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Automotive News

Cartrack CEO dissatisfied with firm’s current double-digit growth rate

By: Irma Venter     27th October 2017 Despite compound five-year revenue growth of 20%, fleet management and vehicle tracking group Cartrack CEO Zak Calisto is not as happy as one expects him to be. “We want to grow faster than this. We are doing what the market is doing.” 

Mahindra South Africa gears up for local assembly

By: Irma Venter     27th October 2017 Mahindra South Africa (SA) should start local semi-knockdown assembly of its new generation Mahindra Pik Up and Bolero bakkie within the next six months, says Mahindra Automotive and Farm Equipment International Operations chief Arvind Mathew. “Local assembly is my number one priority,” he says.... 

Bloodhound’s land-speed record attempt unlikely to take place in 2018

By: Irma Venter     27th October 2017 The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) will, most likely, not travel from the UK to South Africa’s Hakspeenpan in 2018 to attempt a new world land-speed record of 1 600 km/h. The current land-speed record, set 20 years ago, is 1 228 km/h. 

Bloodhound makes successful 200 mph run in the UK  

By: Irma Venter     26th October 2017 “We came to show the world Bloodhound is go,” says Bloodhound supersonic car (SCC) driver Andy Green. The Bloodhound on Thursday proved to be top dog as it successfully concluded its first official run, stretching its legs at 200 mph (322 km/h) on the Newquay Airport runway, in Cornwall, in the... 

Bloodhound makes successful 200 mph run in the UK
The Bloodhound supersonic car on its first run in the UK, travelling from zero to 200 mph.

JSE launches green bond segment

25th October 2017 The JSE on Wednesday launched its green bond segment, which provides a platform for companies and other institutions to raise funds that are ring-fenced for low-carbon initiatives. It also enables investors to invest social responsibility investment funds in securities that are truly green.   JSE... 

JSE launches green bond segment
JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and JSE Capital Markets director Donna Nemer

Mad scramble for lithium mines stretches from Congo to Cornwall

By: Bloomberg     25th October 2017 For evidence of just how hot battery ingredient lithium is right now, look no further than Australia’s AVZ Minerals. A penny stock until a few months ago, the mining hopeful has surged about 1 500% this year. The proposition: recasting a remote, century-old tin mine in the Democratic Republic of... 

Politics muddying new-vehicle market forecasts

By: Irma Venter     24th October 2017 It is impossible to accurately forecast where the new-vehicle market will end the year, or what the 2018 market will look like, says Standard Bank Vehicle and Asset Finance (VAF) group head Simphiwe Nghona. “Everything hinges on the political landscape. Anything can happen in the last quarter.... 

Politics muddying new-vehicle market forecasts
Standard Bank Vehicle and Asset Finance group head Simphiwe Nghona

Renergen secures onshore petroleum production right in South Africa; will locally produce LNG

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th October 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years and has involved... 

Renergen secures onshore petroleum production right in South Africa; will locally produce LNG
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani

M brand excelling in SA, says BMW

By: Irma Venter     24th October 2017 BMW M sales should reach another record this year, says BMW M sales and marketing VP Peter Quintus. He says the German car maker’s performance brand sold 67 900 units last year, up 9% compared with 2015 numbers. Sales last year comprised 37 500 M automobiles and 30 400 M performance automobiles. 

M brand excelling in SA, says BMW
The BMW M4 CS

Workers on strike for union recognition at Toyota’s subsidiary

By: African News Agency      23rd October 2017 The Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa’s (Limusa) strike at Toyota Tsusho Africa in Durban, entered its fourth day on Monday. Limusa, an affiliate of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), said that the protected industrial action was as a result of the company’s refusal to grant the... 

Most entry-level vehicles lack sufficient safety features, warns AA

By: Irma Venter     23rd October 2017 The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has released its second yearly Entry-level Vehicle Safety Report.   The report considers the safety features of 25 vehicles available in South Africa, priced under R160 000. This is R10 000 (6.7%) more than the vehicles considered last year, to... 

Most entry-level vehicles lack sufficient safety features, warns AA

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 As fleet operators increasingly aim to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce costs, natural gas company Tetra4, a subsidiary of JSE-listed energy company Renergen, has started trialling diesel dual-fuel (DDF) kits on two European brands of trucks to establish the advantages of natural gas as a fuel... 

