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Platinum's discount to palladium hits 16-year-high

By: Reuters     8th December 2017 Platinum's discount to fellow precious metal palladium reached its highest level since 2001 on Thursday, as the latter soared on heightened vehicle demand and an ongoing supply deficit. Palladium hit a high of $1 022.70 on Thursday, just off a 16-year high from last week, while platinum hit a... 

UK new car sales on course for first annual drop since 2011

By: Reuters     5th December 2017 British new car registrations dropped 5 percent in the year to date, putting them on track for the first annual fall since 2011, hit by weaker consumer confidence and uncertainty over the future of diesel, an industry body said on Tuesday. Sales slumped 11.2 percent in November to 163,541 cars,... 

November sees healthy jump in new-vehicle sales

By: Irma Venter     1st December 2017 South African new-vehicle sales experienced yet another positive month in November, countering general negative economic sentiment for the six month in a row, with new-vehicle sales up 7.2% compared with November last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry on Friday... 

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 The rate at which global automotive markets are adopting electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at a much faster pace than even some of the keenest market observers estimated at the start of 2017, and is opening up once- in-a-lifetime investment opportunities among the four key ‘energy metals’ –... 

Auto firms back deployment of high power EV charging network in Europe

By: Irma Venter     1st December 2017 BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi and Porsche, have announced Ionity as a joint venture (JV) that will develop and implement a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe. Ionity will launch 400 HPC stations by 2020. 

Volkswagen's talks with cobalt producers end without deal

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 Meetings last week between major cobalt producers including mining giant Glencore to supply the world's largest automaker Volkswagen with the material used to make batteries for electric vehicles ended without a deal, cobalt industry sources said. In September, Reuters reported exclusively that... 

Electric cars' success leaves Toyota isolated with hydrogen bet

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2017 Toyota Motor, which has made a big bet on hydrogen-powered cars, is looking more isolated as industry rivals double down on plug-in electric vehicles as the dominant technology in the emerging post-fossil fuel era. Three years ago, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, grandson of company founder... 

German car makers warned of possible battery materials shortage-Welt am Sonntag 

By: Reuters     26th November 2017 The German car industry risks running short of key raw materials for automotive batteries, hampering a planned boost in the production of electric vehicles (EVs), Germany's largest industry association BDI warned. "The risk of running into bottlenecks in raw material supply is increasing because... 

Global NCAP, AA South Africa launch #SaferCarsforAfrica initiative

By: Anine Kilian     22nd November 2017 The Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), together with the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa, on Wednesday launched the #SaferCarsforAfrica initiative, in Cape Town, with the first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular compact and small cars.... 

Cobalt hedging not mining the route for VW in EV drive

By: Reuters     17th November 2017 Volkswagen is not looking to secure long-term supplies of cobalt, a key ingredient of electric-car batteries, by investing in mines, a senior official at the automaker said. Demand for cobalt is expected to soar as carmakers rush to embrace electric vehicles (EVs) in response to governments... 

ELECTRIC JOLT FOR GHOST TOWN

     10th November 2017 Global demand for cobalt, a component in batteries used to power electric cars for automakers from Tesla to Volkswagen, is changing the importance of the metal. Pictured above is a town sign is displayed in downtown Cobalt, Ontario, Canada. The town, and the metal after which it is named, are... 

Ford, BMW, Daimler and VW launch JV to enable long-distance electric vehicle travel

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi and Porsche, have announced Ionity as a joint venture (JV) that will develop and implement a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe. Ionity will launch 400 HPC stations by 2020. 

Portfolio of BEVs on offer in SA expected to expand materially by 2020

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 There could be roughly ten battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on sale in the South African market by 2020, estimates Audi South Africa (SA) head Trevor Hill. There are currently two: The Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. Audi will launch its C-BEV sports utility vehicle in South Africa in 2019. To date,... 

Ghost town of Cobalt gets first jolt from Tesla’s electric cars

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2017 Ironically, Cobalt, Ontario – population 1,100 – was built on silver. Remnants of a boom that transformed the town more than a century ago are everywhere. A mine headframe still protrudes from the roof of the bookstore, which was previously a grocery. The butcher used to toss unwanted bones down... 

Battery boom relies on one African nation avoiding chaos of past

By: Bloomberg     27th October 2017 The cars of the future will depend increasingly upon supplies of an obscure metal from a country in the African tropics where there has never been a peaceful transition of power and child labor is still used in parts of the mining industry. Most major automakers are pledging to build millions of... 

Volkswagen’s black-owned suppliers support project selects ten finalists

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th October 2017 Volkswagen South Africa’s (VWSA’s) Ntinga Project, established to assist, train and mentor up-and-coming black-owned suppliers in the automotive sector, has culminated in the selection of ten finalists set to compete for the top five positions. The final five will then embark on an 18-month... 

South African market could see ten EV models in 2020, says Audi’s Hill 

By: Irma Venter     12th October 2017 There could be roughly ten battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on sale in the South African market by 2020, estimates Audi South Africa (SA) head Trevor Hill. There are currently two: The Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. 

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)... 

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... 

2nd Manufacturing Indaba Eastern Cape planned for the Province

     4th October 2017 Manufacturing Indaba Eastern Cape (MIEC) a yearly provincial event, and part of the national Manufacturing Indaba will be hosted on the 20th October 2017 at The Boardwalk Convention Centre in Port Elizabeth. Nwabisa Makunga, the deputy Editor of both the Herald and the Weekend Post will be... 

