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Automotive News

Petrol could fall by R1/litre – AA

By: News24Wire      Updated 4 hours ago Motorists could see a drop in the petrol price by up to R1 a litre in August as the rand continues its robust run against dollar, according to the Automobile Association (AA). The organisation commented on Friday on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF). 

Amid opposition, MyCiti bus service reports passenger record

By: Irma Venter     29th July 2016 Cape Town’s MyCiti bus service transported its highest ever number of passengers in May this year, says Cape Town Transport MMC Brett Heron. He says MiCiti saw 700 000 passenger journeys in May. The total number of passenger journeys since the service rolled out in 2010 now numbers more than... 

South African auto plant now producing plug-in hybrid luxury sedan

By: Irma Venter     29th July 2016 Following the premiere of its hybrid technology in the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz has expanded the technology to the C-Class, in the form of the C 350 e sedan. One of the plants producing the newly launched C-Class sedan is Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s (MBSA’s) facility in East London. 

WTO’s new outlook indicator predicts ‘sluggish’ Q3 trade growth

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th July 2016 The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has launched a new World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI), which is designed to provide real-time information on global trade trends. The WTOI was unveiled in Shanghai, China, this month, ahead of the Group of 20 (G20) Trade Ministers meeting.   

WTO’s new outlook indicator predicts ‘sluggish’ Q3 trade growth
Photo by Reuters
TRADE INDICATOR The World Trade Outlook Indicator suggests that world merchandise trade may rebound in the second quarter

Size of vehicle and asset loans shrinking, suggests Compuscan

By: Irma Venter     27th July 2016 There has been a 29% decrease in the number of vehicle and asset finance (VAF) accounts between the value of R400 001 and R999 999 recorded in the first quarter of 2016, compared with the last quarter of 2015, reports credit bureau Compuscan. Compuscan says this trend suggests that credit... 

Size of vehicle and asset loans shrinking, suggests Compuscan

Bloodhound land-speed record attempt set for October 2017

By: Irma Venter     22nd July 2016 The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC), with Andy Green at the helm, will challenge the current world land-speed record in October next year, the project team has announced. The current record of 1 277.98 km/h was also set by Green, in the Thrust SSC. 

Carbon dioxide to be used in foam, plastic vehicle components

     22nd July 2016 Last month, multinational automotive manufacturer Ford Motor Company announced that it is the first automaker to formulate and test new foam and plastic components that use carbon dioxide (CO2) as feedstock. Researchers expect to see the new biomaterials in Ford production vehicles within five... 

Carbon dioxide to be used in foam, plastic vehicle components
USEFUL WASTE The anticipated use for the captured waste product carbon dioxide includes seating and underhood applications.

Crash test dummy range now includes child models

     22nd July 2016 Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota last month expanded its range of virtual crash-test dummies by adding three new new models to replicate the physical characteristics of children aged three, six and ten. The simulation software, known as Total Human Model for Safety (Thums), maps and mimics... 

Dedicated truck highway could improve logistics services

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 A truck rapid transit (TRT) system, with dedicated road infrastructure similar to that provided for the bus rapid transport system being rolled out in many South African cities, could provide the impetus to improve the country’s anaemic economic growth. During petrochemicals group Shell’s Rimula... 

Manufacturers to profit from ‘connected life’ concept

By: Nadine James     22nd July 2016 Technological developments relating to high-speed connectivity, smart sensors and cloud-based computing, present vehicle manufacturers with an opportunity to develop services based around connected cars and devices. This has provided new impetus to the “Connected Life” concept, says computer... 

Manufacturers  to profit from  ‘connected life’ concept
Photo by Bloomberg
INTERACTIVE DRIVING The BMW Group showcased the BMW ConnectedDrive features at 2011 Paris Motor Show

Manufacturers to exploit emerging automotive markets

By: Nadine James     22nd July 2016 Original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are aiming to expand their client bases and establish automotive manufacturing facilities in emerging market economies, owing to the current saturation in European and US automotive markets, says auditing and consulting firm KPMG. KPMG industrial and... 

Manufacturers to exploit emerging  automotive markets
Photo by Duane Daws
MISFIT TOYS? Recent trends suggest that demand for vehicles is depressed, even if the desire tow own a vehicle has not finished

New robot offers bigger payload handling, compact footprint

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd July 2016 ABB Robotics has launched its latest robot – the IRB 1660ID – for applications, such as arc welding, machine tending and material handling, which require work in tight spaces. The new robot’s Integrated DressPack solution makes it easier to programme and simulate predictable cable movements,... 

