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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

MBSA moves to begin producing plug-in hybrids at East London plant

By: Irma Venter     1st April 2016 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) is ramping up to start production of the C350e plug-in hybrid at the company’s Eastern Cape plant, says MBSA CEO and executive director manufacturing Arno van der Merwe. Van der Merwe says the C-Class hybrid ⎯ most likely the first hybrid to be produced in a... 

Once range of EVs hits 300 km, prices should fall – BMW 

By: Irma Venter     1st April 2016 Electric vehicles (EVs) could see a reduction in costs once range reaches around 300 km, says BMW management board member for development Klaus Frölich. EVs are significantly more expensive than cars with normal combustion engines. This is partly due to the battery, which makes up around... 

WesBank expects 12% fall in new-vehicle sales this year

By: Irma Venter     1st April 2016 Vehicle finance house WesBank expects new-vehicle sales to decline by 12%, or around 34 000 units, this year, says CEO Chris de Kock. Compared with sales of 617 691 units in 2015, 2016 will end the year at 543 306 units, he predicts. 

Mercedes-Benz, Jobs Fund open R130m Learning Academy in East London

By: Irma Venter     30th March 2016 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has opened the doors to its new Learning Academy in East London. Construction on the project started in August 2014. The academy is the result of a R130-million joint investment by MBSA and the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, which saw the MBSA Technical Training... 

 Mercedes-Benz, Jobs Fund open R130m Learning Academy in East London

Sumitomo Rubber SA starts Phase 2 of R2-billion expansion project

By: Irma Venter     30th March 2016 Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) has started the second phase of its R2-billion investment programme to upgrade and expand its tyre manufacturing plant in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal.   SRSA manufactures passenger and commercial tyres, in particular under the Dunlop brand. Plans for expansion of... 

Sumitomo Rubber SA starts Phase 2 of R2-billion expansion project
The soil-turning ceremony marking the expansion project

Kyalami construction on track; first race set for early 2017

By: Irma Venter     30th March 2016   Construction work at the Kyalami race track is “progressing well”, says Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit spokesperson Christo Kruger. 

Kyalami construction on track; first race set for early 2017

Andrew Kirby appointed as president and CEO of Toyota SA

By: Irma Venter     29th March 2016 Less than three months after his appointment as executive VP and COO of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), Andrew Kirby has been appointed TSAM president and CEO. He will take up his new position on April 1. 

Andrew Kirby appointed as president and CEO of Toyota SA

Three dealerships, 60 units targeted for luxury Bentley brand

By: Irma Venter     29th March 2016 LSM Distributors will be satisfied with sales of around 60 Bentleys a year, says Bentley South Africa spokesperson Christo Kruger. “However, much of this ambition will be informed by Bentley’s product range and presentation of this range,” he adds. 

Three dealerships, 60 units targeted for luxury Bentley brand

Volkswagen SA to host its first black-owned suppliers’ day 

By: Irma Venter     29th March 2016 Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has invited black-owned suppliers to participate in its first ever black-owned suppliers’ day. The event will take place at the VWSA PeoplePavilion in Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, on Thursday, May 5. 

Volkswagen SA to host its first black-owned suppliers’ day

Exotic and mainstream models on display at Geneva International Motor Show

By: Irma Venter     25th March 2016 The eighty-sixth Geneva International Motor Show took place from March 3 to 13. It produced, as always, an impressive unveiling of exotic cars, aimed at those with deep pockets. However, some manufacturers also used the Swiss platform to introduce a number of mainstream models, some of which... 

Naamsa lowers 2016 new-vehicle market forecast

By: Irma Venter     25th March 2016 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has adjusted its forecast for the domestic new-vehicle market to 564 500 units for 2016, down sharply from the forecast of 622 500 units as reported in November last year, and the 598 200-unit market as predicted in... 

South Africa can only benefit from rand, political stability, says BMW

By: Irma Venter     25th March 2016 South Africa can only benefit from greater political and currency stability, says BMW purchasing and supplier network board member Dr Klaus Draeger. He says the German vehicle manufacturer has noted, with some concern, the strong depreciation of the rand, as well as the “not so strong” political... 

Volvo SUV crowned South Africa’s 2016 Car of the Year

By: Irma Venter     25th March 2016 The Volvo XC90 sports-utility vehicle has been crowned as South Africa’s 2016 Car of the Year, as voted for by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists. The twelve finalists in the competition were the Citroen C4 Cactus, Ford Fusion, Honda HR-V, Jaguar XE, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Discovery... 

SA’s artisan development model ‘problematic’, says Jonas 

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2016 If a country’s artisan skills base was weak, chances were its economy would be weak, said Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas on Thursday at the opening of Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s (MBSA’s) new artisan Learning Centre in East London. Part of the transformation South Africa needed to see was... 

