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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

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. 

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

GM, suppliers to invest $500m in Argentina to produce new model

By: Reuters     13th October 2017 General Motors Co and its suppliers will invest a total of $500-million in Argentina operations through 2019 to prepare to produce a new Chevrolet model in 2020, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The company will invest $300-million while its supplier network will invest $200-million... 

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

Brazil revives African ties, eyes expanding market

By: Reuters     10th October 2017 Agricultural powerhouse Brazil aims to revive ties with Africa after a lull and sees a vast export market for food and manufactured goods in a continent whose population is surging, its foreign minister said. Brazil's presence in Africa surged during the government of former President Luiz Inacio... 

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

Northam backs Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association’s awareness campaign

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th October 2017 Platinum miner Northam is supporting a campaign by US-based Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) to raise awareness of clean energy technology. Globally, governments are being urged to support investment in technology to provide cleaner and more efficient sources of power in the... 

Northam backs Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association’s awareness campaign
Photo by Duane Daws
Northam CEO Paul Dunne

IFC backs BMW’s R6bn Rosslyn investment

By: Irma Venter     6th October 2017 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, will assist in financing BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) R6-billion investment in its Rosslyn plant, set to produce the new BMW X3. The $150 million loan comes as South Africa “seeks new sources of economic growth after... 

Finalists for 2018 Car of the Year competition unveiled

By: Irma Venter     6th October 2017 The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has announced the finalists in the 2018 WesBank Car of the Year competition. The announcement follows a voting process by a 30-member jury from the SAGMJ. 

Shell mulls adding EV charging points to forecourts in several countries

By: Irma Venter     6th October 2017 Energy giant Shell is exploring the possibility of adding electric vehicle charging points to its forecourts in a number of countries. The Shell brand is traditionally associated with fuel, engine oils and lubricants and service stations in South Africa. 

UK car sales set for first annual decline since 2011 after September slump

By: Reuters     5th October 2017 British new car registrations on Thursday appeared on course for their first annual fall since 2011 after a 9.3% tumble in September, a month which normally accounts for around 15% of demand. Sales were hurt by business and political uncertainty as Britain prepares to leave the EU and confusion... 

Bloodhound land-speed record attempt plagued by funding issues

By: Irma Venter     4th 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 land-speed record attempt plagued by funding issues

Nissan to recall 1.2m cars in Japan over unauthorised checks

By: Reuters     3rd October 2017 Nissan Motor plans to recall 1.2-million cars in Japan after it discovered final vehicle inspections were not performed by authorized technicians, it said on Monday. Japan’s second-biggest automaker said the recall would cost it around 25-billion yen ($222-million) to re-inspect cars produced for... 

New-vehicle sales up 6.3% y/y in September

By: Reuters     2nd October 2017 South Africa's new vehicle sales rose 6.3% year-on-year to 50 322 units in September, data from the trade and industry department showed on Monday. Exports were up 10.3% to 36 134 units compared with the same month a year earlier, the department said. 

BMW SA to invest another R160m in Rosslyn plant

By: Anine Kilian     2nd October 2017 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) will invest an additional R160-million into its Rosslyn manufacturing facility to enhance production linespeed. The enhancement raises the maximum production capacity by almost 10%, from 71 000 units to 76 000 units, leaving the plant with potential in the future... 

BMW SA to invest another R160m in Rosslyn plant
Photo by Duane Daws
BMW SA CEO Tim Abbott

Production version of Honda concept EV set for Europe launch in 2019

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017 Honda has revealed an all-new electric vehicle (EV), the Urban EV Concept, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept car is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model. 

Trade deals, emissions laws set to challenge SA auto industry, warns Toyota Europe’s Van Zyl

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017 In an effort to clean up ever-increasing pollution, the UK in July announced a proposal that sales of new diesel and petrol cars would come to an end by 2040. This announcement mirrors one made earlier by the French government, with a similar timeline and intent. This means two of South Africa’s... 

Trade deals, emissions laws set to challenge SA auto industry, warns Toyota Europe’s Van Zyl

New JV aiming to incorporate solar cells in glass roofs of Audi cars

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017  German premium car maker Audi and Alta Devices, a subsidiary of Chinese solar-cell specialist, Hanergy, have joined forces in a project that will attempt to use thin-film solar cells in the panoramic glass roofs of Audi models. The electricity these cells generate will flow into the car’s... 

