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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

Automotive sales figures reflect decline, but there is hope

By: Aarifah Nosarka     18th November 2016 National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) president and Nissan Group of Africa MD Mike Whitfield tells Engineering News that the recent slight decline in light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales is “positive”, contrasting with the bigger decline in passenger vehicle... 

Bank to install solar-panel carports at Fairland office complex

By: Irma Venter     18th November 2016 Vehicle and asset finance group WesBank and sister company First National Bank (FNB) have announced a R60-million project to replace the shade-net carports at its shared offices in Fairland, Johannesburg, with solar-panel carports. The project will hopefully nudge the 150 000 m2 campus towards a... 

From cars to storage, Mercedes-Benz unveils electric-mobility ecosystem

By: Irma Venter     18th November 2016 Mercedes-Benz will go electric – and in a big way. The German carmaker has launched a new product brand for electric mobility under the name EQ, which stands for ‘electric intelligence’. 

Klerksdorp school wins electric car challenge

By: Irma Venter     18th November 2016 Klerksdorp’s Schoonspruit High School was crowned the winner of the 2016 GreenpowerZA Electric Car Challenge, held at the Red Star Raceway, near Delmas. The race challenges schools to bring their self-built electric cars to the track, in an effort to create interest in the subjects of science,... 

Renault again takes aim at SA’s entry-level market

By: Irma Venter     18th November 2016 Renault has launched a fresh attack on the entry-level market in South Africa with the arrival of the Kwid, priced from R119 900. The India-made Kwid will slip in below the Sandero at the bottom end of Renault’s price table. Renault South Africa sells more than 500 Sanderos a month. Pricing for... 

Exports of SA-built Ford Everest starts, first vehicle to Kenya

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2016 The first batch of South African-built Ford Everest vehicles destined for export markets in sub-Saharan Africa has been completed, with the first vehicle on its way to its new owner in Kenya. The moondust silver Everest 2.2 XLT 4 X 4 departed Durban on November 12, and is destined for Mombasa,... 

 Exports of SA-built Ford Everest starts, first vehicle to Kenya

Ford trials tech for drivers to ride a wave of green traffic lights

By: Irma Venter     14th November 2016 Imagine taking the kids to school, driving to work or across town to do some shopping without ever hitting a single red traffic light. US carmaker Ford is testing technology that could make ‘riding the green wave’ a day-to-day reality. 

Ford trials tech for drivers to ride a wave of green traffic lights

Cartrack to launch low-cost vehicle tracking offering

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2016 Fleet management and vehicle recovery company Cartrack will launch a low-cost vehicle tracking and data-mesh solution for cars priced between R20 000 and R50 000. The solution will be “substantially more affordable” than anything else on the market, said CEO Zak Calisto as he announced the... 

Japanese app offers coffee as reward for smartphone-free driving

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2016 Three Japanese companies have joined forces to reward drivers for not using their phones while driving, making use of an innovative smartphone app. Auto maker Toyota Motor Corporation, coffee company Komeda, and telecommunications operator KDDI Corporation kicked off the initiative in September,... 

Mercedes-Benz finally unveils ‘premium pick-up’

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2016 Mercedes-Benz has finally lifted the lid on its X-Class mid-size (one-ton) pickup. The German car maker says the “premium pickup will combine the best of two worlds”. 

Move to integrate virtual and physical value chains

By: David Oliveira     11th November 2016 Digitalisation offers the opportunity to integrate virtual value chains into existing physical value chains, allowing for the development of a “digital twin” that can be used to improve product design, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance. This is according to global engineering firm... 

Move to integrate virtual and physical value chains
ANTHONY DAVIES Software simulation is gaining ground and can be used to improve systems, processes, behaviours and products

New additions planned for 2017 edition of Automechanika Joburg

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2016 Next year’s Automechanika Johannesburg trade fair for the automotive aftermarket, taking place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from September 27 to 30, will also play host to three new, related shows. The new shows are Futuroad Expo, Scalex Johannesburg, and REIFEN. 

VWSA installs 320 robots as Uitenhage gears up for new models

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2016 Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has installed 320 new robots at its body shop as the manufacturer ramps up to produce the new Polo – and one or two other unconfirmed models – at its Uitenhage plant, in the Eastern Cape. The roughly R4.5-billion investment to produce the new models,... 

