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Automotive News

Volvo Trucks invests in fitment of safety features at Durban plant

By: Irma Venter     28th April 2017 Volvo Trucks South Africa (VTSA) has invested R6.5-million into its semi-knockdown manufacturing plant, in Durban. The investment will allow the facility to install and calibrate selected safety features that were previously not available in the local market. 

Bloodhound land-speed record attempt postponed to 2018

By: Irma Venter     28th April 2017 The Bloodhound team’s attempt to set a new world land-speed record has been postponed to 2018. Initially planned for 2015, the UK-driven record attempt has faced a number of deferments, owing largely to budgetary constraints. 

CNH Industrial launches local youth training programme

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th April 2017 Capital goods company CNH Industrial launched the new TechPro2 2017 programme in Ennerdale, Johannesburg, last month. TechPro2 is a technical training programme for young people, with the aim of preparing highly qualified personnel to be placed in the automotive industry. The joint initiative is... 

CNH Industrial launches local youth training programme
LOCAL SUPPORT TechPro2, a technical training programme for young people, aims to prepare highly qualified personnel to be placed in the automotive industry

Downgrades to be felt across entire auto value chain

By: Irma Venter     28th April 2017 The effects of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings having downgraded South Africa to junk status will wash “through the entire value chain of automotive production”, warns Frost & Sullivan Mobility Africa programme manager Craig Parker. The impact of the downgrade, leading to a weaker rand, among... 

Expo to showcase latest developments in machine tools industry

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 This year’s Machine Tools Africa (MTA) is set to showcase the latest technology developments, machinery, products, services and solutions, says event management company Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery portfolio director Charlene Hefer. 

Expo to showcase latest developments in machine tools industry
MACHINE TOOLS AFRICA 2017 Interactive displays at the MTA will include live demonstrations and technical presentations

Machines produce components for isotope facility

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 Machine component manufacturer Precision Separators bought six computer numerical control (CNC) machines from machine industry company Hurco to manufacture and produce components for private company Klydon’s medical isotope facility MoF6. 

Meeting 60% local content goal would transform economy, create 49 000 jobs

By: Irma Venter     28th April 2017 Achieving 60% local content on vehicles assembled in South Africa will make a significant impact on the South African economy, including the creation of 49 000 new jobs and an additional R68-billion in gross domestic product, says Automotive Masterplan lead and B&M Analysts chairperson Dr Justin... 

New tandem horizontal boring to be fully operational in July

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 Installation of the new tandem horizontal boring mill – which can perform multiple tasks simultaneously – will be complete and fully operational by July, enthuses project services corporation Hydra Arc. 

New tandem horizontal boring to be fully operational in July
Photo by Petrus Saayman
FULLY AUTOMATED The tandem horizontal boring mill is fully automated and programmable

Robotic solution for machine tools industry

     28th April 2017 When it comes to the automated feeding of machine tools, the choice of the right robot set-up and manipulator is a key element in the planning process, says Japanese robotics company Yaskawa. 

Robotic solution for  machine tools industry
CONTROL CONCEPT Finding the right software structure is just as important as the hardware

Trend of declining SA vehicle exports to the rest of Africa continued in 2016

By: Irma Venter     28th April 2017 New-vehicle exports from South Africa into the rest of Africa continued its steep decline in 2016, notes the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its newest quarterly business review. Export sales of new vehicles have declined from 78 787 units in 2013, to... 

Truck group says downgrade turbulence could affect market outlook

By: Irma Venter     28th April 2017 The South African truck market demonstrated ongoing resilience in the first quarter of 2017, despite political and economic turmoil, says UD Trucks Southern Africa MD Gert Swanepoel. However, South Africa’ s recent downgrade by two ratings agencies will determine if the marginal growth achieved... 

Steel demand to grow in 2017/18 as recession risk decreases

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st April 2017 Global steel demand will increase by 1.3% to 1.53-billion tonnes this year, and by a further 0.9% to 1.55-billion tonnes in 2018, following growth of 1% in 2016, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) said in its latest short-range outlook (SRO), published on Friday. Worldsteel economics... 

Local equipment supplier upgrades product offering

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2017 Machine manufacturer Meclift has added the ML1812R variable reach truck series to its heavy-lifting equipment range, which has a lifting capacity of 18 t and operates swiftly in confined spaces, including warehouses and cargo vessels. 

