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Components News

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... 

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

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,... 

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

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. 

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... 

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

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

Industry trying to reduce reliance on imports

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 High quality, increased productivity and cost reduction are vital for success as the South African automotive industry works to reduce its reliance on automotive component imports while growing its export potential in a slow economy, says industrial equipment supplier Germ Africa director Robert... 

Industry trying to reduce reliance on imports
WELL-EQUIPPED Germ Africa provides high-quality filtration and dosing pump solutions that improve the automotive manufacturing process

Intra-industry dialogue crucial for components advancement

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 Given the multifaceted nature of South Africa’s automotive sector, intra-industry dialogue and collaboration are crucial to advancing the industry’s ability to provide high-quality products and much-needed employment in a rapidly evolving world, says Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI)... 

Intra-industry dialogue crucial for components advancement
Photo by Bloomberg
KEEPING PACE Advancing education and training in the automotive sector is crucial for keeping up with changes in technology and the local demand for skilled technicians

Local innovation key for growing automotive industry

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 Key to realising the growth potential of South Africa’s automotive sector is local innovation, albeit with due consideration to conditions and operating environments, as local companies are not always able to use international innovations and technologies, says enterprise resource planning (ERP)... 

Local innovation  key for growing automotive industry
PAULO DE MATOS South Africa is no laggard when it comes to the uptake of new technologies, especially in the automotive sector

Mobile workshop enhances interactions with automotive OEMs

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 Science and technology company 3M South Africa has launched its new mobile workshop – Abrasive Solutions On the Move – which will provide easy access to its technologies and services for its original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) clients in the automotive sector. 

Mobile workshop enhances interactions with automotive OEMs
ON THE MOVE 3M’s mobile unit features a full test laboratory, training facilities and capabilities for providing all of the company’s abrasive solutions on site

Supply chain management key to industry success

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 The effective management of financial and physical supply chains is a key differentiator for South African automotive companies wanting to survive in an uncertain market, with access to technologies that can assist in streamlining these functions critical to success, says import and working... 

Supply chain management key to industry success
GREG CLINE Automotive aftermarket imports are growing owing to the depressed state of the economy shifting buying behaviour

IFC backs BMW’s R6bn Rosslyn investment

By: Irma Venter     6th October 2017 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, will assist in financing BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) R6-billion investment in its Rosslyn plant, set to produce the new BMW X3. The $150 million loan comes as South Africa “seeks new sources of economic growth after... 

Shell mulls adding EV charging points to forecourts in several countries

By: Irma Venter     6th October 2017 Energy giant Shell is exploring the possibility of adding electric vehicle charging points to its forecourts in a number of countries. The Shell brand is traditionally associated with fuel, engine oils and lubricants and service stations in South Africa. 

Powerstar to expand into smaller trucks through Foton partnership

By: Irma Venter     4th October 2017 Powerstar sold around 420 trucks in South Africa last year, with the Chinese brand aiming for 500 units this year, says Everstar Industries CEO Bob Wang. The growth will come from the brand expanding its product portfolio from the extra-heavy and heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV, HCV) segments to... 

Tata trucks ‘must be bigger’ in South Africa, says Brand

By: Irma Venter     4th 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... 

Tata trucks ‘must be bigger’ in South Africa, says Brand
The new Tata Ultra platform

Production version of Honda concept EV set for Europe launch in 2019

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017 Honda has revealed an all-new electric vehicle (EV), the Urban EV Concept, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept car is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model. 

eThekwini rapid public transport system needs hundreds of buses

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017 Around 200 rigid buses, 180 articulated buses and 765 midi-buses will be required for eThekwini’s new GO!Durban integrated rapid public transport network over the next five years, says eThekwini Transport Authority head  Thami Manyathi. In addition, 250 commuters buses will be required as part of... 

Trade deals, emissions laws set to challenge SA auto industry, warns Toyota Europe’s Van Zyl

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017 In an effort to clean up ever-increasing pollution, the UK in July announced a proposal that sales of new diesel and petrol cars would come to an end by 2040. This announcement mirrors one made earlier by the French government, with a similar timeline and intent. This means two of South Africa’s... 

Trade deals, emissions laws set to challenge SA auto industry, warns Toyota Europe’s Van Zyl

New JV aiming to incorporate solar cells in glass roofs of Audi cars

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2017  German premium car maker Audi and Alta Devices, a subsidiary of Chinese solar-cell specialist, Hanergy, have joined forces in a project that will attempt to use thin-film solar cells in the panoramic glass roofs of Audi models. The electricity these cells generate will flow into the car’s... 

BMG invests R400m in Joburg distribution centre 

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Technical solutions provider BMG, which is part of Invicta Holdings, has officially launched its BMG World site, in Johannesburg, which is the culmination of a consolidation and supply chain re-engineering strategy that began nearly ten years ago. “The company’s R400-million investment to upgrade... 

BMG invests R400m in Joburg  distribution centre
BMG MD Gavin Pelser discusses the upgraded BMG World site facility in Johannesburg. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Audi electric cars to be built around the world

By: Reuters     28th September 2017 Audi will build electric vehicles at its plants across the world, including sites in Mexico and Hungary, the premium carmaker said on Wednesday, detailing its zero-emission plans. The Volkswagen-owned business last year awarded production of its first mass-produced electric sport-utility vehicle... 

Suez Canal chief says Mercedes-Benz to establish new facility in economic zone

By: Reuters     27th September 2017 Mercedes-Benz is set to return to Egypt with a 50 000 square metre distribution facility in the new economic zone near the Suez Canal, Suez Canal Authority chairperson Mohab Mamish said on Tuesday. The Suez Canal Economic Zone, a mega-project launched in 2015 to create an international hub for... 

Poor macro economics acting as ‘handbrake’ and ‘roadblock’, says Audi’s Hill

By: Irma Venter     26th September 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... 

Poor macro economics acting as ‘handbrake’ and ‘roadblock’, says Audi’s Hill
Trevor Hill

VW moves to secure cobalt supplies in shift to electric cars

By: Reuters     26th September 2017 Germany's Volkswagen is moving to secure long-term supplies of cobalt, a vital component of rechargeable batteries, as the group accelerates its ambitious shift to electric cars. Cobalt industry sources told Reuters that VW, the world's largest automaker, has asked producers to submit proposals... 

BHP, world's largest miner, says 2017 is 'tipping point' for electric cars

By: Reuters     26th September 2017 This year looks set to be the "tipping point" for electric cars, Arnoud Balhuizen, chief commercial officer at global miner BHP said on Tuesday, with the impact for raw materials producers to be felt first in the metals market, and only later in oil. "In September 2016 we published a blog and we... 

Korean group may introduce new heavy-duty truck to SA market

By: Irma Venter     22nd September 2017 Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) is testing the Xcient heavy-duty truck for possible introduction into the South African new-vehicle market. HASA CEO Niall Lynch says the truck, with a gross vehicle mass of 36.6 t, is undergoing road tests within Imperial Logistics. 

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