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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

Daimler's R&D chief sees nickel rich batteries gaining traction

By: Reuters     7th March 2018 The car industry is moving towards making electric car batteries with a higher ratio of nickel, Ola Kaellenius, Daimler board member responsible for research and development, said on Tuesday. High cobalt prices have been pushing manufacturers to adjust the recipe for the batteries used to power... 

Audi unveils first electric vehicle in Geneva, set for SA launch by 2020

By: Irma Venter     6th March 2018 Audi has unveiled its e-tron prototype at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, in Switzerland. The prototype offers a preview of the German brand’s first all-electric model. This is also the vehicle that is scheduled for launch in South Africa in 2019 or 2020. 

Audi unveils first electric vehicle in Geneva, set for SA launch by 2020
The Audi e-tron

Fully autonomous vehicle set for October trial in SA 

By: Irma Venter     6th March 2018 The first fully autonomous vehicle may make its debut in South Africa in October, as part of the inaugural Future Mobility Africa event, organised by the Mobility Centre for Africa (MCA). The two electric-powered candidates for the first fully autonomous vehicle trial in South Africa are,... 

Fully autonomous vehicle set for October trial in SA
The Navya autonomous shuttle

Cartrack mulls expanding its new affordable insurance offering

By: Irma Venter     2nd March 2018 Fleet management, vehicle recovery and telematics group Cartrack aims to expand its newly launched affordable vehicle insurance product range over the next six to 18 months. Cartrack unveiled a R9.99 product in February, strictly for vehicle theft and hijackings, through its new subsidiary,... 

Cartrack mulls expanding its new affordable insurance offering

Metair buys into Romanian battery packs, electric drives firm

By: Irma Venter     2nd March 2018 Energy storage and automotive component specialist Metair has acquired 35% in Primemotors (Prime), in Romania, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Rombat, in an effort to accelerate its production of lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries for the growing European market. Metair recently launched a... 

Subaru sales accelerate by 10% in ‘lethargic’ South African market

By: Irma Venter     2nd March 2018 Subaru South Africa (SA) sales increased by 10% last year, reaching 1 002 units, outgunning a lethargic domestic new-vehicle market that managed only a 1.8% gain in 2017 compared with 2016. Subaru has been operating in South Africa for more than twenty-five years. 

Super Group posts 27.5% revenue increase in December half-year

By: Irma Venter     2nd March 2018 Challenging trading conditions and political uncertainty continued to depress trading conditions at transport logistics and mobility company, Super Group. The group on Monday reported a 27.5% increase in revenue for the six months ended December 31, compared with the same period in 2016, to... 

Cartrack introduces ‘low-cost’ theft-only insurance product

By: Irma Venter     2nd March 2018 Fleet management and vehicle tracking group Cartrack has launched a R9.99-a-month theft-only insurance product, although true price is closer to R108.99, when all costs are included. The JSE-listed group says the “first-to-market innovative insurance offering for vehicle theft” targeted the... 

New-vehicle sales in second month of decline

By: Irma Venter     1st March 2018 Domestic new-vehicle sales faced a second month of decline this year, dropping by 3.8% in February, to 46 347 units, compared with the same month last year. Sales numbers released by the Department of Trade and Industry on Thursday showed that February new-passenger car sales inched lower by... 

New-vehicle sales in second month of decline

Aarto Amendment Bill too broken to be fixed – Dembovsky

By: Nadine James     28th February 2018 The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offence (Aarto) Amendment Bill is unconstitutional and will inevitably be challenged once signed into law, Justice Project South Africa chairperson Howard Dembovsky told a National Press Club briefing on Tuesday. He stated that, in addition to being... 

Diesel cars can be banned from German cities, court rules

By: Reuters     27th February 2018 German cities can ban the most heavily polluting diesel cars from their streets, a court ruled on Tuesday, a move likely to be mirrored in other parts of Europe and to force automakers to pay to improve exhaust systems or switch to cleaner vehicles. There has been a global backlash against... 

Study launched into economic impact of possible EV transition in South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2018 A macroeconomic study into the impact of a possible transition in the South African transport market from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) has been launched. Initially proposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the study is backed by the South... 

Study launched into economic impact of possible EV transition in South Africa

Tax increases likely to shrink market, says auto industry bodies

By: Irma Venter     23rd February 2018 The substantial increase in ad valorem vehicle excise duty rates announced in the National Budget this week – with the maximum duty for motor vehicles rising from 25% to 30% – together with the increases in value added tax (VAT), emissions taxes and the fuel levy, “will compromise vehicle... 