Local equipment supplier upgrades product offering
ML1812R MECLIFT The variable-reach truck is designed for swift, efficient and safe handling of heavy loads in diverse industries

Naamsa suspends new-vehicle sales projections amid political flux

By: Irma Venter     21st April 2017 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) will, for the time being, suspend all new-vehicle sales projections, in light of recent political events. President Jacob Zuma at the end of March fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, as well as his deputy, Mcebisi... 

New concept crane being developed

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2017 Global engineered heavy lifting and transportation specialist Mammoet and engineering specialist Stoof Engineering and Innovation (E&I) are joining forces to develop a containerised heavy lifter named Focus.  

New concept crane being developed
FULLY ASSEMBLED Mammoet uses a jacking system to lift the dragline and place it on a specialised transport system to move it to its new location

Revised framework for SA auto sector expected by year-end

By: Irma Venter     21st April 2017 The framework for the government support programme to replace the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) is “currently under consideration and should be announced by the end of 2017”, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa director Nico Vermeulen.... 

Volatile rand has big impact on MBSA’s truck business

By: Irma Venter     21st April 2017 Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a 12.6% drop in sales in 2016 compared with 2015. The company sold 4 631 new trucks and buses in South Africa in 2016, down from the 5 300 units and 5 897 units recorded in 2015 and 2014, respectively. 

CMH achieves good results, but worries about political turmoil

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th April 2017 Despite a difficult year in the motoring industry, JSE-listed Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) on Wednesday said it still achieved “commendable results”, delivering a 17.8% increase in basic earnings a share, a 14.8% increase in headline earnings a share and a 25.6% improvement in dividends a share... 

German logistics company to pilot electric vans in 2018

By: Irma Venter     19th April 2017 German logistics company Hermes and Mercedes-Benz Vans have agreed on a strategic partnership to electrify the courier service’s vehicle fleet. Under this agreement, Hermes will use battery-electric vehicles in its normal operations in a pilot phase in Stuttgart and Hamburg, in Germany, in early... 

German logistics company to pilot electric vans in 2018

Can fake daylight in truck cabs lead to better driver performance?

By: Irma Venter     19th April 2017 A research team from German truck maker Daimler recently explored an interesting question in the darkness of Finland’s polar night: Does the biological effect of light have a positive influence on the wellbeing and performance of truck drivers? Eight Daimler test drivers simulated two typical... 

Can fake daylight in truck cabs lead to better driver performance?

VW plans to launch electric car in China next year

By: Reuters     18th April 2017 Volkswagen's China chief Jochem Heizmann said the carmaker plans to launch a pure battery electric vehicle in China this year amid continued uncertainty over how China's electric car quotas will be applied. VW's Heizmann said a lack of clarity about whether electric car quotas would be softened,... 

BMW Group SA to start X3 production in the first half of 2018

By: Irma Venter     18th April 2017 Production of the new X3 at the BMW plant in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria, for the local and export markets will start in the first half of 2018, says BMW Group South Africa (SA) and sub-Saharan Africa CEO Tim Abbott. The plant currently produces the 3 Series sedan, also for the local and export... 

BMW Group SA to start X3 production in the first half of 2018

Bank forecasts new-vehicle sales growth, despite weak dealer outlook

By: Irma Venter     14th April 2017 Vehicle and asset finance provider WesBank expects new-vehicle sales to grow by 1.74% in 2017. The company was almost spot-on in its March 2016 prediction that last year’s sales would decline by 12%, with the actual number recorded at the end of 2016 a drop of 11.4%. 

South African to lead local Ford unit for first time since full reinvestment

By: Irma Venter     14th April 2017 US car maker Ford has announced the appointment of Casper Kruger as Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa (FMCSA) region MD, as from April 1. Current president and CEO Jeff Nemeth will take up a new position at Ford as part of his planned return to the US on July 1, states the company. 

Survey reveals attitude of South Africans towards self-driving technology

By: Irma Venter     14th April 2017 South Africans are divided on who they trust the most to bring self-driving technology to market, with half of consumers preferring tech companies and the other half choosing traditional car manufacturers, reveals the Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study, released in South Africa in March.... 

