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Automotive News

Uber reaches almost 1-million users in South Africa 

By: Irma Venter     9th November 2017 The longest Uber trip on record in sub-Saharan Africa happened in South Africa this year – 3 190 km from Cape Town to Durban, via Bloemfontein. The electronic ride hailing service does not disclose why the journey was made. The Uber app does, however, provide an estimated cost for the journey, at... 

Volvo Financial Services launches in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     8th November 2017 Volvo Financial Services (VFS), the global finance arm of the Volvo Group, has announced the launch of Volvo Financial Services Southern Africa. VFS Southern Africa will provide financial services to customers of Volvo Group Southern Africa, which includes the UD Trucks, Volvo Bus, Volvo Trucks... 

Volvo Financial Services launches in South Africa
Torbjörn Christensson

BAW introduces SA assembled diesel taxi

By: Irma Venter     8th November 2017 Beijing Automotive Works South Africa (BAW SA) will test a new diesel minibus taxi in the local market through sales at four selected dealers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast. Should the market accept the vehicle, availability would grow to most of the 28 BAW... 

BAW introduces SA assembled diesel taxi
The BAW Sasuka Diesel minibus

BAIC SA appoints new CFO

By: Anine Kilian     6th November 2017 BAIC South Africa (SA) has appointed Batandwa Mdyesha CFO, with immediate effect. She was previously the CFO of State-owned mining company African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation. 

Ford, BMW, Daimler and VW launch JV to enable long-distance electric vehicle travel

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi and Porsche, have announced Ionity as a joint venture (JV) that will develop and implement a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe. Ionity will launch 400 HPC stations by 2020. 

Ford, BMW, Daimler and VW launch JV to enable long-distance electric vehicle travel

Ford invests R3bn to expand Ranger production, build Raptor locally

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is investing R3-billion ($220-million) in expanding Ranger production at its Silverton plant, in Pretoria. The plant builds the Everest sports-utility vehicle and Ranger pickup, with the latter exported to 148 markets. 

Ford invests R3bn to expand Ranger production, build Raptor locally
The Silverton plant

Eicher trucks to be assembled in Rosslyn

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 Eicher trucks will be assembled in South Africa in less than 12 months, says VE Commercial Vehicles South Africa (VECV SA) country head Surender Singh. “The project has a one-year lead time. We are currently in discussions to make it happen.” 

Hino targets bigger share of heavy commercial vehicle market

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 The new Hino 500 series should assist Hino South Africa (SA) to increase its share of the South African heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) market from 18% to around 22%, 23%, says Hino SA VP Ernie Trautmann. A new 6 X 4 model should also allow the new 500 series to “play in the extra-heavy commercial... 

Chinese truck brand aims to grow SA sales as it expands offering

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 Powerstar sold around 420 trucks in South Africa last year, with the Chinese brand aiming for 500 units this year, says Everstar Industries CEO Bob Wang. The growth will come from the brand expanding its product portfolio from the extra-heavy and heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV, HCV) segments to... 

Portfolio of BEVs on offer in SA expected to expand materially by 2020

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 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. Audi will launch its C-BEV sports utility vehicle in South Africa in 2019. To date,... 

BMW eclipses 2016 EV sales in first three quarters of 2017

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 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. 

Complete heavy-vehicle service station concept created through partnership 

2nd November 2017 Oil and gas multinational ExxonMobil and tyre multinational Michelin Tyre Company, teamed up with local truck service and wheel alignment enterprise Laser Fast to create a truck stop where the vehicles are checked, serviced and wheels aligned while drivers rest. Schalk Burger has the story. 

Complete heavy-vehicle service station concept created through partnership
Complete heavy-vehicle service station concept created through partnership

October new-vehicle sales up 4.6%, Porsche follows in Merc, BMW footsteps

By: Irma Venter     1st November 2017 New-vehicle sales in October increased for the fifth month in a row, improving by 4.6% on sales in the same month last year, to reach 51 037 units. Passenger car sales carried the market in October, with all other segments in decline. 

October new-vehicle sales up 4.6%, Porsche follows in Merc, BMW footsteps

New car, bakkie owners unhappy about fuel consumption, reveals Ipsos survey

By: Irma Venter     30th October 2017 Poor fuel consumption has emerged as the major gripe from customers in the newest Ipsos Quality Survey. Fuel consumption was the biggest cause for customer complaint in 13 of the 16 vehicle model segments into which Ipsos divides the South Africa market.  

New car, bakkie owners unhappy about fuel consumption, reveals Ipsos survey

Naamsa questions ‘illogical’ carbon tax as clean fuels legislation stalls

By: Irma Venter     30th October 2017 The delay in the introduction of clean fuels in South Africa will halt the flow of new vehicle technology to South Africa, warns the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). “With the widespread introduction of new technology, including new four-way... 

Naamsa questions ‘illogical’ carbon tax as clean fuels legislation stalls

Goodyear South Africa appoints new MD

By: Anine Kilian     27th October 2017 Goodyear South Africa has appointed Darren Hayes-Powell MD, effective November 1. He will succeed current MD Jean-Jacques Wiroth, who will be embarking on a new assignment at Goodyear in Europe. 

UCT’s business school to participate in UN programme research council

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th October 2017 The University of Cape Town’s (UCT’s) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has been named as one of nine leading universities to be part of a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop a research agenda that will better leverage private investment to finance the... 

Local stainless steel industry remains optimistic

By: Robyn Wilkinson     27th October 2017 While South African demand for stainless steel is under severe pressure, the potential for growth once the local economy improves is strong and distributors are starting to position themselves strategically to take advantage of this, says stainless steel producer Columbus Stainless CEO Lucien... 

Local stainless steel  industry remains optimistic
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM The global stainless steel market had a strong run early this year, on the back of substantial chromium and nickel price increases at the end of last year, which continued into 2017

Family-owned businesses outperform peers, report shows

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th October 2017 Family-owned companies have outperformed broader equity markets in every region and sector, according to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s (CSRI’s) ‘The CS Family 1000’ report, which reviews the investment case for family-owned companies. The financial performance of family-owned companies... 

New-vehicle sales rose for fourth month in a row in September

By: Irma Venter     27th October 2017 New-vehicle sales in September increased for the fourth month in a row in September, improving by 7% on sales in the same month last year, to reach 50 675 units. New-vehicle exports increased by 11% to 36 359 units. 

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... 

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