Seat aronain Israel - launch a new crossover for a large group of french auto-journalists/
השקה מיוחדת לעיתונאים צרפתים, עם כלי רכב שייבאנו והחזרנו לצרפת - סיאט ארונה בהשקה בינלאומית בישראל.
מאת: דרור ברלי
When a car- manufacturer want to launch a new crossover for a large group of french auto-journalists, where does he takes them to?... to Israel! To visit famous sites and attractions like tel-aviv, the dead-sea and the Negev desert. For us, the driving instructors of the "Israeli off-road site", it was an honor and pleasure to lead and guide them to the beautiful sites, roads and routes of Israel
As a car-Journalist, I used to travel to new-car launches. Israel is a part of the European-Market and the new car models that are relevant to our market, usually are launched in Europe, most of the time at places with good, demanding roads and specialy warmer and more friendly wheather for driving, such as the southern-europe countries: spain, Portugal and Italy.
And what about Israel?... well, the fisical conditions in israel are close to perfection, ideal for these kind of events: very few days of rain even in winter, warm and pleasant temperature most of the year and very important – wide and open desert with open roads almost without traffic. on the other hand, Israel still suffers from a problematic image and a bad public-relations, mostly because of politics and security problems that the European media is used to show with a little exxagaration. Too Many people in Europe still believe that Israel is a war-zone, with suicide-bombers in every corner, missiles that fly over our heads and tanks in the streets… of course this is so far from truth.
That’s why, except the one event in 1994, when peugoet launched the new 306 model then, in Jordan and Sinai, the european journalists drove the cars through a short road section in the edge of southern
Israel, no other new car launch was ever held in Israel.
Until now. Just a little time before the 2018 winter, we were notified that The new compact SUV/crossover from SEAT – the "arona" will be launched for the the French automotive-media in Israel. Our French colleagues will arrive for a-three-day sessions to drive the new arona on Israeli roads. The French importer of the SEAT brand will bring the cars from france to Israel, and we, the driving instructors for the "Israeli off-road site" will lead and guide them, with the help from charles, a French-born and French-speaking Israeli guide, in some of the most demanding driving roads and some of the beautifull trails in the Judean desert and the negev desert.
The cars we are going to use for the event arrived directly from france, with French liscense plates and with European specs – some of them equipped with features that are very rare, almost unknown with the Israeli market - such as manual gearboxes ant turbo-diesel engines. Except the aronas, the organizers brought from france also competitor-models such as Renault captur, peugoet 2008 and the new citroen c3 aircross, for those off the journalists that want to make a direct, fair comparisson.
We joined to the orga-staff that included the crew from SEAT-france, P.R's and producers, technical staff, the Israeli French-speaking guide and even a special, vigorous French car-cleaning crew that is responsible for the refueling and cleaning of the cars every evening…
The groups of journalists arrived to ben-gurion airport in the afternoon and after a quick acquaintance and a short brief, got the keys for the cars and drove to tel-aviv, through a scenic route around the city and the well-known sites and attractions it got to offer, to the fancy "setai" boutique-hotel, located in the famous clock-tower square in jaffa. After a short rest, dinner and presentation, they had e free evening for spending a good-time in the bars, clubs, lively streets and many attractions the famous of the "never-go-to-sleep city" has to offer.
Next day , the cars were shining and refueled and after breakfast, the journalists went for a long drive in the direction of the dead sea, to spend a good time on the beach. As opposed to the rain and a little chilly weather of winter in tel-aviv, in the dead-sea area the weather is warm and pleasant and no one miss a short swim in the salty water of the dead sea, a real nature-wonder and a great attraction for visitors from Europe. after lunch in the harodd's hotel restaurant, we went for a long, dynamic and scenic drive on the open, demanding desert roads to mitzpe-ramon, the little town located on the edge of Machtesh ramon, the largest ctrater in the world, to spend the night in one of the most luxurious hotel s in Israel – the "beresheet" (Genesis).
Next day, after a good night sleep, we lead the colorful convoy off SEAT Aronas down to the crater, to experience off-road driving in the scenic desert routes through the "ramon colors" park, that includes beautiful nature phenomanas, old clay mines and a little epocaliptic-views of old-abandoned minning machines such as the "clay-cannon". We also visited " saharonim-khan"- an old roadway-inn remained from the nabatic-era, around 2,000 years ago, where the group got a short history lesson from Charles, our vigorous guide. For the end of the off-road driving section, we drove through the "pipeline-route" and gvanin creek back to road 40 and back to mitzpe-ramon. The journalists were amazed not only from the astonishing desert view, but also from the fact that in isreal everyone is allowed to drive freely in off-road routes without the need to get a special permission from the authorities or private property-owners like in Europe.
Like every good event, this launch also felt too short and too fast… but now our friends had to drive a long way to ben-gurion airport because they had to catch the flight to paris in the afternoon… the cleening crew was ready to wash and shine the dirty cars and now we are ready to welcome a new group of journalists that will land soon for a new session of driving the new arona…
We had a great time with all of you – all the journalists and good women and man of the SEAT crew. we hope you all enjoyed the time and driving the new SEAT ARONA in Israel and hope to see you again soon in the next good events.