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Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2018 Ramping up production in the automotive sector, resuscitating the ailing tooling industry and boosting the clothing, textiles, leather and footwear industries are among successes the government has listed in its review of ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap). Despite a... 

Auto exports earned South Africa R165bn in 2017

By: Irma Venter     4th May 2018 Total earnings from South African automotive exports reached R164.9-billion in 2017, comprising 13.9% of South Africa’s total export earnings. This number is down from the record R171.1-billion achieved in 2016, at 15.6% of total export earnings. Total automotive revenue in the South African... 

PSA, Romano merge to create largest corporate signage company in sub-Saharan Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th April 2018 Corporate signage manufacturer Premier Sayina Africa (PSA) and signage and solar solutions company Romano Signs have merged to create PSA Romano – the largest corporate signage company in sub-Saharan Africa.  

Goal driven and competitive South African manufacturing can up the stakes in global competitiveness

28th March 2018 Manufacturing Indaba, the foremost Manufacturing event in sub-Saharan Africa and with its strategic partners, the dti and the Manufacturing Circle has grown exponentially, and now in its 5th year, is considered to be the leading manufacturing business platform. Manufacturing Indaba has relocated... 

Glencore faces off against labour group on Congo mine conditions

By: Bloomberg     26th March 2018 Commodity giant Glencore defended working conditions at its mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo after an international labour federation said its employees are poorly treated and underpaid. The spat with Geneva-based IndustriALL, a global union federation that says it represents more than... 

LME rethinks cobalt contract for electric vehicle sector

By: Reuters     9th March 2018 The London Metal Exchange has abandoned plans for a cobalt sulphate contract for the electric vehicle battery supply chain because pricing for the chemical has historically been based on the metal it is derived from, cobalt industry sources said. The exchange is instead looking at offering a... 

German ruling likely blessing in disguise for platinum - RBPlat 

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2018 The German Federal Court ruling on diesel car emissions, which could cost transgressors eight-billion euros in fines a year, is seen as a likely blessing in disguise for platinum, Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri said on Tuesday. The global backlash against diesel-engine cars,... 

Glencore's talks to sell cobalt to Chinese firm falter on price

By: Reuters     6th March 2018 Glencore is in talks to sell around a quarter of its cobalt output in a one-year deal to Chinese firm GEM, but price is a sticking point as Glencore and other major producers are now able to exert more influence in negotiations, sources said. Cobalt has increasingly come under the spotlight over... 

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... 

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... 

Apple is said to negotiate buying cobalt direct from miners

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2018 Apple is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter, seeking to ensure it will have enough of the key battery ingredient amid industry fears of a shortage driven by the electric vehicle boom. The iPhone maker... 

Deadly mines linked to child labour thrive in rush for batteries

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2018 The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labour. Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the... 

US seeks to boost output of 35 minerals, reduce import reliance

By: Reuters     17th February 2018 The United States should boost domestic production of 35 critical minerals including uranium, cobalt and lithium, to reduce its reliance on foreign suppliers, the Interior Department said on Friday. Aluminium and potash are also on the draft list of 35 critical materials used in basic... 

Samsung SDI turns to used phones for cobalt as prices surge

By: Bloomberg     12th February 2018 Samsung SDI, a battery supplier to carmakers including BMW, plans to recycle cobalt from used mobile phones as companies around the world scramble to secure supplies of the metal amid surging prices. The plan fuels a trend among battery makers to reduce dependence on the Democratic Republic of... 

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... 

Palladium rally may mean auto catalytic converter price hikes coming

By: Reuters     5th February 2018 With the price of palladium spiking to a record high last month, the effects could be felt in the automotive industry as manufacturers of catalytic converters consider raising their prices and may change the mix of metals in their products. Increased automotive industry demand and a supply... 

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... 

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... 

Volkswagen South Africa Group investment plan, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     2nd February 2018 Volkswagen South Africa Group launched its new Polo and showcased the R6.1-billion investment in its plant and new products on January 28. 

Benchmark downplays investor fears of looming lithium oversupply, subsequent price crash

By: Henry Lazenby     25th January 2018 London-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has downplayed top-level investor fears this week regarding the potential for lithium market oversupply and an inevitable price crash to follow. The energy metals-focused research company pointed out that rumours about up to 180 000 t/y of added lithium... 

