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Automotive News

Mercedes-Benz invests in automated delivery robots

By: Irma Venter     23rd January 2017 Mercedes-Benz Vans (MB Vans) has expanded its goal of automated driving to also include automated delivery. The German manufacturer has announced that it is now the lead investor in Starship Technologies, a start-up company for the development of ground-based, autonomous delivery robots. 

Gold and diamonds for most expensive Rolls-Royce Phantoms ever built

By: Irma Venter     23rd January 2017 Two ‘gold’ Rolls-Royce Phantoms are set to join a fleet of 30 Phantoms soon to operate at Chinese billionaire Stephen Hung’s The 13 ultra-luxury hotel development in Macau, southern China. THE 13’s fleet of Phantoms, valued at R236-million when placed in 2014, represents the single largest order... 

 Gold and diamonds for most expensive Rolls-Royce Phantoms ever built
The fleet of 30 vehicles on their way to Macau

Recovery possible for SA, sub-Saharan truck markets, says UD Trucks

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2017 Both the South African and sub-Saharan African (SSA) new-truck markets should see growth this year, following a tough 2016, says UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) marketing director Rory Schulz. The South African new truck market, including exports from South Africa into Africa, declined by 11%,... 

Recovery possible for SA, sub-Saharan truck markets, says UD Trucks

Owners of other Ford models join complaints over burning vehicles

By: News24Wire      20th January 2017 Owners of other models of the Ford Kuga  say their vehicles have also caught fire, challenging the vehicle manufacturer's claims that only one version of the car has a fault that could result in it bursting into flames. The National Consumer Commission (NCC) on Thursday confirmed it had received... 

Awards boost drivercentric approach to managing truck drivers

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2017 Commercial vehicle insurance firm Regent’s Highway Heroes campaign recognises the skill required to safely and efficiently handle a freight vehicle on South Africa’s and Southern Africa’s testing roads, and has demonstrated the benefits of driver-centric initiatives to improve awareness and safe... 

Awards boost drivercentric approach to managing  truck drivers
PAUL DANGERFIELD, LAWRENCE MATAVIRE, WAYNE RAUTENBACH The campaign reminds us how important truck drivers are to the economy

Innovation, outward-looking approach will bolster industry growth

By: Nadine James     20th January 2017 The plastics converter industry needs to alter its mindset and look for innovative solutions while becoming more outward-looking to experience real economic growth, says industry body Plastics SA. Plastics SA chairperson Bernhard Mahl describes real growth as “thousands of tons of plastics,... 

Innovation, outward-looking  approach will bolster industry growth
OFF LINE Over the past five to ten years, the local plastics industry has stagnated, hovering between producing 1.3-million tons and 1.4-million tons of virgin material a year

New CEO confirmed for MBSA as former chief heads for Beijing

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2017 German automaker Daimler has announced the appointment of Andreas Engling as the new CEO and manufacturing executive director of Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA).Current CEO, Arno van der Merwe, will start a new chapter in his career as president and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive (BBAC). Both... 

Porsche to open technician training centre in Cape Town

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2017 German sports car manufacturer Porsche will, from the middle of this year, train 75 young South Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds as service technicians at its new Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre, in Cape Town. The course has a duration of three years. Those who complete the course... 

Tesla expects SA offering to become increasingly attractive as tariffs rise

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2017 Tesla has finally arrived in South Africa, even if in a somewhat unexpected guise. With the availability of the US company’s electric cars apparently still some way off, South Africans do, however, now have access to its energy storage solutions. The stationary, rechargeable lithium-ion battery... 

Tooling capabilities open up new prospects for SA auto-parts firm

By: David Oliveira     20th January 2017 Cable management solutions provider HellermannTyton South Africa’s 2014 acquisition of PVS Engineering has significantly improved the company’s tooling manufacturing capabilities and placed the company in a strong position within the group internationally. HellermannTyton South Africa network... 

Polish consumer watchdog launches proceedings against Volkswagen 

By: Reuters     19th January 2017 Poland's consumer protection watchdog on Thursday said it had initiated proceedings against Volkswagen for misleading customers over emissions, a step which could result in a fine of up to 10 percent of Volkswagen's local turnover. "The proceedings may also end with the adoption of a commitment... 

New-truck sales show small operators hardest hit, says Isuzu Trucks

By: Irma Venter     18th January 2017 A sharp increase in fuel tax, triggered by government’s drive to fill its coffers, a stronger oil price and a continued weak rand may lead to a roughly R2/l increase in the price of fuel in the next few months, predicts Isuzu Trucks South Africa (ITSA) director and COO Craig Uren. This will have... 

