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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

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... 

East London harbour reports vehicle export record for April

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2016 Transnet and Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) in April set an export record at the East London harbour, with more than 10 000 new C-Class vehicles exported from MBSA’s Eastern Cape plant. “In April we were the highest exporter of new vehicles in South Africa, when we recorded a total of 10 674... 

Performance brands resilient amid weak vehicle market

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2016 The South African new-passenger car market has revealed some interesting peculiarities in the first five months of the year. Sales from January to May show the measure by which smaller brands are suffering the effect of the weak rand, while it also indicates the resilience of some of the... 

Automotive sector part of South Africa’s manufacturing success story – Davies

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th June 2016 South Africa’s automotive sector is a success story in an embattled manufacturing industry. Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies on Tuesday credited the success of the sector, in part, to the country’s long-term policy certainty and incentives developed under the Industrial Policy Action... 

Truck group seeks to regain lost market share after restructuring

By: Irma Venter     24th June 2016 Following a slump in truck sales in South Africa in 2015, MAN Truck & Bus South Africa (SA) and MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa MD Markus Geyer is confident the company can win back its lost market share “within a year”. The local arm of the German group sold 1 317 trucks in South Africa in 2015, at a... 

As wage talks continue, Mibco positive strike will be avoided

By: Irma Venter     21st June 2016 Motor Industry Bargaining Council (Mibco) general secretary Tom Mkhwanazi said on Tuesday that he “was positive” that the motor industry would “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... 

Naacam announces new component show for April 2017

By: Irma Venter     21st June 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... 

Naacam announces new component show for April 2017

Insurance industry faces radical restructuring due to autonomous cars

By: Irma Venter     20th June 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... 

Insurance industry faces radical restructuring due to autonomous cars

Suzuki introduces first commercial vehicle to the local market

By: Irma Venter     17th June 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. 

Suzuki introduces first commercial vehicle to the local market
The Suzuki Super Carry

Audi features strongly in latest customer satisfaction survey

By: Irma Venter     17th June 2016 Audi and Volkswagen new-car buyers are happiest with their purchasing experience, while much the same is true for new Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen light commercial vehicle (LCV) owners in South Africa. The newest annual Ipsos customer satisfaction survey also awarded Audi the top customer... 

Ford invests in new job training, entrepreneurial development centre

By: Irma Venter     17th June 2016 US car maker Ford will invest R11.5-million in the construction and operation of a new job training and entrepreneurial development centre at its South African assembly plant, in Silverton. The Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC) is slated to open in October. 

Mahindra to make local assembly call by year-end

By: Irma Venter     17th June 2016 The facts have not changed, says Mahindra & Mahindra auto and farm sector group president Dr Pawan Goenka, Mahindra still wants to assemble vehicles in South Africa. However, as he has noted since 2010, Mahindra South Africa (MSA) must reach sales of 6 000 units a year to do so. 

Rise in subscriber numbers lifts Cartrack’s revenue to R1bn

By: Irma Venter     17th June 2016 Boosted by global growth and a jump in its subscriber base, fleet management and vehicle recovery group Cartrack has announced a 20% increase in revenue, to R1-billion, for the year ended February 29. Operating profit improved by 19%, to R344.8-million. Cartrack has a presence in 21 countries, in... 

Transnet, Mercedes-Benz SA set export record at East London port

By: Irma Venter     15th June 2016 Transnet and Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) in April set an export record at the East London harbour, with more than 10 000 new C-Class vehicles exported from MBSA’s Eastern Cape plant. “In April we were the highest exporter of new vehicles in South Africa, when we recorded a total of 10 674... 

 Transnet, Mercedes-Benz SA set export record at East London port

Weak market hammers small brands, sees Porsche outsell Subaru, Fiat

By: Irma Venter     14th June 2016 The South African new-passenger car market has revealed some interesting peculiarities in the first five months of the year. Sales from January to May show the measure by which smaller brands are suffering the effect of the weak rand, while it also indicates the resilience of some of the... 

 Weak market hammers small brands, sees Porsche outsell Subaru, Fiat

BMW SA unveils purpose-built solar carport for electric vehicles

By: Irma Venter     10th June 2016 BMW Group South Africa (SA) has unveiled a purpose-built solar carport that allows its electric vehicle (EV) range to charge using the power of the sun, instead of electricity from power utility Eskom's grid. The carport, an international innovation by Germany's BMW Group, can charge any EV, such... 

China takes direct control of Great Wall Motors in SA

By: Irma Venter     7th June 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... 

China takes direct control of Great Wall Motors in SA
The Haval H2

In quest for local assembly, KUV may change the game, says Mahindra

By: Irma Venter     6th June 2016 The facts have not changed, says Mahindra & Mahindra auto and farm sector group president Dr Pawan Goenka, Mahindra still wants to assemble vehicles in South Africa. However, as he has noted since 2010, Mahindra South Africa (MSA) must reach sales of 6 000 units a year to do so. 

In quest for local assembly, KUV may change the game, says Mahindra
The KUV100

Mahindra mulls entering SA tractor, truck markets

By: Irma Venter     6th June 2016 Mahindra & Mahindra, the India-based global conglomerate active in more than 100 countries, aims to bring its tractor range to South Africa, says Mahindra agri, and Africa and South Asia operations president Ashok Sharma. “It will probably be the first of a range of products to come to South... 

Mahindra mulls entering SA tractor, truck markets

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