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Automotive News

New-look Kyalami to host first race in October

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2016 The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on Friday announced that the first race event to be held on the refurbished, new-look track would take place from October 21 to 23. The October race meeting would form part of the Motorsport South Africa Extreme Festival National Racing Roadshow, and would feature... 

Audi, VW owners happiest new-car buyers, shows survey

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2016 Audi and Volkswagen new-car buyers are happiest with their purchasing experience, while much the same is true for new Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen light commercial vehicle (LCV) owners in South Africa. The newest annual Ipsos customer satisfaction survey also awarded Audi the top customer... 

Audi, VW owners happiest new-car buyers, shows survey

Electric trucks make debut in German city of Stuttgart

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2016 Daimler Trucks has provided a small fleet of electric trucks to the German city of Stuttgart. Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler management board member responsible for Daimler Trucks, and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) president and CEO Marc Llistosella in April handed over five... 

Hino lowers sales sights after tough first quarter

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2016 Following a poor first quarter, Hino South Africa (SA) has adjusted its forecast for the South African truck market down from 28 000 units, as predicted at the beginning of the year, to 25 000 units, says Hino SA VP Ernie Trautmann. The local truck market reached 30 611 units in 2015. 

Mazda’s Zen moment amid vehicle market turbulence

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2016 In a bruised domestic market scrambling for volume, Mazda Southern Africa is having a Zen moment. Mazda sales in South Africa reached 9 066 units in 2015, almost double the 4 939 units sold in 2014 – this in a new-vehicle market that dipped 4.2% last year compared with 2014.   Mazda Southern... 

Output from Toyota’s Durban plant to fall as it ramps up new models

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2016 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) will see production at its Durban plant drop from 138 000 units in 2015 to an expected 122 000 units this year, says TSAM president and CEO Andrew Kirby. Of the 138 000 units assembled at the Prospecton plant last year, 93 500 units were Hilux bakkies, 10 200... 

Steel strapping enhances conventional tyre wall barrier

By: Nadine James     27th May 2016 Phase 1 of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit’s revamp comprised the track upgrade, including its lengthening, realignment and resurfacing, as well as the replacement and assembly of the tyre wall barriers, for which Kyalami management used stainless steel band and buckle manufacturer Banding &... 

Steel strapping enhances  conventional tyre wall barrier
NOVEL APPROACH Kyalami's new tyre wall assembly method is quicker, easier and relatively cost effective when compared to conventional methods

Truck market to drop 13% in 2016; 2017 to offer little reprieve – ITSA

By: Irma Venter     26th May 2016 The South African new-truck market will probably drop 13.2% in 2016, to 26 500 units, compared with 2015, says Isuzu Trucks South Africa (ITSA) COO Craig Uren. Next year holds little promise for recovery, with the market currently forecast at around 27 500 units or less, he adds. 

Truck market to drop 13% in 2016; 2017 to offer little reprieve – ITSA
Craig Uren

Next phase of auto policy to focus on black companies – Zuma

By: Irma Venter     24th May 2016 The next phase of automotive policy development would have a strong focus on creating black-owned suppliers in the automotive value chain, said President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday as he opened Toyota South Africa Motors’ (TSAM’s) new Fortuner and Hilux production lines in Durban. The Department of... 

Next phase of auto policy to focus on black companies – Zuma
Photo by Duane Daws
President Jacob Zuma

Toyota SA opens R6.1bn Fortuner, Hilux assembly lines

By: Irma Venter     24th May 2016 President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday officially opened Toyota South Africa Motors’ (TSAM’s) new Fortuner and Hilux production lines. The Japanese manufacturer invested R6.1-billion to facilitate production of the two new models at its Prospecton plant, in Durban. 

Toyota SA opens R6.1bn Fortuner, Hilux assembly lines

BMW SA unveils solar carport charging for its electric car range

By: Irma Venter     23rd May 2016 BMW Group South Africa (SA) has unveiled a purpose-built solar carport that allows its electric vehicle (EV) range to charge using the power of the sun, instead of electricity from power utility Eskom's grid. The carport, an international innovation by Germany's BMW Group, can charge any EV, such... 

BMW SA unveils solar carport charging for its electric car range

Zuma to officially launch new Toyota lineup in Durban

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th May 2016 While production of the all-new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models ramps up, President Jacob Zuma will officially unveil the new plant additions at Toyota South Africa’s Prospecton manufacturing facility, in Durban. The Tuesday launch of the new lines, which had been operating since February, was... 