 SA’s artisan development model ‘problematic’, says Jonas
Mcebisi Jonas

BMW SA to assume responsibility for SADC, nine other African countries

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2016 BMW South Africa (SA) will “any time now” expand its responsibility to sub-Saharan Africa, says BMW sales and marketing board member Dr Ian Robertson. This move will see the company steer all the markets in the Southern African Development Community, as well as nine other African countries.... 

Electric vehicles forecast to comprise 35% of new light-duty car sales by 2040

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2016 The future of electric vehicle (EV) could be brighter than governments and oil companies have anticipated. New research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests that further, big reductions in battery prices lie ahead, and that EVs will, in the 2020s, become a more economic option than... 

Production of new Hilux models starts at Toyota’s Durban plant

By: Irma Venter     18th March 2016 The first new Hilux pickup models started to roll off the assembly line at the Toyota South Africa Motors plant (TSAM), in Durban, in February. Exports, mainly to Europe, will kick off shortly. The new Hillux will seek to duplicate the success of its predecessor, also built in South Africa, which... 

Mercedes-Benz SA to start hybrid production, premium market to face headwinds

By: Irma Venter     17th March 2016 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) was ramping up to start production of the C350e plug-in hybrid at the company’s Eastern Cape plant, said MBSA CEO and executive director manufacturing Arno van der Merwe on Thursday. Speaking in East London, Van der Merwe said the C-Class hybrid ⎯ most likely the... 

Mercedes-Benz SA to start hybrid production, premium market to face headwinds
The C350e

2016 Sasol Solar Challenge to kick off on September 24

By: Irma Venter     16th March 2016 This year’s biennial eight-day Sasol Solar Challenge will take place from September 24 to October 1. The event will start in Pretoria, move down to Port Elizabeth and wrap up in Cape Town, similar to the 2014 solar challenge. 

2016 Sasol Solar Challenge to kick off on September 24

KPMG survey predicts rise of tech companies, data in brave new auto industry

By: Irma Venter     16th March 2016 Last year, 12% of respondents in KPMG’s Global Automotive Executive Survey (GAES) believed that the global automotive industry was somewhat to extremely likely to see a major model disruption in the next five years. This year the figure increased to 82%. The global automotive industry is faced... 

 KPMG survey predicts rise of tech companies, data in brave new auto industry

De Canha to retire, Imperial to 'enhance value' of its vehicle business

By: Irma Venter     14th March 2016 Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) CEO Manny de Canha is set to retire in January 2018. AMH imports brands such as Hyundai and Kia into South Africa. 

De Canha to retire, Imperial to 'enhance value' of its vehicle business
Photo by Duane Daws
Manny de Canha

Electric car prices to drop once range has increased; i3 range to grow by 50% 

By: Irma Venter     14th March 2016 Electric vehicles (EVs) could see a reduction in costs once range reaches around 300 km, says BMW management board member for development Klaus Frölich. EVs are significantly more expensive than cars with normal combustion engines. This is partly due to the battery, which makes up around... 

 Electric car prices to drop once range has increased; i3 range to grow by 50%
Klaus Frölich

Auto sector objects to vehicle emissions tax rise in absence of cleaner fuels 

By: Irma Venter     11th March 2016 The local automotive industry objects to the increase in vehicle emission tax as noted in February’s national Budget, in light of the absence of cleaner fuel in South Africa, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) president Dr Johan Van Zyl. “The... 

Rolls Royce goes black, Toyota unveils small crossover and Ferrari now seats four

By: Irma Venter     9th March 2016 The eighty-sixth Geneva International Motor Show is set to end this weekend. It produced, as always, an impressive unveiling of exotic cars, aimed at those with deep pockets. However, some manufacturers have also used the Swiss platform to introduce a number of mainstream models, some of which... 

Rolls Royce goes black, Toyota unveils small crossover and Ferrari now seats four
Rolls Royce Black Badge Wraith edition

Anticipating junk status, WesBank sees new-vehicle sales drop 12% in 2016

By: Irma Venter     9th March 2016 Vehicle finance house WesBank expected new-vehicle sales to decline by 12%, or around 34 000 units, this year, said CEO Chris de Kock on Tuesday at the WesBank Car of the Year banquet. Compared with sales of 617 691 units in 2015, 2016 would end the year at 543 306 units, he predicted. 

 Anticipating junk status, WesBank sees new-vehicle sales drop 12% in 2016
Chris de Kock

Volvo XC90 named SA Car of the Year

By: Irma Venter     9th March 2016 The Volvo XC90 sports-utility vehicle has been crowned as South Africa’s 2016 Car of the Year, as voted for by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists. The twelve finalists in the competition were the Citroen C4 Cactus, Ford Fusion, Honda HR-V, Jaguar XE, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Discovery... 