New-truck sales show small operators hardest hit, says Isuzu Trucks

Dangote, China's Sinotruck set up $100m truck plant in Nigeria

By: Reuters     18th January 2017 Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote has partnered with China's heavy duty truck group Sinotruck to set up a $100-million plant to assemble trucks and cars in Nigeria for local use and export, the executive director of Dangote group said. The joint venture, which is 65% owned by Dangote and 35% by... 

Vehicle owners to sue Ford over Kuga saga

By: African News Agency      17th January 2017 The majority of families whose Ford Kuga SUVs burst into flames in South Africa in the past few months will be filing a class action lawsuit, their attorney announced on Tuesday. “Initially I have been instructed by the Jimmy family [Reshall Jimmy died in December 2015 after his Ford Kuga burst... 

Too early to speculate on US trade policy, says South African auto body

By: Irma Venter     17th January 2017 It is too early to speculate on the effects the incoming Trump administration may have on automotive trade between South Africa and the US, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) director Nico Vermeulen. “It is best to wait for the installation of the new... 

Too early to speculate on US trade policy, says South African auto body

Ford South Africa recalls Kuga model  

By: Anine Kilian     16th January 2017 Ford South Africa has recalled its 1.6 litre Ford Kuga model. CEO Jeffrey Nemeth on Monday said the recall was limited to 1.6 litre models manufactured in Valencia, Spain, between December 2012 and February 2014. About 4 556 vehicles will be affected by the safety recall. 

Ford South Africa recalls Kuga model
Ford announces safety recall of its Kuga model. Video: Nicholas Boyd, Editing Lionel Da Silva.

BMW SA to escape effects of Trump’s 35% duty threat

By: Irma Venter     16th January 2017 BMW Group South Africa (SA) on Monday said it would not suffer any negative effect from US president-elect Donald Trump’s threat to implement a 35% import duty on German cars. BMW Group SA exports the 3 Series from its Rosslyn plant, in Tshwane, to the US. 

BMW SA to escape effects of Trump’s 35% duty threat
Photo by Bloomberg
Donald Trump

Trump threatens German carmakers with 35% US import tariff

By: Reuters     16th January 2017 US President-elect Donald Trump warned German car companies he would impose a border tax of 35% on vehicles imported to the US market, a plan that drew sharp rebukes from Berlin and hit the automakers' shares. In an interview with German newspaper Bild, published on Monday, Trump criticized... 

Toyota Gazoo misses out on podium spot at Dakar 2017

By: Irma Venter     16th January 2017 Winning the gruelling Dakar race has again proved an elusive goal for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team. The team could not secure a podium position in this year’s rather chaotic race, following its third spot last year. 

 Toyota Gazoo misses out on podium spot at Dakar 2017
Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz at the finish line

Nissan picks London for first European on-road autonomous car tests

By: Reuters     13th January 2017 Japanese carmaker Nissan said it will conduct its first European real-world trials of self-driving cars in London, choosing Britain just months after it said it would build two new models in the country despite concerns over Brexit. The government has said it wants to encourage the development... 

EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of excess diesel emissions

By: Reuters     13th January 2017 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of illegally using hidden software to allow excess diesel emissions to go undetected, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators' investigation of rival Volkswagen. FCA shares plummeted as the... 

Govt's proposed fuel changes a ticking time-bomb – Naamsa

By: News24Wire      12th January 2017 Time is running out for government to avoid the oil currently refined in SA from becoming illegal, Stuart Rayner, chair of the fuel and emissions committee of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), told Fin24 on Wednesday. Rayner explained that Naamsa... 

VW promises big changes after agreeing to record US fine

By: African News Agency      12th January 2017 Volkswagen has given details about a change process that will “transform its core business” after admitting guilt this week in the emissions scandal and agreeing to pay a total of $4.3-billion in penalties in the US The total fine, significantly more than the $1.2-billion penalty against Toyota... 

Sports car sales show that SA’s rich still have money to spend

By: Irma Venter     11th January 2017 While new-vehicle sales were down 11.4% in 2016 in a tough-as-nails domestic economy, Ferrari sales grew from 91 units in 2015, to 94 prancing horses finding new homes in 2016. Maserati had an ever better year. South African sales grew from 45 units in 2015, to 113 in 2016. 

 Sports car sales show that SA’s rich still have money to spend

Volkswagen confirms $4.3bn US settlement over diesel emissions

By: Reuters     11th January 2017 Volkswagen confirmed on Tuesday it has negotiated a $4.3-billion draft settlement with US regulators to resolve its diesel emissions troubles and plans to plead guilty to criminal misconduct. The guilty plea is part of the civil and criminal deal as the automaker looks to restore its tarnished... 