Tax increases likely to shrink market, says auto industry bodies
Andrew Kirby

Bloodhound supersonic car to arrive in South Africa in October

By: Irma Venter     23rd February 2018 The UK-based team chasing a new world land-speed record will send its Bloodhound supersonic car to South Africa in October, the project has confirmed. Following the Bloodhound’s successful 320 km/h runway trial at Cornwall Airport Newquay, in the UK, in October last year, the team will be... 

SUVs push global new-car sales up by 2.4%, EV sales up 78%

By: Irma Venter     21st February 2018 The global new-car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew by 2.4% in 2017, to 86.05-million units, compared with 2016, according to data released by UK automotive business intelligence group JATO Dynamics. “The automotive market performed well in 2017, with established economies... 

 SUVs push global new-car sales up by 2.4%, EV sales up 78%

New Toyota magnet cuts dependence on key rare earth metal for EV motors

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 Toyota Motor Corp has found a way to reduce the amount of a key rare earth metal used in magnets for electric car motors by around 20%, which could tame the cost of producing electric cars and reduce the risk of a supply shortage of materials needed for their production. The Japanese automaker... 

SA, UK political uncertainty dampens trading conditions, says Super Group

By: Irma Venter     19th February 2018 Challenging trading conditions and political uncertainty continued to depress trading conditions at transport logistics and mobility company, Super Group. The group on Monday reported a 27.5% increase in revenue for the six months ended December 31, compared with the same period in 2016, to... 

Sprinter reboots for digital efficiency as global parcel, food deliveries soar

By: Irma Venter     19th February 2018 Global parcel deliveries reached roughly 44-billion units in 2014, growing by almost 48%, to 65-billion parcels, in 2016.  This trend is far from flattening out. Various studies expect yearly growth rates of between 6% and 8% a year through to 2025. 

Sprinter reboots for digital efficiency as global parcel, food deliveries soar

Isuzu launches standalone South African business, new mu-X utility vehicle

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th February 2018 Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSA) on Friday not only launched its standalone business at its manufacturing plant in Struandale, Port Elizabeth – apart from the General Motors brand, following the latter’s exit from South Africa last year –  but also showcased its new bakkie-derived sports utility... 

Isuzu launches standalone South African business, new mu-X utility vehicle
Isuzu mu-X

Industry upbeat despite fall in January vehicle sales

By: Irma Venter     16th February 2018 New-vehicle sales in the domestic market declined by 8.9% in the first month of the year, to 45 888 units, compared with January last year. Sales numbers released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that January new-passenger car sales dropped by 11.6 %, to 32 642 units. 

Country-specific hazards emerge during self-driving car’s world tour

By: Irma Venter     16th February 2018 It may surprise the taxi haters, but South Africa is not the most challenging country to sit behind the wheel of a vehicle in self-driving mode. The winner is China, with its sometimes erratic cyclists, lack of lane markings and confusing traffic signals. Mercedes-Benz at the end of last year... 

East London plant’s performance-car production journey continues

By: Irma Venter     16th February 2018 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) on the very last  day of Januaryproduced its first Mercedes-AMG C 63 S at the East London plant, in the Eastern Cape, following a R200-million investment to allow for the assemblyof three Mercedes-AMG models for the export and local markets. MBSA announced last... 

BMW close to ten-year supply deal for battery minerals – FAZ

By: Reuters     12th February 2018 BMW is close to signing a ten-year supply contract for lithium and cobalt, the company's procurement chief told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, amid an industry-wide scramble for raw materials needed for electric car batteries. "The aim is to secure the supply all the way down to the... 

Ford lifts veil on new Ranger Raptor, set for production at Pretoria plant

By: Irma Venter     9th February 2018 The first-ever Ranger Raptor, Ford’s new off-road, performance pick-up bakkie, was unveiled in Thailand this week. The Raptor will be produced at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa's (FMCSA’s) Silverton plant, in Pretoria, as part of a $220-million investment announced late last year, aimed at... 

 Ford lifts veil on new Ranger Raptor, set for production at Pretoria plant
The Ranger Raptor

Auto masterplan to be tabled in Cabinet next month

By: Irma Venter     9th February 2018 Government’s new automotive industry support scheme will be presented to Cabinet in March, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe. However, he tells Engineering News that it “must not be assumed that Cabinet will endorse it immediately. Once they endorse it, we will proceed.” 

