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Automotive News

Isuzu updates govt on R1.2bn plant investment, new D-Max ready for 2022 launch 

By: Irma Venter     26th October 2021 Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) this week welcomed the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel to its plant in Struandale, Gqeberha. Patel previously visited Isuzu in 2019, shortly before the announcement that the Japanese manufacturer would invest R1.2-billion into its... 

First Corolla Cross hybrid electric vehicle rolls off the line at TSAM's KwaZulu-Natal plant 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th October 2021 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) on October 26 officially launched the Corolla Cross production line at its assembly plant in Prospecton, KwaZulu-Natal.  The plant is able to produce 111 Corolla Cross vehicles a day, or about 30 000 units a year, for export to more than 40 countries.  

A photo of President Cyril Ramaphosa at the opening of Toyota South Africa Motors' new Corolla Cross production line in KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Creamer Media's Marleny Arnoldi
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the opening of Toyota South Africa Motors' new Corolla Cross production line in KwaZulu-Natal

ETGL expands its logistics business into the tractor, motorbike sectors 

By: Irma Venter     25th October 2021 ETG Logistics (ETGL) has announced that it is expanding its product and service offering to the farming and automotive sectors. ETGL is the logistics vertical of ETG, a global conglomerate with business interests across various industries. 

An image of Belarus tractors from Minsk Tractor Works
The range of tractors from Minsk Tractor Works

Bell founders look to buy out Bell Equipment minority shareholders, delist the group

By: Irma Venter     25th October 2021 In a joint announcement published on Friday, Bell Equipment and IA Bell, the Bell family holding company and largest shareholder in Bell Equipment, have announced IA Bell’s intention to acquire all the issued shares in the JSE-listed capital equipment manufacturer it does not already own for R10... 

Image of a Bell ADT

South Africa to set up finance workstream to assess climate-finance offers 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2021 The South African government is set to establish a high-level technical workstream, which will work under the direction of a Cabinet subcommittee, to evaluate possible concessional finance offers that could be made in support of the country’s just energy transition strategy. The workstream is yet... 

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy
Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

Bakers adds 90 Merc trucks to its fleet; City Logistics expands by 43 Canters 

By: Irma Venter     22nd October 2021 Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) has handed over a fleet of 90 Mercedes-Benz Actros 2645LS trucks to Bakers South Africa (SA).  This purchase adds to Bakers’ current fleet of nearly 650 vehicles, which comprises 100% of Mercedes-Benz Truck products. 

Image of the Bakers SA fleet

New methods, technology key in driving net zero goal

By: Anna Moross     22nd October 2021 The South African road infrastructure and construction industry can learn from international markets and apply several key lessons on its journey to achieving the goal of net zero, ensuring a balance between emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere, says consulting engineers... 

An image of Marshall Muthen WSP in Africa’s highways, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and rail director
MARSHALL MUTHEN South Africa can futureproof the road network infrastructure and its construction by taking digital roads into consideration to achieve the net zero goals and implement digital technologies

Technologies play powerful role in climate change efforts

By: Anna Moross     22nd October 2021 Technology is a critical accelerator in the efforts to implement climate change actions, and according to South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) energy efficiency and data & knowledge management GM Barry Bredenkamp, there is a major shift in the design of energy-consuming... 

An image of Barry Bredenkamp, the energy efficiency and data & knowledge management GM at Sanedi.
BARRY BREDENKAMP Small- and large-scale renewable-energy technologies solutions are also developing at a rapid rate and digitalisation is inevitable

Payabill launches online global payment solution for small businesses

By: Irma Venter     22nd October 2021 Nedbank is promising prospective car buyers a “complete end-to-end digital vehicle shopping experience, saving them vast amounts of time and energy, through the new Avo virtual vehicle-mall feature”. “While there are already quite a few websites and aggregators where people can browse vehicles,... 

Motus acquires UK’s FAI Automotive

By: Irma Venter     22nd October 2021 Automotive group Motus has acquired the entire issued share capital of FAI Automotive in the UK. The purchase consideration is based on an enterprise value of roughly R700-million, with the effective cash outflow of R550-million to be funded from available cash resources and funding facilities. 

New-vehicle sales seen reaching 485 000 units if supply holds

By: Irma Venter     22nd October 2021 The South African new-vehicle market could reach about 485 000 units this year, says Ford Motor Company Africa president Neale Hill. This will be a significant increase from the 380 000-unit sales recorded last year. 