New-car prices jumped 11% in 2016, fuel costs a concern for 2017

By: Irma Venter     10th January 2017 New-car prices jumped by around 11.03% in 2016, says asset finance house WesBank. The increase has been measured based on the average transaction value WesBank recorded on new-vehicle sales last year. 

New-car prices jumped 11% in 2016, fuel costs a concern for 2017
Rudolf Mahoney

Fiat Chrysler SA appoints new CEO

By: Irma Venter     10th January 2017 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on Tuesday announced the appointment of Robin van Rensburg as the new CEO and MD of Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa, the importer of Fiat, Fiat Professional, Abarth and Alfa Romeo brands. Van Rensburg will hold the same title at Chrysler South Africa, the... 

Fiat Chrysler SA appoints new CEO

New-vehicle sales drop 11.4% in 2016; uptick possible in 2017 – Naamsa

By: Irma Venter     9th January 2017 Data released by the Department of Trade and Industry on Monday shows that South African new-vehicle sales declined for the third year in a row in 2016. Sales dropped by 11.4%, to 547 442 units, compared with 617 648 units in 2015. New-vehicle sales fell 4.1% in 2015 and 0.7% in 2014. 

New-vehicle sales drop 11.4% in 2016; uptick possible in 2017 – Naamsa

FBI arrests Volkswagen executive on fraud charges – New York Times

By: Reuters     9th January 2017 The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Volkswagen executive on charges of conspiracy to defraud the US, the New York Times reported on Monday. Oliver Schmidt, who headed the company's regulatory compliance office in the US from 2014 to March 2015, was arrested on Saturday by federal... 

Tesla makes Reno a critical pit stop on way to Las Vegas and CES

By: Bloomberg     29th December 2016 As far as Tesla’s concerned, what’s happening in Las Vegas can stay in Las Vegas. The real action is some 400 dusty miles northwest, across the state in Reno. The electric-car maker is seizing on next week’s consumer electronics show to host investors and analysts at Gigafactory 1, the sprawling... 

Tesla makes Reno a critical pit stop on way to Las Vegas and CES
Photo by Reuters
Tesla Model S

Bank says new-vehicle sales may fall again next year after 12% 2016 slump

By: Irma Venter     16th December 2016 New-vehicle sales in South Africa will drop by around 12% in 2016 compared with 2015, says First National Bank (FNB) senior industry analyst Jason Muscat. The same forecast model used to determine this decline suggests that sales in 2017 may drop another 5%, as a worst case scenario, he adds. 

Funding secured for metered taxi owner-driver scheme

By: Irma Venter     16th December 2016 SA Taxi has secured R300-million in funding from Futuregrowth Asset Management, which it will use to provide financing to the company’s Zebra Cabs owner-driver scheme.  SA Taxi is South Africa’s largest financier of minibus taxis. It acquired Zebra Cabs metered taxis in 2015, motivated by the... 

Negative vehicle sales trend continued in November

By: Irma Venter     16th December 2016 November new-vehicle sales provided little festive cheer ahead of the holiday season, continuing the negative trend evident throughout this year by dropping 9.6%, to 46 413 units, compared with November last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that November... 

Road-rail vehicle firm tailors new offering to rail maintenance market

By: Dylan Slater     16th December 2016 A new 20 t Crane road-rail vehicle (RRV) was launched to the South African market last month by Olifantsfontein-based rail systems manufacturer RailPro, and is intended to meet domestic requirements of rail infrastructure construction and general rail-related maintenance.  

Road-rail vehicle firm tailors new offering to rail maintenance market
LIFTING CAPABILITY The crane rail-road vehicle offers the benefits and low-operating costs of a regular truck with ease of access to rail lines

Components sector must transform as it grows, urges new Naacam director

By: Irma Venter     13th December 2016 The biggest goal of newly appointed National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) executive director Renai Moothilal is to increase the participation of black South Africans in the country’s automotive sector. He says there are “opportunities to drive... 

Components sector must transform as it grows, urges new Naacam director
Photo by Duane Daws
Renai Moothilal

Electric vehicles’ share of market to grow rapidly, says IHS Markit

By: Irma Venter     9th December 2016 Electric vehicles (EVs) could make up 15% to 35% of worldwide new vehicle sales in 2040, says IHS Markit, a specialist in critical information, analytics and solutions. The findings are part of a new research project, ‘Reinventing the Wheel’, that the company will conduct over the first half of... 

Electric vehicles’ share of market to grow rapidly, says IHS Markit

Advances in biometrics to radically change driving by 2025

By: Irma Venter     9th December 2016 By 2025, advancements in biometrics will radically transform the driving experience; health, wellness and wellbeing of the driver and the security of vehicles. This is the key finding of Frost & Sullivan’s ‘Biometrics in the Global Automotive Industry, 2016–2025 analysis’. 

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