Zuma to officially launch new Toyota lineup in Durban

Auto sector moving to lay groundwork for less hostile wage talks in 2016

By: Irma Venter     20th May 2016 The South African automotive industry experienced 34 days of labour strikes in 2013 as it negotiated new three-year wage deals within the assembly and component manufacturing sectors, says newly appointed Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Andrew Kirby. This year will see... 

New African automotive body to offer support to aspirant manufacturers

By: Irma Venter     20th May 2016 The initial focus of the newly formed African Association of Automobile Manufacturers (AAAM) will be to assist countries wishing to participate in the automotive value chain to implement the appropriate legislation and regulations that will allow the automotive industry to thrive on the... 

Smart vehicle brand relaunched in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     20th May 2016 The relaunch of the Smart brand in South Africa sees luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) venture into some new territory – that of the entry-level buyer. “The new-look Smart will be a game-changer for us,” says MBSA co-CEO and MBSA Cars executive director Florian Seidler. 

BMW SA starts construction of new bodyshop

By: Irma Venter     19th May 2016 BMW Group South Africa (SA) on Thursday marked the start of construction of a new bodyshop at its Rosslyn plant, in Tshwane. The group acquired a roughly 33 000 m2 site adjacent to the plant for the new building, said BMW Group SA plant director Stefan Huelsenberg at a sod-turning ceremony at the... 

BMW SA starts construction of new bodyshop

VWSA to build new Polo at Uitenhage plant

By: Irma Venter     18th May 2016 The Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) will build the new-generation Polo at its Uitenhage plant, in the Eastern Cape, confirms MD Thomas Schaefer. Production will start at the end of next year. 

VWSA to build new Polo at Uitenhage plant
Photo by Duane Daws
VWSA MD Thomas Schaefer

Toyota SA to see production, exports dip, recovery expected in 2017

By: Irma Venter     18th May 2016 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) will see production at its Durban plant drop from 138 000 units in 2015 to an expected 122 000 units this year, says TSAM president and CEO Andrew Kirby. Of the 138 000 units assembled at the Prospecton plant last year, 93 500 units were Hilux bakkies, 10 200... 

Toyota SA to see production, exports dip, recovery expected in 2017
TSAM's Prospecton plant, in Durban

Renewable-energy prices reach low of $0.03/kWh 

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2016 New technologies and the rapid rise of renewable energy have shaken up the global energy landscape, with prices falling to below $0.03/kWh. “We are now in the world of three cent renewable energy,” said Bloomberg New Energy Finance UK advisory board chairperson and founder Michael Liebreich. 

Renewable-energy prices reach low of $0.03/kWh

Motor industry driving Tshwane economy – Mayor

By: African News Agency      17th May 2016 Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa on Tuesday paid tribute to the automotive sector for driving the capital city’s economy during the current challenging global economic conditions. “I assume all of us have seen in the recent months investments made in the automotive sector of the our economy... 

Motor industry driving Tshwane economy – Mayor
Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa

Ford invests R11.5m in new community, jobs training centre

By: Irma Venter     17th May 2016 US car maker Ford on Tuesday announced that it would invest R11.5-million in the construction and operation of a new job training and entrepreneurial development centre at its South African assembly plant, in Silverton. The Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC) was slated to open in October. 

Ford invests R11.5m in new community, jobs training centre

Barloworld’s H1 HEPS down 9% y/y

By: Anine Kilian     16th May 2016 While trading conditions remain challenging for some of its businesses, Barloworld notes that the industry and geographic diversity of the group’s operations is providing some resilience. “Equipment Southern Africa continued to be impacted by a slowdown in mining activity [in the six months ended... 

Barloworld’s H1 HEPS down 9% y/y
Barloworld CEO Clive Thompson

New-car prices to jump by around 15% this year – Naamsa

     11th May 2016 Consumers should brace themselves for a sharp increase in new-vehicle prices. Rand weakness would probably see new-vehicle prices increase by between 12% and 15% – or more – in 2016, said the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its first quarter business... 

New-car prices to jump by around 15% this year – Naamsa

New initiatives may salvage this year’s auto industry wage talks

By: Irma Venter     10th May 2016 The South African automotive industry experienced 34 days of labour strikes in 2013 as it negotiated new three-year wage deals within the assembly and component manufacturing sectors, says newly appointed Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Andrew Kirby. This year will see... 

New initiatives may salvage this year’s auto industry wage talks
Andrew Kirby

Technical team set up to craft post-2020 automotive master plan

By: Terence Creamer     9th May 2016 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies formally announced on Monday the establishment of a team of technical experts to develop a “post-2020 Automotive Master Plan”, which would guide support for the sector beyond the current Automotive Production and Development Plan (APDP). Speaking during... 