New robot offers bigger payload handling, compact footprint
LATEST OFFERING The IRB 1660ID has a reach of 1.55 m and can handle payloads of up to 6 kg

Parallel system enables line upgrades without disrupting production

By: Nadine James     22nd July 2016 Factory automation systems manufacturer Omron has refined its parallel upgrade system, which enables manufacturers to complete line upgrades for redundant electrical hardware and control systems without impacting on production, reducing downtime or compromising operational efficiency for... 

Parallel system enables line upgrades without disrupting production
Photo by Duane Daws
PARALLEL LINES The parallel upgrade system comprises a completely new line system that runs parallel with the existing system

Specialised bushings used for tyre testing rig

By: Nadine James     22nd July 2016 Self-lubricating polymer bearings and bushes manufacturer Vesconite Bearings – a division of VescoPlastics – has supplied specialised thermoplastic Vesconite bushings for a tyre test rig at the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) Vehicle Dynamics Group (VDG). The test rig, manufactured and assembled... 

Specialised bushings used for tyre testing rig
TYRE TEST RIG The rig forms part of a master’s degree project by University of Pretoria students

High-speed BRT lanes not silver bullet they appear to be – UP study

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2016 Bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in South Africa generally have lower passenger demand, poorer financial performance and higher subsidy requirements than initially forecast, says Professor Christo Venter of the University of Pretoria’s Centre of Transport Development. One cause of poor passenger... 

High-speed BRT lanes not silver bullet they appear to be – UP study

Local truck sales struggle, but exports jump as rand strengthens

By: Irma Venter     20th July 2016 South Africa’s commercial vehicle industry faces some tough challenges at the halfway mark of 2016, says UD Trucks Southern Africa acting VP Gert Swanepoel. Sales in the truck industry are closely linked to macroeconomic conditions in South Africa, with both facing an uphill battle to recover.  

Local truck sales struggle, but exports jump as rand strengthens
UD Trucks Southern Africa acting VP Gert Swanepoel.

Three US states sue Volkswagen, say executives covered up diesel cheating

By: Reuters     20th July 2016 Senior executives at Volkswagen AG including its former chief executive covered up evidence that the German automaker had cheated on US diesel emissions tests for years, three US states charged on Tuesday in civil lawsuits against the company. New York, Massachusetts and Maryland filed separate,... 

Three US states sue Volkswagen, say executives covered up diesel cheating

Daimler runs first self-driving BRT bus in Amsterdam

By: Irma Venter     18th July 2016 Daimler Buses on Monday announced that its Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot had driven autonomously for the first time on a route of around 20 km in Amsterdam, on a section of the longest bus rapid transit (BRT) line in Europe, connecting Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport with the city of... 

Daimler runs first self-driving BRT bus in Amsterdam
The Future Bus

UK should consider prosecuting VW over emissions scandal – lawmakers

By: Reuters     15th July 2016 Britain should consider prosecuting Volkswagen over the diesel emissions scandal, a committee of lawmakers said on Friday, accusing the government of being too slow to decide whether the German automaker broke the law. Europe's biggest carmaker admitted last September to cheating US diesel... 

Durban to host inaugural Naacam show

By: Irma Venter     15th July 2016 The National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) has announced that it will host the inaugural Naacam Show at the Durban International Convention Centre, from April 5 to 7, 2017. The show will be hosted every two years as a platform from which to grow the... 

New heavy-duty diesel oil said to improve engine protection

By: David Oliveira     15th July 2016 Petrochemicals group Shell launched a new range of products in its Rimula heavy-duty diesel engine oil (HDDEO) range at the Maslow Hotel, in Sandton, last month. The new Shell Rimula R6 LM 10W-40 fully synthetic HDDEO features the company’s unique Dynamic Protection Plus Technology. It combines... 

Role of 3D printing in development of aircraft components rising

By: Dylan Slater     15th July 2016 The rise of additive manufacturing technology, or three-dimensional (3D) printing, is spurring accelerated levels of development in a broad range of items, as concepts can be manufactured at a fraction of the costs and time it would otherwise have taken to develop parts using conventional... 

Role of 3D printing in development of aircraft components rising
AHRLAC PART 3D Solids have helped developed service parts from engineering thermoplastics for the Ahrlac aircraft

South African vehicle market shrank by more than 10% in H1

By: Irma Venter     15th July 2016 Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry shows that South Africa’s new car market was down 10.4% for the first half of the year compared with the first six months of 2015. Light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales declined by 8.9% in the first half of 2016, while medium commercial... 

Toyota says job creation, empowerment trust activities on track

By: Irma Venter     14th July 2016  Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Andrew Kirby says the group is on track to create 2 000 new jobs with its R6.1-billion investment to built the new Fortuner and Hilux models at its Durban plant.   He says the jobs will be created throughout TSAM’s supplier value-chain, with a... 