Audi electric cars to be built around the world

By: Reuters     28th September 2017 Audi will build electric vehicles at its plants across the world, including sites in Mexico and Hungary, the premium carmaker said on Wednesday, detailing its zero-emission plans. The Volkswagen-owned business last year awarded production of its first mass-produced electric sport-utility vehicle... 

Suez Canal chief says Mercedes-Benz to establish new facility in economic zone

By: Reuters     27th September 2017 Mercedes-Benz is set to return to Egypt with a 50 000 square metre distribution facility in the new economic zone near the Suez Canal, Suez Canal Authority chairperson Mohab Mamish said on Tuesday. The Suez Canal Economic Zone, a mega-project launched in 2015 to create an international hub for... 

Poor macro economics acting as ‘handbrake’ and ‘roadblock’, says Audi’s Hill

By: Irma Venter     26th September 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... 

Poor macro economics acting as ‘handbrake’ and ‘roadblock’, says Audi’s Hill
Trevor Hill

VW moves to secure cobalt supplies in shift to electric cars

By: Reuters     26th September 2017 Germany's Volkswagen is moving to secure long-term supplies of cobalt, a vital component of rechargeable batteries, as the group accelerates its ambitious shift to electric cars. Cobalt industry sources told Reuters that VW, the world's largest automaker, has asked producers to submit proposals... 

BHP, world's largest miner, says 2017 is 'tipping point' for electric cars

By: Reuters     26th September 2017 This year looks set to be the "tipping point" for electric cars, Arnoud Balhuizen, chief commercial officer at global miner BHP said on Tuesday, with the impact for raw materials producers to be felt first in the metals market, and only later in oil. "In September 2016 we published a blog and we... 

CMH expects higher H1 earnings a share

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd September 2017 JSE-listed Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) expects to report a 5% to 15% increase in headline earnings per share (HEPS) to between 122.4c and 134.1c for the six months ended August 31. HEPS were 116.6c for the six months to August 31, 2016. 

Industries should prepare for increased use of HFO gases

By: Nadine James     22nd September 2017 As a result of the Kigali Agreement, countries will gradually start phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, replacing them with hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) gases and natural refrigerants like ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons, says industrial gases supplier A-Gas South Africa.... 

Industries should prepare for  increased use of HFO gases
MULTiFACETED OPERATION A-Gas offers a range of products to assist across a broad range of sectors, including shipping, refrigeration, air conditioning, automotive and mining

Korean group may introduce new heavy-duty truck to SA market

By: Irma Venter     22nd September 2017 Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) is testing the Xcient heavy-duty truck for possible introduction into the South African new-vehicle market. HASA CEO Niall Lynch says the truck, with a gross vehicle mass of 36.6 t, is undergoing road tests within Imperial Logistics. 

Solareff makes green-mobility acquisition

By: Irma Venter     22nd September 2017 JSE-listed information and communication technology (ICT) group, Alviva Holdings, has, through its subsidiary Solareff, acquired 75% of GridCars, a Pretoria-based startup that focuses on the manufacture of electric vehicle (EV) charge points and back office charge point management systems.... 

Daddy, you don’t know anything about car shopping

By: Irma Venter     22nd September 2017 The teenage daughter of Nissan Motor Corporation chief digital officer Madhu Nutakki last year shopped for a car, as California legislation allowed her to drive herself to school and back from the age of 15-and-a-half. Nutakki is based in Silicon Valley. 

Leaf 2 offers advanced technologies, dynamic new design 

     21st September 2017 The effects of global warming are driving the case for electric vehicles, or EVs, such as the latest zero-emissions EV from global vehicle manufacturer Nissan, the much-anticipated Leaf 2. Tracy Hancock attended the launch in Japan. 

Leaf 2 offers advanced technologies, dynamic new design
Leaf 2 offers advanced technologies, dynamic new design

Johnson Matthey to invest £200m in battery material technology

By: Reuters     21st September 2017 Johnson Matthey said it will invest an initial £200-million in expanding its battery material technology business from 2018, aiming to capitalise on growth in the electric vehicle market. The specialty chemicals company said the overall market "could be (worth) more than $30-billion (in) sales... 

IFC provides $150m loan to assist BMW SA’s production plans

By: Irma Venter     20th September 2017 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, will assist in financing BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) R6-billion investment in its Rosslyn plant, set to produce the new BMW X3. The $150 million loan comes as South Africa “seeks new sources of economic growth after... 

IFC provides $150m loan to assist BMW SA’s production plans
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