Technical team set up to craft post-2020 automotive master plan
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies at Ipap 2016 launch

BMW SA and Uber to pilot electric vehicle service in Joburg

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2016 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) has partnered with Uber to bring the UberGREEN service to market. The UberGREEN service is a pilot project taking place from May 9 to June 3, in Johannesburg. 

BMW SA and Uber to pilot electric vehicle service in Joburg
The BMW i3

Govt remains focused on localisation, skills development in auto sector

By: Anine Kilian     6th May 2016 Localisation, transforming the South African economy into an inclusive one and skills development remained long-term goals for government, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said this week. Speaking at Volkswagen South Africa’s (VWSA’s) inaugural black-owned supplier’s day in Uitenhage, in... 

Govt remains focused on localisation, skills development in auto sector
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Inustry Mininster Dr Rob Davies

Mercedes SA targets entry-level market with launch of new Smart

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2016 The relaunch of the Smart brand in South Africa sees luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) venture into some new territory – that of the entry-level buyer. “The new-look Smart will be a game-changer for us,” says MBSA co-CEO and MBSA Cars executive director Florian Seidler. 

Mercedes SA targets entry-level market with launch of new Smart
Smart Forfour

Car and bakkie exports into Africa declined for third year running in 2015

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2016 South African car and bakkie exports into Africa declined for the third year in a row in 2015, falling from 79 228 units in 2012, to 77 589 units in 2013, 60 189 units in 2014, and 41 446 units last year – this according to the Automotive Industry Export Council’s newest Automotive Export Manual,... 

Hyundai pins hopes on new models to sustain SA sales in 2016

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2016   Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) hopes to see 2016 sales reach around the same level as 2015, defying a South African new-vehicle market most analysts agree will drop around 10% this year. 

Transport sector under financial strain as costs surge

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2016 A 30c/l increase in the fuel levy, another rise in interest rates and new consignor/consignee legislation will all load more costs onto a transport industry that is already struggling to remain profitable, says Standard Bank business vehicle and asset finance head Toni Fritz. Operators competing... 

Tyrexpo Africa introduces new knowledge exchange platforms

By: Mia Breytenbach     6th May 2016 To tap into opportunities of the South African automotive industry transforming itself into a global engine for the manufacturing and export of vehicles and components, the tyres, automotive repairs and maintenance and accessories exhibition Tyrexpo Africa introduced three new business segments... 

Volvo opting for app over keys as digitisation takes hold

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2016 For decades, drivers have been accustomed to accessing and driving cars with physical keys. However, in a break from tradition, and in keeping with a rapidly digitising world, Volvo Cars aims to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer vehicles without keys, as from 2017. Instead, Volvo... 

Weight, cost challenges as BMW works to bring fuel-cell vehicle to market

By: Irma Venter     6th May 2016 BMW hopes to have all of the components for a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle ready by “2020-ish”, says BMW head of fuel cell development Dr Merten Jung. Only then will the German car maker decide which model should be launched onto the market as a customer-ready, fuel-cell-powered BMW. “First... 

Weight, cost challenges as BMW works to bring fuel-cell vehicle to market

FAW SA sees increase in sales, exports, but initial targets prove elusive

By: Irma Venter     5th May 2016 FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (FAW SA) has seen a steady increase in sales and exports, following the opening of its Eastern Cape truck assembly plant in 2014. To date, FAW SA has recorded exports of 90 trucks. To be more specific, exports in the first four months of 2015 reached 29... 

FAW SA sees increase in sales, exports, but initial targets prove elusive
From Coega to Tanzania

Mazda records blistering sales growth in faltering local market

By: Irma Venter     5th May 2016 In a bruised domestic market scrambling for volume, Mazda Southern Africa is having a Zen moment. Mazda sales in South Africa reached 9 066 units in 2015, almost double the 4 939 units sold in 2014 – this in a new-vehicle market that dipped 4.2% last year compared with 2014.   Mazda Southern... 

Mazda records blistering sales growth in faltering local market
David Hughes

April new-vehicle sales down 9.2% y/y

By: Reuters     3rd May 2016 South Africa's new vehicle sales fell by 9.2% year-on-year to 40 390 units in April, data from the trade and industry department showed on Tuesday. Exports rose 31.5% to 31 028 units compared with the same month last year, the department said. 

April new-vehicle sales down 9.2% y/y
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