The Auto team toasts a quarter century of publishing
Former racer and tuner, Auto Page founder, Michele Lupini and his team are celebrating 25 years of motoring publishing since Cars in Action magazine was first released a quarter century ago, this week. TheAuto.Page has since evolved out of Cars in Action and its sister title, Bakkie.
“The tuning industry was on its knees through the transition to democracy in the early ‘90s. One of the side hustles we became involved in to keep food on the table, was to write stories for various local motoring magazines,” Michele Lupini (above with the first Cars in Action 25 years ago) explains. “One thing led to another, and next thing we were launching Cars in Action magazine 25 years ago!
“Being an engineer and a racer, few gave us a chance. But Cars in Action soon evolved into a very much loved and appreciated magazine. People regularly still admit that they miss it today. Not only did we reinvent how magazines were published in South Africa over those years, but we brought so many people into the business who went on to do great things.
We still do what Cars in Action ONCE did
“It was an incredible time. We are immensely proud of what we achieved back then, but all good things come to an end. As the odds mounted against paper magazines, we evolved away from print to the digital and social media. Today, TheAuto.Page represents what Cars in Action did back then. The same core team still does the same job.”
Auto continues to evolve strongly, as of late April, year to date traffic has already eclipsed last year’s overall record. Auto’s social media reach regularly flirts with a million views a month. “That’s bigger than any audience we ever had with Cars in Action,” Lupini explains. “But our game has also changed so much over the years.
“Being a far smaller and leaner team now, we concentrate mainly on the cars we actually drive and test, with a side focus on future models. Both of those were Cars in Action’s biggest strengths. We still enjoy good manufacturer support on test fleets and do the occasional launch, which is enough to keep us busy and focussed.
Auto is 100% originally written
“Most importantly, everything you read on Auto and our social media offerings is 100% originally written from our point of view. We don’t just regurgitate media releases and we steer far clear of clickbait. All our stories are specifically targeted to the audience that will most likely read them via social targeting, which is hugely valuable to the carmaker.
“Our readers still appreciate our focus, attention to detail and honesty. We are happy where we are, even though the carmakers could still better utilise our resources. We have a few interesting new plans. For instance, our test records stretch back 25 years now. We are working on an exciting new Auto data project around that.”
A small family effort, Michele remains publisher and editor, while son Giordano has taken up the slack since Grandpa Mario retired. “Giordano has had an opinion since he could say the word car, so it’s great to now work with him. Carol is the real boss and still runs the admin. Mario is still in the background waiting to read our posts and loves following what we do.”
The Auto team relies on a century deep family obsession with cars and racing. They also run www.motorsportmedia.co.za, South Africa’s leading racing publicity portal. Motorsport Media handles PR for the cream of South Africa’s race drivers, teams, circuits, and series. Including fourth generation racer Giordano’s championship chasing race program.
Follow the Auto team’s motoring exploits here, as well as at facebook.com/theautopage.