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Automotive News

Japan govt wants to get actively involved in Kobe Steel issue – trade minister

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 The Japanese government wants to get actively involved in the issue of Kobe Steel's data fabrications, Hiroshige Seko, the minister of economy, trade and industry, said on Friday, as the company's widespread misconduct has sent a chill along global supply chains. Kobe Steel, Japan's third-biggest... 

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... 

Japan transport ministry considering checks of cars, trains using Kobe Steel products – Kyodo

By: Reuters     19th October 2017 Japan's transport ministry is considering convening a meeting to probe the safety of automobiles, trains and planes using products from scandal-hit Kobe Steel, Kyodo reported on Thursday. With the data falsification scandal at Japan's No. 3 steelmaker affecting a wide range of manufacturers, the... 

VW's Seat abandons ambitions to enter Iranian market

By: Reuters     18th October 2017 Volkswagen’s (VW's) Spanish division Seat is no longer looking at the possibility of entering the Iranian car market, saying on Wednesday that it needed to concentrate instead on boosting growth in its core markets in Europe and other regions. The decision was not taken as a result of US... 

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

US demands regional steel, aluminum in Nafta auto rules

By: Reuters     16th October 2017 The Trump administration is demanding the use of North American-made steel, aluminum, copper and plastic resins in cars and trucks sold under North American Free Trade Agreement rules, as it seeks to give US industry a boost. People briefed on the matter said US negotiators issued the proposal,... 

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... 

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

Kobe Steel shares plunge as data fabrication concerns deepen

By: Reuters     11th October 2017 Kobe Steel shares tumbled a further 16% on Wednesday after it admitted it may have fabricated data on iron powder products and media reported the possible sale of its real estate business. The latest disclosure comes after Japan’s No.3 steelmaker said on the weekend it had falsified data to show... 

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

Eicher trucks to be assembled in SA in 2018

By: Irma Venter     9th October 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.” 

New 500 series to grow Hino SA’s market share significantly, says Trautmann

By: Irma Venter     9th October 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... 

New 500 series to grow Hino SA’s market share significantly, says Trautmann
The Hino 500 Wide Cab

Eqstra unveils cold trailer powered by truck engine

By: Irma Venter     9th October 2017 Eqstra Flexi Fleet, a division of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics, has partnered with New Way, Ice Cold Bodies, and Javgro Transport Refrigeration Solutions to design a cold trailer that will run “80% to 90% of the time” using power from the truck engine, says Javgro MD Kenan Gröss. In... 

Eqstra unveils cold trailer powered by truck engine

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
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