Despite downgrades, truck market can still grow in 2017, says UD Trucks

By: Irma Venter     12th April 2017 The South African truck market demonstrated ongoing resilience in the first quarter of 2017, despite political and economic turmoil, says UD Trucks Southern Africa MD Gert Swanepoel. However, South Africa’ s recent downgrade by two ratings agencies will determine if the marginal growth achieved... 

Despite downgrades, truck market can still grow in 2017, says UD Trucks

BAIC introduces D20 range, second model to follow later this year 

By: Irma Venter     11th April 2017 Beijing Automotive Industry Group Company (BAIC) has unveiled the passenger car that it hopes will secure its first customers in the South African market. The D20 compact hatchback and sedan range “is a boutique small car for the South African market”, said BAIC International VP Li Xiaofan on... 

BAIC introduces D20 range, second model to follow later this year
Photo by Irma Venter
The D20 at the launch in Johannesburg

New online system allows transporters to bid directly on loads

By: Irma Venter     11th April 2017 Linebooker wants to do for the truck transport industry what Uber’s introduction did within the metered taxi industry – disrupt the traditional business model, cut costs and improve competitiveness and convenience. A spinoff from the innovation arm of CCS Logistics (part of the Oceana Group),... 

New online system allows transporters to bid directly on loads
Linebooker online

SA’s junk status will increase costs in auto production chain, warns analyst

By: Irma Venter     10th April 2017 The effects of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings having downgraded South Africa to junk status will wash “through the entire value chain of automotive production”, warns Frost & Sullivan Mobility Africa programme manager Craig Parker. The impact of the downgrade, leading to a weaker rand, among... 

SA’s junk status will increase costs in auto production chain, warns analyst

BMW to spend R400m on new regional distribution centre, HQ expansion

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2017 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) will, over the next two years, invest R400-million in a new regional distribution centre (RDC) and the expansion of its Midrand headquarters. The R400-million investment is in addition to the R6-billion injection, announced in November 2015, to prepare the... 

Metair in multiyear deal to supply enhanced batteries to Germany’s Daimler

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2017 Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, Metair, has secured a multiyear supply agreement, from 2018 onwards, for the supply of enhanced flooded start/stop batteries to German car maker Daimler, in Europe, says MD Theo Loock. Speaking in... 

MoU could pave way for Tata-VW cooperation

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2017 India’s Tata Motors has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (oU) with the Volkswagen Group and its Skoda division, aimed at possible joint product development. The agreement has been signed by Tata Motors CEO Günter Butschek, Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller and Skoda Auto... 

SA firm sees potential for elevated-track solution in everything mining to public transport

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2017 South African company Milotek will later this year start construction of a fractional rapid transit (FRT) system at a private coal mine in Mpumalanga. Milotek director and inventor Andries Louw believes this system will revolutionise the way goods are moved in the mining industry and also,... 

SA firm sees potential for elevated-track solution in everything mining to public transport

South African automotive industry at a crossroads

By: Shirley le Guern     6th April 2017 The local automotive industry is at a crossroads and the timing of the inaugural National Association of Automobile Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) show, in Durban, came at a critical point for those rising to the challenge of massive policy changes and industry challenges. Speaking... 

South African automotive industry at a crossroads
DAC chairperson Andrew Velleman

Automotive industry key to future of South Africa’s manufacturing industry – Davies 

By: Shirley le Guern     6th April 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has stressed that South Africa does not have the luxury to stop supporting its automotive sector, as has been the case in Australia, where the industry has come to an end.   “The auto industry is key to the future of manufacturing in this country and... 

Regionalisation strategy needed for South African automotive manufacturers to grow

By: Shirley le Guern     6th April 2017 South African automotive manufacturers need to drive a strong regionalisation strategy in Africa, according to National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa (Naacam) president Dave Coffey. Welcoming guests to the first Naacam show, which has been billed as... 

Higher local content in SA-made vehicles could create 49 000 jobs, says Barnes 

By: Irma Venter     6th April 2017 Achieving 60% local content on vehicles assembled in South Africa will make a significant impact on the South African economy, including the creation of 49 000 new jobs and an additional R68-billion in gross domestic product, says Automotive Masterplan lead and B&M Analysts chairperson Dr Justin... 

Higher local content in SA-made vehicles could create 49 000 jobs, says Barnes
Naacam president Dave Coffey, Volkswagen Group South Africa MD Thomas Schäfer, Ethekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies and Naacam executive director Renai Moothilal at the Naacam Show
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