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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

Auto component body’s new chief has strong policy background

By: Irma Venter     26th August 2016 The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) has appointed Renai Moothilal as its new executive director. Moothilal will take over from Roger Pitot in September. Pitot has been advising Naacam in part-time capacity since last year, following the departure of... 

New fuel-economy benchmarks for diesel and petrol vehicles

By: Irma Venter     26th August 2016 A Porsche Panamera has set a new South African benchmark for how far a diesel-powered vehicle can travel on one tank of fuel, while Volkswagen’s new Passat has done the same for petrol-powered vehicles. With the backing of Continental Tyre, Porsche South Africa, Volkswagen South Africa, Total and... 

BMW launches remote-control parking in South Africa 

By: Irma Venter     22nd August 2016 Is that parking spot just too tight to allow you to get into and out of your car? Never fear, remote-control parking is here. BMW South Africa (SA) has launched its remote control parking system that allows 7 Series owners to manoeuvre in or out of a garage or forward-parking space – no parallel... 

BMW launches remote-control parking in South Africa
Remote-control parking in the BMW 7 Series

Volvo Cars and Uber join forces to develop autonomous driving cars

By: Irma Venter     19th August 2016 Volvo Cars and ride-sharing company Uber will join forces to develop autonomous driving (AD) cars. The two companies have signed an agreement to develop base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in AD technologies, up to and including, fully autonomous driverless... 

Volvo Cars and Uber join forces to develop autonomous driving cars

BAIC to build CKD auto plant in Coega industrial zone 

By: Terence Creamer     19th August 2016 The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) reports that it has signed a deal with the Beijing Automobile International Corporation (BAIC) for a new automotive investment worth R11-billion into the Eastern Cape industrial development zone (IDZ). The Chinese State-owned company plans to build a... 

BAIC to build CKD auto plant in Coega industrial zone
Photo by Duane Daws
BAIC investment set to be far larger than the recent FAW Trucks Coega investment

Anaergia takes over as manager of SA’s first commercial biogas plant

By: Irma Venter     19th August 2016  The day-to-day management of South Africa’s first commercial biogas plant have shifted to biogas expert Anaergia Africa, part of the Anaergia international group of companies, as from July. Anaergia Africa will manage the plant in a two-year contract. 

July new-vehicle sales show ‘dramatic’ slump

By: Irma Venter     19th August 2016 New-vehicle sales “slumped dramatically” in July, serving as a reflection of the “current difficult economic conditions” in the country, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that sales... 

Uber mulls new South African services as it expands African footprint

By: Irma Venter     19th August 2016 There is “huge scope” for Uber to grow in South Africa, says Uber sub-Saharan Africa GM Alon Lits. “My wife and I have one car. I Uber to work every morning and I always drive past all of these cars in traffic with single occupants. I want each and every one of these drivers to switch to Uber.” 

Uber mulls new South African services  as it expands African footprint

Metair’s auto parts business struggles; no immediate fears over failed Turkey coup

By: Irma Venter     18th August 2016 A struggling automotive components business saw operating profit at JSE-listed Metair drop 25%, to R260-million, for the six months ended June 30, compared with the same period last year. Revenue at the energy storage solutions and automotive components manufacturer and distributor increased 14%... 

Metair’s auto parts business struggles; no immediate fears over failed Turkey coup

African auto body lobbies Nigeria on industry development

By: Irma Venter     17th August 2016 A delegation from the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM), led by chairperson Jeff Nemeth, is visiting the Nigerian capital, Abuja, with the aim of creating a framework for policy development that will support the growth of the Nigerian automotive industry. Nemeth is also the... 

 African auto body lobbies Nigeria on industry development
Photo by Duane Daws
AAAM chairperson Jeff Nemeth

Ford to develop self-driving car for ride-hailing service

By: Irma Venter     17th August 2016 Ford has announced its intent to have a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. Ford also notes that it is investing in, or collaborating with, four technology startups to enhance its programme of autonomous vehicle... 

Ford to develop self-driving car for ride-hailing service
Ford’s fully autonomous Fusion Hybrid research vehicle on the streets of Dearborn, US

IDC, BAIC set to unveil plans for new Eastern Cape auto plant

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2016 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has indicated that it and the BAIC Automotive Group, of China, will announce details of a new multibillion-rand motor vehicle manufacturing plant in Eastern Cape later this month. The development financier will host its annual... 

IDC, BAIC set to unveil plans for new Eastern Cape auto plant
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Porsche Panamera, VW Passat set new fuel benchmarks

By: Irma Venter     10th August 2016 A Porsche Panamera has set a new South African benchmark for how far a diesel-powered vehicle can travel on one tank of fuel, while Volkswagen’s new Passat has done the same for petrol-powered vehicles. With the backing of Continental Tyre, Porsche South Africa, Volkswagen South Africa, Total and... 

Porsche Panamera, VW Passat set new fuel benchmarks

Bio2Watt appoints Anaergia to manage biogas plant, looks to expand

By: Irma Venter     10th August 2016 The day-to-day management of South Africa’s first commercial biogas plant have shifted to biogas expert Anaergia Africa, part of the Anaergia international group of companies, as from July. Anaergia Africa will manage the plant in a two-year contract. 

Bio2Watt appoints Anaergia to manage biogas plant, looks to expand
Sean Thomas

New-vehicle sales down 17% from July last year

By: Irma Venter     1st August 2016 New-vehicle sales “slumped dramatically” in July, serving as a reflection of the “current difficult economic conditions” in the country, said National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) on Monday. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry showed... 

New-vehicle sales down 17% from July last year

Petrol could fall by R1/litre – AA

By: News24Wire      29th July 2016 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). 

Petrol could fall by R1/litre – AA

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. 

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... 

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

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

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

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... 

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... 

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. 

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

New-vehicle sales down 10.4% in the first half of 2016 

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2016 Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry on Friday revealed 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 had declined by 8.9% in the first half of 2016, while... 

New-vehicle sales down 10.4% in the first half of 2016

Bargaining council head optimistic of motor sector labour peace in 2016

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2016 Motor Industry Bargaining Council (Mibco) general secretary Tom Mkhwanazi says he “is positive” that the motor industry will “avoid a strike this year”. “I think parties will get to the point where they will say it is not to the benefit of employers or employees, looking at the country’s economy... 

Chinese vehicle group to directly enter the South African market

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2016 Vehicle manufacturer Great Wall Motor Company Limited of China (GWM) has announced that it will enter the South African market directly, by granting distribution rights to Haval Motors South Africa (HMSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of GWM. GWM made this decision following the expiry of the... 

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