Positive Budget will see growth surpass current forecasts – Naamsa

By: Irma Venter     9th February 2018 It is possible for economic growth in South Africa in 2018 to surpass all current expectations, but “much depends on what is announced in the budget speech”, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) director Nico Vermeulen. The budget is to be announced on... 

New Polo, Polo Vivo production starts at Uitenhage in wake of R6.1bn investment

By: Irma Venter     9th February 2018 German carmaker Volkswagen in 2015 took a multibillion-rand decision to invest in new Polo and Polo Vivo production in South Africa. However, it is “unlikely” that the group would have come to the same positive conclusion in 2017, says Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) MD and chairperson... 

VWSA passenger car market leader for seventh consecutive year

9th February 2018 Automotive manufacturing company Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) ended 2017 with 80 308 sales, giving it a total market share of 21.8%, with the Volkswagen brand achieving 18.9% share in a year in which it ran out of supply of its most successful models. Since the introduction of the Polo... 

VWSA passenger  car market leader for seventh consecutive year
MARKET LEADER The Volkswagen Polo sold 22 916 units last year

Lubricants company creates specialist division to drive localisation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th February 2018 Lubricants specialist FUCHS Lubricants South Africa (FUCHS) and its parent company FUCHS Petrolub SE, based in Germany, have created a Lubritech division to drive a specialisation and localisation agenda.  

Lubricants company creates specialist  division to drive localisation
Photo by Duane Daws
PLANT FOR PURPOSE Before food-grade lubrication can be manufactured, it needs certain certifications, including Kosher, Halaal and ISO 21469 certification

OneLogix achieves strong H1 performance despite tough economy

By: Anine Kilian     8th February 2018 JSE-listed OneLogix’s earnings a share for the six months to November 30, 2017, increased by 11% to 23.3c, with CEO Ian Lourens commenting on Thursday that this growth was organic in nature. “This affirms the strength of our growth strategy and the resilient business models of our businesses,... 

OneLogix achieves strong H1 performance despite tough economy
OneLogix CEO Ian Lourens

New dawn for platinum mining – Robert Friedland

By: Martin Creamer     7th February 2018 New cars being produced in Japan have platinum- and copper-intensive fuel cell drives that outdo battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) in cold climates as the EV batteries drain when the heaters are switched on, Ivanhoe Mines executive chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday.... 

New dawn for platinum mining – Robert Friedland

TPT boosts PE port handling volumes, rail use

By: Schalk Burger     6th February 2018 Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) achieved higher than forecast automotive and container handling volumes at the Port Elizabeth port in December, which it attributes to greater demand from local and international markets, along with automotive investments made in the region, TPT Eastern Cape GM Siya... 

UK car sales fell 6% in January as diesel demand slumps

By: Reuters     5th February 2018 British new car registrations fell 6.3% in January, in part due to customers being put off from buying diesel models which politicians have targeted over air quality concerns, an industry body said. Total new sales stood at 163,615 units with demand for diesel vehicles declining by an annual... 

BMW SA opens R73m training centre at Rosslyn plant

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 2018 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) on Friday cut the ribbon on a new, R73-million training academy at its Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria. The 6 000 m2 facility can host 300 apprentices a year. 

BMW SA opens R73m training centre at Rosslyn plant
Photo by Irma Venter
Merseta CEO Raymond Patel, Higher Education and Training Minister Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize and BMW SA CEO Tim Abbott

R3.5bn empowerment venture fund to be launched in auto sector this year

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 2018 South Africa’s seven light vehicle manufacturers plan to launch a R3.5-billion venture fund this year, aimed at boosting black economic empowerment in the domestic automotive manufacturing industry. The seven manufacturers are BMW, Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Nissan and Volkswagen. They... 

R3.5bn empowerment venture fund to be launched in auto sector this year
BMW Group South Africa CEO Tim Abbott

Britain proposes unlimited fines for car emissions cheaters

By: Reuters     2nd February 2018 Carmakers that try to cheat vehicle emissions tests could face unlimited fines and criminal charges under proposals set out on Thursday by the British government. The announcement is aimed at addressing criticism that the government was toothless in dealing with Volkswagen after a scandal that... 

Assembly plant included in VW’s roll-out of mobility solutions to Rwanda

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 2018 German car maker Volkswagen has established Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda (VMSR), an integrated automotive mobility solutions company that is to be run under the auspices of Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA). VWSA is responsible for the sub-Saharan African region within the Volkswagen... 

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