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks
SAVINGS PURSUIT Indicative results can play a role in the development of an alternative cost-saving methodology for fleet owners and in pursuing and encouraging fleet optimisation

Daimler invest in solution to make EV charging as fast as filling a petrol tank

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2017 The trucks division of German mobility group Daimler has invested in Israeli firm StoreDot, in an effort to accelerate the adoption of FlashBattery technology in the electric vehicle (EV) market. StoreDot, a Tel Aviv-based company founded in 2012, is a nanotechnology materials firm focused on the... 

Tata Motors South Africa targets double-digit market share

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2017 Tata Motors South Africa (SA) must grow its position in the South African truck market from the current number eight to number three, says Tata International distribution vertical executive director and head Len Brand. “We must be bigger. We need double digit market share and we want this in the... 

BAIC implementing catch-up strategy to meet 2018 Coega deadline

By: Dylan Slater     20th October 2017 China-based vehicle manufacturer Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), is accelerating some of its construction plans for its vehicle manufacturing plant, currently under construction at the Port Elizabeth-based Coega Industrial Development Zone, to catch up on delays incurred owing to primarily... 

BAIC implementing catch-up strategy to meet 2018 Coega deadline
PORT ELIZABETH FACTORY In the foreground of the newly completed steel superstructure are BAIC vehicles that will be available in South Africa once production reaches full capacity

Empowered lubricants firm seeks to raise market share with blending plant investment

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2017 Blue Chip Lubricants (BCL) has completed the construction of a new blending plant in Johannesburg, which it hopes will help the company to secure a fifth of the lubricants market in South Africa. The company will be aided in this ambition by the sale of 51% of the business to black-owned firm... 

Autoliv in R150m settlement deal with competition authorities

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2017 One of the world’s largest manufacturers of airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of almost R150-million following its admission of having contravened the Competition Act. Autoliv has concluded a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission for... 

Volkswagen’s black-owned suppliers support project selects ten finalists

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th October 2017 Volkswagen South Africa’s (VWSA’s) Ntinga Project, established to assist, train and mentor up-and-coming black-owned suppliers in the automotive sector, has culminated in the selection of ten finalists set to compete for the top five positions. The final five will then embark on an 18-month... 

Van market retreats as economy takes toll on small businesses, households

By: Irma Venter     17th October 2017 The total South African new van market currently ranges between 19 000 and 20 000 units a year, estimates Mercedes-Benz Vans Southern Africa VP Nadia Trimmel. “Historically, the market used to be between 22 000 and 23 000 units, but this year we do not expect it to break 20 000. The general... 

Van market retreats as economy takes toll on small businesses, households
The Sprinter

Imperial Logistics team investigated 86 truck hijackings in 2016 financial year

By: Irma Venter     16th October 2017 During the 2016 financial year, Imperial Logistics investigated 86 cases of truck hijackings with a value of more than R134-million. A dedicated Imperial Logistics investigation team successfully recovered more than 90% worth of trucks, trailers and vehicles, says Imperial Logistics chief... 

Imperial Logistics team investigated 86 truck hijackings in 2016 financial year

BMW electrified vehicle sales jump by 64% year-to-date

By: Irma Venter     16th October 2017 BMW Group sales of electrified vehicles in the first three quarters of 2017 have exceeded those achieved in the whole of 2016, says the German car maker. In September, group electrified vehicle sales topped the 10 000-unit mark for the first time in a single month. 

BMW electrified vehicle sales jump by 64% year-to-date

Mahindra SA to start local assembly, move into tractor market

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2017 Mahindra South Africa (SA) should start local semi-knockdown assembly of its new generation Mahindra Pik Up and Bolero bakkie within the next six months, says Mahindra Automotive and Farm Equipment International Operations chief Arvind Mathew. “Local assembly is my number one priority,” he told... 

Mahindra SA to start local assembly, move into tractor market
The new-generation Mahindra Pik Up

Chamber helps Italian companies prosper in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Networking events and exhibitions are integral to fostering partnerships between Italian and South African companies, says Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries secretary general Mariagrazia Biancospino. 

Event drives partnerships at the highest levels

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 This year’s South Africa-Italy Summit/Indaba will advance the work of the previous three years’ events in building a community of business and governmental leaders from South Africa and Italy that will seek to reinforce strategic business relationships and actively explore new opportunities for... 

Event drives partnerships  at the highest levels
COMMITMENT TO COLLABORATION Nico de Kock, Phindile Baleni and Paolo Borzatta signed an agreement of collaboration between Gauteng and Italy at the launch of the South Africa-Italy Summit/Indaba

JV brings suspension products closer to market

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 A new joint venture (JV) – National Spring Manufacturers – between Italian suspension products provider Mollebalestra and local auto spring manufacturer Golden Spring & Engineering Services was launched last month, boosting the availability of the international brand and creating employment... 