First Grenadiers to arrive in SA in October next year

By: Irma Venter     22nd October 2021 The first Ineos Grenadier vehicles destined for local customers will arrive in South Africa in October next year, says Ineos Automotive South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa head Tim Abbott. If the name sounds familiar, it is because Abbott is the former boss of the BMW group in South Africa and... 

How South Africa plans to secure backing for its ‘Just Transition Financing Facility’ at COP26 

By: Terence Creamer     21st October 2021 South Africa aims to meet with other governments and multilateral finance institutions on the sidelines of the upcoming COP26 gathering to progress talks on raising concessional funding, in phases, for a Cabinet-endorsed ‘Just Transition Financing Facility’ to fund green projects in the... 

Photo of a solar farm
Cabinet wants ‘Just Transition Financing Facility’ to fund green projects in the electricity, automotive and hydrogen sectors.

Semiconductor shortage will slow global auto sales recovery – S&P  

By: Irma Venter     21st October 2021 The intensifying semiconductor shortage will slow the post-Covid-19 global recovery of light-vehicle sales over the next two years, says S&P Global Ratings in a newly published report. "In our revised scenario, we now expect light-vehicle sales will increase more moderately by about 2% to 4% in... 

Image of a man holding a computer chip

Ford’s Silverton plant targets improving built quality as it prepares for new Ranger

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2021 Ford South Africa (Ford SA) is steadily improving built quality at its Silverton plant and it aims to achieve less than ten warranty repairs per 1 000 Ranger bakkies as a yearly average by the end of 2022, says Ford SA quality director Kevin Heunis. This number is seen as the holy grail within... 

Image of the Ford Silverton plant
The Ford Silverton plant

SA green-tech company pilots 100% electric reefer trailers in The Netherlands

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2021 Four companies have initiated a nine-month pilot project in The Netherlands, which will see diesel refrigeration systems in semi-trailers replaced by zero-emission battery-electric prototypes.  This is the first time that refrigerated trailers are being run by 100% electric eco-sustainable power.  

Image of a reefer trailer powered by Maxwell and Spark
The four trailers in this pilot will have a modified Thermo King reefer engine (Advancer A400), in combination with a specialised battery system from Maxwell and Spark (70 kWh)

New chairperson appointed at Isuzu Motors South Africa

By: Irma Venter     19th October 2021 Naohiro Yamaguchi has been appointed as the new chairperson of Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf). Yamaguchi has held various leadership roles throughout his 35 years with the Japanese vehicle manufacturer.  

Image of Naohiro Yamaguchi Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) chairperson
Naohiro Yamaguchi 

CMH posts solid interim financial performance

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th October 2021 JSE-listed Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) says it achieved a sound all-round financial performance for the six months ended August 31. Its income statement saw an improvement on all levels – revenue, margins, expenses and interest. 

‘Optimistic outlook’ for Volvo to start electric truck sales in South Africa in 2024 

By: Irma Venter     18th October 2021 Volvo Trucks South Africa (SA) should start the local testing of electric trucks within the next two years, says Volvo Trucks SA product support senior manager Erica Parry. “Sales will be determined by various factors but, most importantly, the investment and availability of charging facilities... 

Image of a Volvo electric truck

Volvo Trucks aims for all new-vehicle sales to be electric by 2040

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2021 Volvo Trucks aims for 50% of all global new-vehicle sales to be electric by 2030, says global product management senior VP Jessica Sandström. By 2040, the goal is for 100% of global sales to be fossil-fuel free, whether that will be through the sale of battery-electric of fuel-cell electric trucks. 

Image of the Volvo FM Electric truck
The Volvo FM Electric truck

Jaguar Land Rover trials world-first digital supply chain for leather using blockchain technology

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2021 Jaguar Land Rover has trialled the use of secure blockchain technology “to ensure full transparency within a sustainable leather supply chain”. In the world-first, the British automaker partnered with supply chain traceability provider Circulor, UK leather manufacturer Bridge of Weir Leather... 

Image of the leather supply chain in Jaguar using blockchain

Tshwane Automotive SEZ setting a precedent for speedy development

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition deputy Minister Fikile Majola this week said the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) represents a turning point in how special economic zones (SEZs) must be owned and operated, adding that Gauteng’s economic development was being led by these... 

Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone construction in progress
Photo by Creamer Media's Marleny Arnoldi
Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone construction in progress

New machinery introduced

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     15th October 2021 In the past 12 to 24 months, fastener manufacturer Impala Bolt & Nut introduced new machinery to its existing range. These are highly specialised machines, purpose built for the fastener industry, and were imported from Japan and Europe, with a turnaround time of between eight and 12 months. 