Toyota says job creation, empowerment trust activities on track
Toyota's plant in Durban

UJ student-designed electrical car in top 15 at Eco-Marathon Europe 

By: Irma Venter     14th July 2016 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Voltronics team finished 15th at the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe, held in London, earlier this month. The team’s prototype battery-electrical vehicle finished ahead of teams from France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Turkey and Spain. 

UJ student-designed electrical car in top 15 at Eco-Marathon Europe
UJ's Nightfury, with driver Shalaka Thomas, takes to the track in London

Lamborghini shrugs off economic gloom with record sales

By: Irma Venter     13th July 2016 Amid gloomy global economic conditions, performance car manufacturer Lamborghini has increased worldwide sales to 2 013 units in the first six months of 2016, up 7% compared with the same period last year. June was a new record month for the Volkswagen company, with 416 cars delivered to... 

Lamborghini shrugs off economic gloom with record sales
Lamborghini Huracán

Honda codevelops first hybrid car motor free of heavy rare earth metals

By: Reuters     12th July 2016 Honda Motor Co on Tuesday said it has codeveloped the world's first motor for hybrid cars that uses no heavy rare earth metals, a breakthrough that would reduce its dependence on the expensive materials, which are controlled mainly by China. Hybrid vehicles, which combine a gasoline engine and... 

Team Africa Le Mans to contest Paul Ricard 24-hour race

By: Anine Kilian     8th July 2016 Former rally and racing driver Sarel van der Merwe will again team up with Le Mans 24-hour winner Jan Lammers and Dr Greg Mills to contest the Creventic 24-hour race at Circuit Paul Ricard, near Marseille, in France, starting on July 15. They would be joined by multiple South African endurance... 

African sales of oil brand rose in 2015, despite economic difficulties

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2016 The volume of Castrol oil sales in Africa increased by around 5% in 2015 compared with 2014, says Castrol Africa MD David Bouet. Despite the visible slump in the continent’s mining industry, the automotive and industrial markets are still ticking over, he notes. 

Autonomous cars could change face of motor insurance industry

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2016 The motor insurance industry faces radical restructuring as a result of the advent of autonomous cars. A research report released by Swiss Re and HERE in April, called ‘The Future of Motor Insurance’, calculated that autonomous driving (AD) technologies, such as lane departure warning, blind-spot... 

Metair says acquisition extends its reach into renewable energy

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2016 Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, Metair, has acquired 25% of Kenya-based Associated Battery Manufacturers East Africa (Abmeal), and its subsidiaries, at a price tag of $7.3-million. “This transaction ticked critical boxes for us as it... 

Suzuki makes South African commercial-vehicle debut

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2016 Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) has launched its first commercial vehicle in the local market, in the form of the Super Carry ultracompact bakkie. SASA says South Africa is the first market outside of India – where the Super Carry is manufactured – to introduce the newcomer. 

Phase 1 of MyCiti done, ‘obsession’ with BRT ‘waning’ – Heron 

By: Irma Venter     7th July 2016 Cape Town’s MyCiti bus service transported its highest ever number of passengers in May this year, said Cape Town Transport MMC Brett Heron on Thursday. Addressing delegates at the Southern African Transport Conference in Pretoria, he said MiCiti had seen 700 000 passenger journeys in May. The... 

Phase 1 of MyCiti done, ‘obsession’ with BRT ‘waning’ – Heron

Severe rate of job losses reflects declining metals and engineering sector 

By: David Oliveira     6th July 2016 First-quarter employment data recently released by Statistics South Africa reflected a total loss of 15 553 jobs since the beginning of 2015. This downward trend is getting cumulatively worse, with 3 550 and 6 902 job losses being recorded in the third and fourth quarter of 2015 respectively, and... 

Severe rate of job losses reflects declining metals and engineering sector

Mercedes-Benz unveils South African-made C-Class plug-in hybrid 

By: Irma Venter     5th July 2016 Following the premiere of its hybrid technology in the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz has expanded the technology to the C-Class, in the form of the C 350 e sedan. One of the plants producing the newly launched C-Class sedan is Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s (MBSA’s) facility in East London. 

Mercedes-Benz unveils South African-made C-Class plug-in hybrid
The C 350 e

Bloodhound announces first record attempt for October 2017

By: Irma Venter     5th July 2016 The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC), with Andy Green at the helm, will challenge the current world land-speed record in October next year, says the project team. The current record of 1 277.98 km/h was also set by Green, in the Thrust SSC. Following a funding crunch, the British Bloodhound team... 

Bloodhound announces first record attempt for October 2017
The Bloodhound SSC

Hudaco keeps eye on acquisition opportunities as it diversifies

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st July 2016 As JSE-listed Hudaco Industries continues diversifying into markets with stronger growth potential, acquisitions remain on the cards as the company feels the pinch of a stalled economy. Businesses in the automotive, food and beverage and communication sectors were of particular interest to... 

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