JV brings suspension products closer to market
AUTOMOTIVE ALLIES Mollebalestra and Golden Spring have finalised the JV agreement that will facilitate the manufacture of Italian suspension products in Vereeniging

Open immigration regime central to S Africa’s growth

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Countries seeking to promote economic growth and job creation tend to adopt policies that create flexible and open immigration regimes, contrasting with South Africa’s adoption of restrictive immigration laws, which when coupled with bureaucratic inefficiency creates a barrier to the entry of... 

Open immigration regime central to S Africa’s growth
GARY EISENBERG South Africa’s foreign policy should never lose sight of the historical benefits that have streamed into South Africa from Italy

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

World’s first electric truck in series production makes US debut

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2017 Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has launched the world’s first all-electric truck in series production, the Fuso eCanter, in the US. MFTBC is a member of the Daimler group. 

Partnership creates complete truck stop service concept

By: Schalk Burger     13th October 2017 A partnership between local truck and trailer service Laser Fast, oil and gas multinational ExxonMobil, its local distributor CentLube and tyre multinational Michelin Tyre Company has resulted in the creation of a complete heavy-duty vehicle service and fuel and driver rest stop in Meyerton,... 

Partnership creates complete truck stop service concept
Photo by Duane Daws
TRUCK SERVICES The truck stop service station provides all major checks and services for heavy-duty vehicles during rest stops

BMW SA invests another R160m in Rosslyn plant

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2017 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) has invested an additional R160-million in its Rosslyn manufacturing facility, outside Pretoria, to enhance production line speed. This investment raises the maximum production capacity at the plant by almost 10%, from 71 000 units to 76 000 units a year, ensuring... 

Macroeconomy putting brakes on new-vehicle market

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2017 The poor macro-economic environment must be acknowledged as the most fundamental roadblock to the development of the local new vehicle market, and as a handbrake to manufacturing investment, says Audi South Africa head Trevor Hill. While the South African automotive market can expect to see... 

Suzuki Auto South Africa had biggest-ever sales month in August

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2017 Suzuki Auto South Africa (SA) in August broke through the magical 1 000-unit-a-month sales mark, making it the single biggest sales month for the brand since it was formally established in South Africa in 2008. Suzuki sold 1 004 units in August, compared with 504 units in the same month last... 

South African market could see ten EV models in 2020, says Audi’s Hill 

By: Irma Venter     12th October 2017 There could be roughly ten battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on sale in the South African market by 2020, estimates Audi South Africa (SA) head Trevor Hill. There are currently two: The Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. 

South African market could see ten EV models in 2020, says Audi’s Hill
Audi South Africa head Trevor Hill

20% growth not outpacing the market, says Cartrack CEO

By: Irma Venter     11th October 2017 Despite compound five-year revenue growth of 20%, fleet management and vehicle tracking group Cartrack CEO Zak Calisto is not as happy as one expects him to be. “We want to grow faster than this. We are doing what the market is doing.” 

20% growth not outpacing the market, says Cartrack CEO
Zak Calisto

Toyota halts production, reports ‘unprecedented flooding' at Durban plant

By: Irma Venter     10th October 2017 "Unprecedented flooding" arising from a massive storm which lashed the KwaZulu-Natal coast on Tuesday has closed Toyota Motors South Africa’s (TSAM’s) manufacturing plant in Prospecton, south of Durban.  The plant is located near the old Durban airport, an area heavily affected by Tuesday's storm. 

 Toyota halts production, reports ‘unprecedented flooding' at Durban plant
The Toyota plant in Durban

Mercedes-Benz Vans, Matternet and Siroop start pilot project for drone deliveries

By: Irma Venter     10th October 2017 Mercedes-Benz Vans, US drone systems developer Matternet and Swiss online marketplace Siroop have started a pilot project in Zurich, Switzerland, to test a van-and-drone-based system for on-demand delivery of e-commerce goods. The pilot project is the first time that extensive beyond-line-of... 

Mercedes-Benz Vans, Matternet and Siroop start pilot project for drone deliveries

Airbag, seat belt manufacturer pays R150m penalty on collusion charge

By: Irma Venter     9th October 2017 One of the world’s largest manufacturers of airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of almost R150-million following its admission of having contravened the Competition Act. Autoliv has concluded a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission for... 

 Airbag, seat belt manufacturer pays R150m penalty on collusion charge

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