Volvo XC90 named SA Car of the Year
The Volvo XC90

SA can only benefit from rand, political stability, says BMW

By: Irma Venter     7th March 2016 South Africa can only benefit from greater political and currency stability, says BMW purchasing and supplier network board member Dr Klaus Draeger. He says the German vehicle manufacturer has noted, with some concern, the strong depreciation of the rand, as well as the “not so strong” political... 

SA can only benefit from rand, political stability, says BMW

BMW SA to assume responsibility for SADC, nine other African countries

By: Irma Venter     4th March 2016 BMW South Africa (SA) would “any time now” expand its responsibility to sub-Saharan Africa, said BMW sales and marketing board member Dr Ian Robertson. This move would see the company steer all the markets in the Southern African Development Community, as well as nine other African countries.... 

BMW SA to assume responsibility for SADC, nine other African countries

Naamsa cuts new-vehicle sales forecast as economy takes toll

By: Irma Venter     4th March 2016 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has adjusted its forecast for the domestic new-vehicle market to 564 500 units for 2016, down sharply from the forecast of 622 500 units as reported in November last year, and the 598 200-unit market as predicted in... 

Naamsa cuts new-vehicle sales forecast as economy takes toll

Land-speed record attempt at Hakskeen Pan pushed back to 2017

By: Irma Venter     4th March 2016 The Bloodhound project has announced a delay in its attempt to break the land-speed record at Hakskeen Pan, in South Africa. The date for the start of the campaign has been pushed back to 2017. In 2014, it was estimated that the series of runs to break to record would start in 2015. 

Rebooted Datsun brand sells 5 645 units to claim number one position in entry-level A-segment

By: Irma Venter     4th March 2016 Datsun sold 5 645 new vehicles in South Africa last year, which made it the number one seller in the entry-level A-segment, says Datsun South Africa (SA) GM Des Fenner. This number equates to around 470 units a month. Fenner is hopeful sales will reach 500-plus units a month by March, which... 

Electric cars to comprise 35% of new-vehicle sales by 2040, says study

By: Irma Venter     26th February 2016 The future of electric vehicle (EV) could be brighter than governments and oil companies have anticipated. New research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests that further, big reductions in battery prices lie ahead, and that EVs will, in the 2020s, become a more economic option than... 

Electric cars to comprise 35% of new-vehicle sales by 2040, says study

Auto execs provide insight into 2016’s biggest risks and opportunities

By: Irma Venter     26th February 2016 This year offers few silver linings for the local automotive industry. Faced with a faltering rand, a jittery global and domestic economy, as well as the trepidation local elections and triennial wage negotiations bring, it seems local vehicle importers and manufacturers will have to hunt for a... 

Auto execs provide insight into 2016’s biggest risks and opportunities

Naamsa questions increase in carbon tax in absence of clean fuel

By: Irma Venter     25th February 2016 The local automotive industry objected to the increase in vehicle emission tax as noted in Wednesday’s national Budget, in light of the absence of cleaner fuel in South Africa, said National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) president Dr Johan Van Zyl. “The... 

Naamsa questions increase in carbon tax in absence of clean fuel

Datsun to roll out new models, dealers, finance options as economy bites

By: Irma Venter     23rd February 2016 Datsun sold 5 645 new vehicles in South Africa last year, which made it the number one seller in the entry-level A-segment, says Datsun South Africa (SA) GM Des Fenner. This number equates to around 470 units a month. Fenner is hopeful sales will reach 500-plus units a month by March. The Datsun... 

Datsun to roll out new models, dealers, finance options as economy bites
The Redi-Go

Static FY growth expected as Imperial faced depressed economic conditions

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd February 2016 Despite a “pleasing” start to the second half of the financial year, JSE-listed Imperial expects a somewhat stifled performance for the full year amid a depressed trading environment. Single-digit revenue growth and unchanged operating profit in continuing operations was expected to be the order... 

Static FY growth expected as Imperial faced depressed economic conditions
Photo by Duane Daws
Imperial CEO Mark Lamberti

Affordability and function key in buying a new car

     19th February 2016 While a first car might mean freedom for both a newly licensed child and the taxi-operating parents, Japanese motor vehicle manufacturer Datsun believes that parents should consider the vehicle’s form, function and affordability before over hastily purchasing. Datsun South Africa GM Des Fenner... 

Affordability and  function key in buying a new car
CHEAP, ECONOMIC AND RELIABLE The running and maintenance costs of an old car can easily outweigh the costs of buying an affordable, new economy car

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