicles.
I’ve driven Lamborghinis in Las Vegas, been driven across Tunisian sand dunes in a Volkswagen Race Touareg, tested an autonomous truck in Berlin and sat at the Nordschleife as people screamed around me while Formula One drivers lost control in a downpour and crashed into each other.
I’ve written stories at 2am in airports, proofed pages in the back of a bakkie in Chile and interviewed everyone in the automotive industry from workshop technicians to global CEOs.
Along the way I have been assisted by an incredible team, including our superb writers, Lerato Matebese, Roger Houghton, John Floyd and Michael Taylor. Our production team has shown amazing patience and creativity in the face of tight deadlines and so a huge thanks goes to Lauren and Tamara and to Valdi, Cara and Shane before them. Our advertising team of Grant, Sharon and others at Stanton Porter continue to do an amazing and difficult job in the changing media landscape — without them there would be no Motor News and I thank you and all our loyal advertisers past and present.
To the automotive industry in SA and around the world, thank you for your support and willingness to help us chase those all-important exclusives, of which there have been many in Motor News.
To all those in the Business Day newsroom and in Tiso Blackstar Group, thanks for everything. It has been great to be part of what is probably the best newsroom in SA and I am honoured to have been part of it.
Finally, to you the readers, the biggest thank you. We have strived to bring you the best news, the most informative motoring reads and a bit of entertainment. I have been at the helm of what I am confident is the best motoring title in SA and that is thanks to the best team in the business and our insistence on putting you first.
The reality is that I am going to miss the weekly deadlines and the usual last-minute rush to get Motor News to the printer. I’ll miss chasing writers for their stories, searching for appropriate pictures and seeing everyone’s hard work in print on a Thursday.
The good news is that this is not a final goodbye. I will continue to provide stories from the UK in my role as a motoring correspondent for the Tiso Blackstar Group. Yes, I have moved to the UK where I plan to be even closer to the automotive industry and be able to bring you even more of those all-important exclusives.
I hand over the editorship of Motor News to Denis Droppa, who arrives after a significant period as motoring editor at the Independent Group. Welcome to Tiso, Denis. I wish you and the team all the best as you take Motor News into the future.