Potriat of a man
DEREK COHEN Machines are suitable for standard parts used by a variety of regular customers and highly specialised for advanced manufacture of special fasteners used in the automotive industry

New-vehicle sales momentum continues, despite shortage of some models

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2021 The South African new-vehicle market continued to recover some momentum in September, following the disruptions experienced in the economy during July, says WesBank. “Building on August sales successes, September sales . . . provided some reassurance for a stronger final quarter.” 

Ford South Africa exports 500 000th Ranger

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2021 Ford South Africa’s (Ford SA’s) Silverton plant, in Pretoria in September produced its 500 000th Ranger for the export market. This year is the current Ranger’s tenth anniversary, with the new model to be launched next year. 

Brand to succeed retiring MBSA CEO Engling in May

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2021 The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched a digital toolbox with more than 200 leading practices and case studies to boost sustainability and reduce emissions of cities. Cities have a crucial role to play in the race to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The platform focuses on solutions that... 

September sales propel Suzuki into ‘top three’

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2021 Suzuki Auto South Africa (Suzuki SA) in September broke its month-old all-time sales record set in August by more than 600 units. The company last month recorded 3 134 new-vehicle sales, notching up its best month ever and elevating it to a top-three position in overall vehicle sales in the South... 

Cartrack owner acquires 70.1% of Picup Technologies in R70m deal

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2021 Karooooo has acquired 70.1% of Picup Technologies (Picup) in a deal valued at R70-million.  Karooooo owns 100% of Cartrack, a mobility software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that maximises the value of automotive and workflow data by providing real-time data analytics solutions for smart... 

Company establishes green rare earth fluoride manufacturing plant based on Necsa intellectual property 

By: Donna Slater     14th October 2021 Over the past two years, Pretoria-based rare earth (RE) minerals refinery Rare Earth Refiners (RER) has designed, built and commissioned a demonstration plant for the green production of RE fluorides using a R15-million grant from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). REs, and especially... 

An image of the rare earth fluoride production machine based on intellectual property developed by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation
The rare earth fluoride production machine based on intellectual property developed by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation

Nissan introduces made-in-SA Navara single-cab bakkie

By: Irma Venter     14th October 2021 Following the introduction of the new Navara double-cab bakkie in June, Nissan South Africa has announced that it will round out the range with the launch of the single-cab derivative in October. As is the case with the double cab, the single-cab pickup is produced at the Nissan Rosslyn plant, in... 

Image of a Navara single-cab bakkie

Electronics company expects strong growth for fuel cell cars

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th October 2021 A report by IDTechEx forecasts that the market value of on-road fuel cell vehicles will reach $160-billion by 2042, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 23.9% from 2022 to 2042. The electronics company believes that incorporating a fuel cell into an electric vehicle powertrain, generating... 

Ramaphosa lends his weight to plans for raising concessional funding for ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa has doubled down on his argument that South Africa needs to act with “urgency and ambition” in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, but stressed that such increased ambition could not be achieved without financial support from developed economies. In his latest weekly... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Hyundai to electrify all of its new commercial vehicle models by 2028

By: Irma Venter     8th October 2021 The Hyundai Motor Group has set out its plans to popularise hydrogen by 2040 through the introduction of new technologies and mobility solutions in the transport and other industrial sectors. At its recent Hydrogen Wave global online forum, Hyundai unveiled plans that will see the electrification... 

Image of the Hyundai Trailer Drone
The Trailer Drone

Hyundai, Mini and Hino come out tops in NADA dealership survey

By: Irma Venter     8th October 2021 Hyundai and Mini walked away with top honours in the 2021 National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey for passenger and light commercial vehicles, while Mitsubishi was named the most improved brand. Gold winners in this segment were Suzuki, Toyota,... 

Fritz to leave MBSA, Raine announced as successor

By: Irma Venter     8th October 2021 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has announced that co-CEO and Mercedes-Benz Cars executive director Johannes Fritz will be moving back to Germany to head up Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans in Bavaria, one of the largest sales regions in the German market.  “Fritz, who spent four years in South... 

Peugeot 2008 clinches Car of the Year title

By: Irma Venter     8th October 2021 The Peugeot 2008 sports-utility vehicle (SUV) has been named as the 2021 Car of the Year (COTY) by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ). The Toyota Hilux double-cab bakkie came in second, while the BMW 4 Series took the bronze medal. 

Facelifted Polo now being produced at Kariega plant, first local sales in 2022

By: Irma Venter     8th October 2021 Production of the new-look Polo has started at Volkswagen’s manufacturing plant in Kariega. Vehicle models typically receive a makeover in the middle of their life cycle. 

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