Toyota, Audi win big in Ipsos quality survey

By: Irma Venter     9th November 2016 Research house Ipsos has announced the winners in its newest Ipsos Passenger Car Product Quality Survey. The survey is voluntary, with 17 vehicle brands participating, representing 77% of the new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold through retail channels in South Africa. 

Toyota, Audi win big in Ipsos quality survey
The Audi A4

No wage agreement yet in components sector, but outlook positive – Naacam

By: Irma Venter     9th November 2016 Wage negotiations in South Africa’s retail motor and component manufacturing industries are still ongoing. The current three-year wage agreement lapsed at the end of August. 

No wage agreement yet in components sector, but outlook positive – Naacam

Renault’s new Kwid to tackle SA budget car market

By: Irma Venter     7th November 2016 Renault has launched a fresh attack on the entry-level market in South Africa with the arrival of the Kwid, priced from R119 900. The India-made Kwid will slip in below the Sandero at the bottom end of Renault’s price table. Renault South Africa sells more than 500 Sanderos a month. Pricing for... 

Renault’s new Kwid to tackle SA budget car market
The Renault Kwid

Africa-bound vehicle exports down 54% in first eight months of 2016

By: Irma Venter     4th November 2016 New-vehicle exports from South Africa into the rest of Africa fell dramatically in the first eight months of the year.   Exports reached 32 080 trucks, bakkies and cars from January to August 2015, dropping a whopping 54% in 2016, to 14 723 units.   The decline follows a drop in exports from 78... 

Countdown to Kalahari land speed record attempt begins

By: Irma Venter     4th November 2016 It is a few minutes shy of twelve and the heat shimmers like water on Hakskeen Pan. Royal Air Force Wing Commander Andy Green gets behind the wheel of a maroon Geely Boyue, journalists in tow, and chases down the pan at 160 km/h – a mere fraction of the speed he will travel here next year when he... 

Countdown to Kalahari land speed record attempt begins

WesBank announces R60m carport solar-panel project 

By: Irma Venter     28th October 2016 Vehicle and asset finance group WesBank and sister company First National Bank (FNB) have announced a R60-million project to replace the shade-net carports at its shared offices in Fairland, Johannesburg, with solar-panel carports. The project will hopefully nudge the 150 000 m2 campus towards a... 

WesBank announces R60m carport solar-panel project

Ford begins local production of sports utility vehicle

By: Irma Venter     28th October 2016 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has started production of the Everest sports-utility vehicle (SUV) at its Silverton plant, in Pretoria. The introduction of the Everest to the assembly line means the Ford plant becomes a two-vehicle assembly facility. The plant currently produces the... 

One-year countdown to Hakskeen Pan record attempt

By: Irma Venter     28th October 2016 One year from now the British Bloodhound team will attempt to set a new land speed record at Hakskeen Pan, in South Africa's Northern Cape. The current land speed record is 763 miles an hour, set by Royal Air Force Pilot Andy Green in 1997, who will also pilot the Bloodhound in 2017. 

Cartrack to launch low-cost solution for bottom end of the car market

By: Irma Venter     27th October 2016 Fleet management and vehicle recovery company Cartrack will launch a low-cost vehicle tracking and data-mesh solution for cars priced between R20 000 and R50 000. The solution would be “substantially more affordable” than anything else on the market, said CEO Zak Calisto in Johannesburg on... 

Cartrack to launch low-cost solution for bottom end of the car market
Zak Calisto

Government incentives under review

By: Anine Kilian     26th October 2016 The 2016 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), which was tabled by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday, indicates that various government incentive programmes are being reviewed. “Given increased pressures on the fiscus, these incentives, including direct transfers, tax and tariff... 

Mercedes-Benz X-Class bakkie to launch in SA in 2018

By: Irma Venter     26th October 2016 Mercedes-Benz has finally lifted the lid on its X-Class mid-size (one-ton) pickup. Unveiling the bakkie in Stockholm, Sweden, the German car maker says the “premium pickup will combine the best of two worlds”. 