Avalon intent to cash in on rapidly rising technology metal demand

By: Henry Lazenby     15th September 2017 A whole new world for lithium demand has aspiring technology metals firm Avalon evaluating its options to cash in on the red-hot industry, with the company patiently advancing three projects in its portfolio that will benefit from higher metals prices. Just this week, new evidence was provided... 

Macozoma concerned South Africa may miss out on big electric-vehicle opportunity 

By: Terence Creamer     8th August 2017 Leading business personality Saki Macozoma has expressed concern that South Africa is not fully aligning its economic and industrialisation plans to areas of future demand, including in the area of electric vehicles (EVs). Speaking at the launch of a new book authored by political commentator... 

SA-designed bakkie tailgate damper gaining traction in Australia

By: Dylan Slater     28th July 2017 The South African-designed and -manufactured bakkie tailgate damper EZDown is becoming increasingly popular and sought-after in the Australian utility-vehicle market.  

Metair buys into Germany battery manufacturer

By: Irma Venter     14th July 2017 The JSE-listed Metair group has acquired a 25.1% shareholding in Germany-based battery manufacturer and supplier, Akkumulatorenfabrik Moll (Moll), at a cash price of €7.425-million (R111.4-million). Metair is a global manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level  

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2017 German car manufacturer Daimler has cut the platinum loading of its new fuel cell Mercedes to catalytic converter level. “We reduced the amount of platinum by 90%, which provides a significant cost reduction. Our fuel cell is not much above the platinum loading of a catalytic converter on a... 

Volkswagen South Africa Group investment plan, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     7th July 2017 Volkswagen has unveiled the new, sixth-generation Polo that will be produced in South Africa, among other global production locations 

Metair acquires 25.1% of German battery manufacturer in R111m deal

By: Irma Venter     4th July 2017 The JSE-listed Metair group has acquired a 25.1% shareholding in Germany-based battery manufacturer and supplier, Akkumulatorenfabrik Moll (Moll), at a cash price of €7.425-million (R111.4-million). Metair is a global manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and... 

Catalytic converters still dominate SA’s auto components export mix

By: Irma Venter     30th June 2017 Component exports from South Africa in 2016 were again dominated by catalytic converters. Data published in the Automotive Export Manual 2017 shows that catalytic converter exports made up 41.3% of all component exports from South Africa, by value, earning R21.9-billion, up from last year’s... 

Debunking the rate per square metre cost myth

     28th June 2017 A “cost per square metre rate” is a method of expressing building cost that should be used with extreme caution by both clients and contractors involved in the cost comparison and cost planning process, says former Association of South African Quantity Surveyor President, Bert van den Heever.... 

Electric car demand boosts companies engaged with lithium

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 Lithium demand is surging, boosting shares of the companies linked to mining and manufacturing the light metal used in electric-car batteries. Global X Lithium & Battery Tech, an exchange-traded fund of the 27 biggest companies linked to the light metal, has increased 65% in the past 18 months,... 

Automakers eye fast-growing East Africa as they set up shop in Kenya

By: John Muchira     23rd June 2017 Global automakers have, in recent years, established assembly plants in Kenya as they seek to increase sales in East Africa, sub-Saharan Africa's fastest-growing region. East Africa, of which Kenya is the biggest economy, is projected by the World Bank to grow by 5.4% in 2017, compared with... 

This year's best commodity is one of the smallest metals markets

By: Bloomberg     12th June 2017 In the main commodity markets, nothing is doing better than palladium this year. The metal is up 30%, beating 33 other raw materials, including lean hogs and aluminum, tracked by Bloomberg. On Friday, prices surged as much as 7.9% to a 16-year high of $928.36/oz as some traders were said to... 

Component exports up 6.8% in 2016, engines show strong growth

By: Irma Venter     6th June 2017 Component exports from South Africa in 2016 were again dominated by catalytic converters. Data published in the Automotive Export Manual 2017 shows that catalytic converter exports made up 41.3% of all component exports from South Africa, by value, earning R21.9-billion, up from last year’s... 

Glencore says electric car boom is coming faster than expected

By: Bloomberg     16th May 2017 Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said the rise of electric cars will significantly boost demand for minerals including copper and lithium in the coming decades. “The electric vehicle revolution is happening and its impact is likely to be felt faster than expected,” Glasenberg told investors at an... 

Precipitous platinum price plunge putting industry at risk 

By: Martin Creamer     5th May 2017 This week’s precipitous platinum price plunge to as low as $893/oz is putting the entire platinum industry at risk, making it essential that steady hands are placed on the tiller to ensure that a national patrimony is protected. While the entire industry has been accepting a lower-for-longer... 

NAACAM Show tackles localisation and transformation with strong government support 3.30pm, Wednesday 5 April, Durban ICC

     6th April 2017 “With the NAACAM Show incorporating the Durban Automotive Cluster’s National Localisation Indaba now underway I am very pleased with the investment by eThekwini Municipality to attract and host the national automotive production industry to Durban” says Shunnon Tulsiram, Head of Economic... 

Opel Astra crowned 2017 Car of the Year

By: Irma Venter     31st March 2017 The Opel Astra has been crowned South Africa’s 2017 Car of the Year, as voted for by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists. The nine finalists for the 2017 WesBank South African Car of the Year competition were the Audi A4; Honda Civic; Hyundai Tucson; Jaguar F-Pace; Opel Astra; Renault... 

Sasol officially launches 2017 GTC Championship

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th March 2017 The Sasol GTC Championship team on Thursday welcomed newest team member Robert Wolk, who will be behind the wheel of the team’s BMW GTC racer. Thirty-one-year-old Wolk replaces Hennie Groenewald, who stepped down to start a new business venture in Cape Town. Wolk has been racing since the age of... 

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