2017's worst-returning precious metal becomes hedge fund darling

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2018 After lagging behind other precious metals last year, platinum is finally outperforming, and hedge funds are taking notice. Money managers increased their bets on a rally for platinum, a commodity used in pollution-control devices for cars. Investors had been pessimistic on prices until the... 

China's proposed dual-credit scheme can reshape the EV market – WoodMac

By: Henry Lazenby     19th January 2018 China's electric vehicles (EV) market has grown exponentially to overtake the US as the world's largest EV market, thanks to heavy government subsidies to spur growth in the emerging automotive sector. However, research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) warns that these subsidies are... 

Congo may more than double tax on critical global cobalt supply

By: Bloomberg     10th January 2018 The Democratic Republic of Congo is preparing to more than double a tax on two-thirds of global cobalt supply, potentially increasing the cost of the critical battery metal just as the world begins to embrace electric vehicles. Congo, the world’s biggest cobalt producer, will increase the royalty... 

Australia cobalt rush accelerates on electric vehicle demand, DRC troubles

By: Reuters     15th December 2017 Australia, home to the world's second-biggest cobalt reserves, is seeing a rush of interest in projects still years from production as makers of batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs) seek supplies of the metal from a more costly but less risky source than top miner, the Democratic Republic of... 

Another positive month for vehicle sales in November

By: Irma Venter     15th December 2017 South African new-vehicle sales experienced yet another positive month in November, countering general negative economic sentiment for the sixth month in a row, with new-vehicle sales up 7.2% compared with November last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that... 

November sees healthy jump in new-vehicle sales

By: Irma Venter     1st December 2017 South African new-vehicle sales experienced yet another positive month in November, countering general negative economic sentiment for the six month in a row, with new-vehicle sales up 7.2% compared with November last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry on Friday... 

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 The rate at which global automotive markets are adopting electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at a much faster pace than even some of the keenest market observers estimated at the start of 2017, and is opening up once- in-a-lifetime investment opportunities among the four key ‘energy metals’ –... 

Auto firms back deployment of high power EV charging network in Europe

By: Irma Venter     1st December 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. 

Electric cars' success leaves Toyota isolated with hydrogen bet

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2017 Toyota Motor, which has made a big bet on hydrogen-powered cars, is looking more isolated as industry rivals double down on plug-in electric vehicles as the dominant technology in the emerging post-fossil fuel era. Three years ago, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, grandson of company founder... 

German car makers warned of possible battery materials shortage-Welt am Sonntag 

By: Reuters     26th November 2017 The German car industry risks running short of key raw materials for automotive batteries, hampering a planned boost in the production of electric vehicles (EVs), Germany's largest industry association BDI warned. "The risk of running into bottlenecks in raw material supply is increasing because... 

Global NCAP, AA South Africa launch #SaferCarsforAfrica initiative

By: Anine Kilian     22nd November 2017 The Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), together with the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa, on Wednesday launched the #SaferCarsforAfrica initiative, in Cape Town, with the first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular compact and small cars.... 

ELECTRIC JOLT FOR GHOST TOWN

10th November 2017 Global demand for cobalt, a component in batteries used to power electric cars for automakers from Tesla to Volkswagen, is changing the importance of the metal. Pictured above is a town sign is displayed in downtown Cobalt, Ontario, Canada. The town, and the metal after which it is named, are... 

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. 

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,... 

Ghost town of Cobalt gets first jolt from Tesla’s electric cars

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2017 Ironically, Cobalt, Ontario – population 1,100 – was built on silver. Remnants of a boom that transformed the town more than a century ago are everywhere. A mine headframe still protrudes from the roof of the bookstore, which was previously a grocery. The butcher used to toss unwanted bones down... 

Battery boom relies on one African nation avoiding chaos of past

By: Bloomberg     27th October 2017 The cars of the future will depend increasingly upon supplies of an obscure metal from a country in the African tropics where there has never been a peaceful transition of power and child labor is still used in parts of the mining industry. Most major automakers are pledging to build millions of... 

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... 

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. 

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