Mercedes-Benz X-Class bakkie to launch in SA in 2018
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled two design variants of the concept X-Class, one more rugged and the other more refined

Mahindra SA to add generator sets to its product portfolio

By: Irma Venter     25th October 2016 Vehicle distributor Mahindra South Africa (SA) will add another product to its portfolio in November, when the company will introduce a range of generator sets (gensets) to the local market. Mahindra SA is a subsidiary of the Indian Mahindra & Mahindra conglomerate. 

Mahindra SA to add generator sets to its product portfolio
Mahindra will start sales of gensets by the end of the year

Klerksdorp school takes top honours in 2016 Electric Car Challenge

By: Irma Venter     25th October 2016 Klerksdorp’s Schoonspruit High School was crowned the winner of the 2016 GreenpowerZA Electric Car Challenge, held at the Red Star Raceway this weekend. The race challenges schools to bring their self-built electric cars to the track, in an effort to create interest in the subjects of science,... 

Klerksdorp school takes top honours in 2016 Electric Car Challenge
Schoonspruit High School in action

Dutch team breaks record by completing 4 716 km in 2016 solar race

By: Irma Venter     21st October 2016 Dutch team Nuon, from the Delft University of Technology, won the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge, with the 2012 winner, from Tokai University, in Japan, in second place, at 4 533 km. Nuon also won the 2014 distance-based event. 

Recessionary conditions in new-vehicle market intensify

By: Irma Venter     21st October 2016 The recession in the domestic new-vehicle market “accelerated significantly” during September, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that September new-vehicle sales declined by 14.3%,... 

Renault South Africa plots fresh budget market assault

By: Irma Venter     21st October 2016 Renault South Africa (SA) is set to launch a fresh attack on the country’s budget market in November, when it introduces the A-segment Kwid. The India-made Kwid should be priced below Renault SA’s current entry-level Sandero. 

South Africa eyed as potential African production hub for Datsun cars

By: Irma Venter     21st October 2016 South Africa is the ideal place to produce Datsun vehicles for Africa, “but not today”, says Datsun global head Vincent Cobee. Africa as a continent, with its rapidly growing middle class, is every consumer product company’s dream, he notes. However, it is also a highly complex market, made up of... 

BMW launches jacket airbag system for motorcycle riders

By: Irma Venter     18th October 2016 BMW Motorrad – the motorcycle arm of the German automaker –has launched an advanced airbag system to protect the upper body during accidents. The ‘BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars’ consists of a textile riding jacket, interconnected with an airbag vest. 

BMW launches jacket airbag system for motorcycle riders
The airbag system consists of a textile riding jacket, interconnected with an airbag vest

Finalists for SA Car of the Year competition named

By: Irma Venter     14th October 2016 The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has announced the finalists for the 2017 WesBank South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition. The announcement follows a voting process by a 28-member jury from the SAGMJ. 

VWSA installs 320 robots ahead of new Polo production

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2016 Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has installed 320 new robots at its body shop as the manufacturer ramps up to produce the new Polo – and one or two other unconfirmed models – at its Uitenhage plant, in the Eastern Cape. The roughly R4.5-billion investment to produce the new models,... 

VWSA installs 320 robots ahead of new Polo production
Inside VWSA's revamped bodyshop

Chinese auto group becomes prime sponsor of Bloodhound land speed record

By: Irma Venter     7th October 2016 The Bloodhound project has announced a three-year agreement with the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) as its prime sponsor and official automotive partner. The Chinese automotive group – the owner of the Volvo Car Group – will provide technical, as well as financial support to the British... 

New motor dealerships for downtown Joburg

By: Irma Venter     7th October 2016 Property investor and developer Atterbury is building premises for two new motor dealerships in the Johannesburg city basin – Joburg City Auto BMW and Joburg City Auto Ford. 

Pitot reflects on auto landscape as he departs Naacam

By: Irma Venter     7th October 2016   A local automotive industry with five vehicle manufacturers producing 150 000 units each a year might be better than seven to eight manufacturers producing between 50 000 and 100 000 vehicles each a year, says former National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam)... 

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA revamped for Dakar 2017

By: Irma Venter     7th October 2016 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa (SA) have announced significant changes to their strategy for Dakar 2017 and beyond. This includes the deployment of a new race vehicle, known as the Toyota Hilux Evo, as well as the expansion of the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA... 

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