Speaking in Geneva on September 2nd, Mohammed ben Sulayem outlined some of the initiatives he and his fellow candidates for the presidency and senior management of the Federation will be implementing if elected.
In the presence of representatives from some of Europe’s leading automobile clubs, Ben Sulayem reiterated some of the fundamental points that have led him to stand for the FIA’s highest office:
“The reason I am putting myself forward is my firm conviction that although the platform FiA has built over the years is a strong one, there are very significant changes in the world around us that requires us to respond collectively as a Federation.,” said the Emirati
“We must show leadership,” he added, “and together we have to take steps forward to respond to the challenges these changes present. I have been involved in the FIA all my adult life. It has given me much - as a rally driver, a club president and then as a Vice President for both Mobility and Sport, and I believe it is time for me to give back.”
The presidential candidate, the first non-European to stand for this post, said the FIA is at the centre of a series of seismeic changes that affect all car drivers, and motorsport competitors. Climate change, sustainability, the need to get more young people into motorsport, mobility usage and electrification are just some of the challenges the FIA and its member clubs face in this post-pandemic world.
“We now no longer lead, but we adapt and follow,” said the former rally champion of the Middle East, adding that: “To rise to these challenges, we should stop being considered ‘just’ a sporting federation (with some road-safety goodwill initiatives), but place the consumer and the member at the heart of Mobility and Motorsports.”
Ben Sulayem is no doubt the Federation is the best-placed organization to tackle these challenges and turn them into opportunitites: “The FIA must become the leading member and consumer organization for car drivers in the world,” he said.
Increasing the collaboration between the sports and mobility arms of the FIA is, for ben Sulayem, the first and fundamental step in the building of a lean, responsive and innovative Federation with a focus on advocacy and growth.
Thus, the FIA should become the unified consumer’s voice in the face of global authorities and regulators. It should also provide a clear national and regional affordable range of motorsports to feed the pyramid from local to elite. This is turn will provide long-term revenues for the FIA, promoters, and the teams.
The Presidential Candidate also turned his attention to creating a more business-minded approach within the FIA by suggesting the introduction of a revised governance framework, with more power on the World Council, jointly driving the long-term strategy. The Senate, acting as the supervisory board, will oversee the implementation of policy.
Ben Sulayem concluded his speech saying that: “My campaign is called FIA for Members because I believe that is what it should be for. We must also genuinely empower the regions, ensuring there is professional management in place. I also believe passionately in increasing diversity across the FIA, harnessing it to grow our membership.
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