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Automotive News

Afreximbank, AAAM sign MoU on Africa auto industry financing 

By: Irma Venter     18th February 2021 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the financing and promotion of the automotive industry in Africa. “The strategic partnership with AAAM will facilitate the... 

Nissan SA to push start of Navara assembly to Q2, halt NP300 production 

By: Irma Venter     16th February 2021 Nissan South Africa (SA) will delay the start of volume production and sales of the Nissan Navara one-ton bakkie to June this year, says Nissan SA marketing director Stefan Haasbroek. He says this is owing to operational issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Nissan SA to push start of Navara assembly to Q2, halt NP300 production

New-vehicle sales to recover, but market fundamentals not healthy, says WesBank

By: Irma Venter     16th February 2021 New-vehicle sales will show double-digit growth this year off last year’s unforeseen low base, but will also continue to show a decline in real economic terms, says vehicle and asset finance provider WesBank. WesBank CEO Chris de Kock says two considerations need to be taken into account when... 

Chris de Kock
Chris de Kock

Aura builds WhatsApp security chatbot in partnership with Tracker

By: Irma Venter     15th February 2021 Security and medical response platform Aura has launched a WhatsApp security chatbot in partnership with stolen vehicle recovery specialist Tracker. Powered by Aura, the Tracker CareGuard service promises rapid mobile emergency response anywhere, anytime within South Africa. 

Aura builds WhatsApp security chatbot in partnership with Tracker

Daimler to split into two; majority listing of Daimler Truck on the cards 

By: Irma Venter     15th February 2021 German vehicle manufacturer Daimler says it plans a fundamental change in its structure, “designed to unlock the full potential of its businesses in a zero-emissions, software-driven future”.  The supervisory board and the board of management of Daimler says they have agreed to evaluate a... 

Daimler to split into two; majority listing of Daimler Truck on the cards 

Biden faces South African push to extend trade concessions

By: Bloomberg     15th February 2021 South Africa is apprehensive about striking a new trade deal with the US and would rather maintain existing relations with the world’s largest economy, the nation’s top trade official said. South Africa is currently party to the so-called Generalised System of Preferences and the African Growth... 

Mercedes-Benz South Africa signs e-sports partnership with ATK  

By: Irma Venter     12th February 2021 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and local electronic sports (e-sports) company ATK has announced the first-ever motorsport partnership to encompass e-sports teams, events and gaming spaces in the country.  MBSA will be the first motorsport sponsor for a South African e-sports team, entering the... 

Mercedes-Benz South Africa signs e-sports partnership with ATK 

South African car market faces challenging 2021, says TransUnion 

By: Irma Venter     12th February 2021 The South African automotive industry faces a challenging 2021, with new-vehicle prices continuing to climb well above the inflation rate in a market already severely constrained by the financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is according to the latest TransUnion South Africa Vehicle... 

South African car market faces challenging 2021, says TransUnion

Specialist installs humidifier at tobacco plant

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     12th February 2021 Humidification specialist Humidair, in collaboration with air conditioning contractor Fifty-two Engineering, completed a humidification project for a tobacco company in Edenvale, Gauteng at the end of last year. The project entailed the installation of large JetSpray humidifier systems comprising... 

Ford investing R15.8bn to build new Ranger in SA, mulling high-capacity rail corridor

By: Irma Venter     12th February 2021 Ford will invest R15.8-billion in its South African operations to produce the new-generation Ranger pickup at its Silverton assembly plant, in Tshwane, for the local, as well as more than 100 export markets, starting in 2022. The plant currently produces the current-generation Ranger pickup, also... 

Corolla Cross production at Toyota’s Durban plant to start in fourth quarter

By: Irma Venter     12th February 2021 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) will start production of the Corolla Cross at its Prospecton plant, in Durban, in the fourth quarter of this year. The sports-utility vehicle will be produced in both left- and right-hand-drive variants for the local market, as well as markets in the rest of... 

New owner sought for Bloodhound land-speed record project

By: Irma Venter     12th February 2021 The UK’s Bloodhound land-speed record (LSR) project is looking for a new owner to take the team through to its world LSR attempt in 2022.  In 2019, the Bloodhound team deployed to South Africa to conduct high-speed testing, with the car hitting a peak speed of 1 011 km/h, thereby proving that the... 

Vehicle finance on cusp of revolution, says WesBank’s Msibi 

By: Irma Venter     11th February 2021 The demands on financial institutions are changing rapidly as younger age groups start to actively participate in the acquisition of assets, says WesBank Motor CEO Ghana Msibi. “I expect the motoring industry, including vehicle finance, to evolve more in the next five years than it has in the... 

Ghana Msibi
Ghana Msibi

Stop AARTO now, says the Road Freight Association 

By: Irma Venter     10th February 2021 The Road Freight Association (RFA) says it is “shocked and deeply concerned” about the suspension of Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) CEO Japh Chuwe, amidst allegations of maladministration. “This has a severe impact on the implementation of the highly controversial Administrative... 

Gavin Kelly
Gavin Kelly

Buying or servicing a car? Things are about to change, says AutoTrader

By: Irma Venter     10th February 2021 There are significant changes on the horizon for the local automotive industry, and they will affect every South African seeking to buy, repair or service a car, says AutoTrader. The changes, effective July 1, are owing to a series of guidelines published by the Competition Commission last year,... 

Suzuki launches new entry into highly competitive affordable SUV market 

By: Irma Venter     9th February 2021 Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) this week unveiled India’s most popular compact sports-utility vehicle (SUV) to the local market – the Vitara Brezza. The Vitara Brezza was first introduced in India in 2016, with an upgraded model that arrived last year. It has since become the most popular... 

The new Vitara Brezza
The new Vitara Brezza

Mercedes-Benz SA postpones the launch of its first EV to 2022 

By: Irma Venter     8th February 2021 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has postponed the local introduction of its first fully electric vehicle (EV), the EQC. “The market introduction and start of sales of the EQC was set to take place in 2020, but due to the significant disruption of Covid-19 and other contributing factors, we took... 

The Mercedes-Benz EQA
The Mercedes-Benz EQA

Ford adds armoured Rangers to its local product portfolio

By: Irma Venter     5th February 2021 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA), together with SVI Engineering, have announced the availability of Ford-approved armoured protection for the Ranger pickup. “The Ranger is among the best-selling vehicles in South Africa, and the introduction of armoured protection will help establish... 

Ford adds armoured Rangers to its local product portfolio

UD Trucks sees L-shaped recovery in market, no news yet on Isuzu tie-up 

By: Irma Venter     5th February 2021 The South African new-truck market should see an L-shaped recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, says UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) marketing and sales director Rory Schulz. The 2020 combined medium, heavy and extra-heavy truck and bus market reached 22 736 units in 2020, down 19% from the 28... 

The new Croner LKE 210 freight carrier
The new Croner LKE 210 freight carrier

Private sector contributes R70m towards fight against gender-based violence and femicide

By: Yvonne Silaule     5th February 2021 Diversified miner Anglo American, financial services provider Absa and automotive manufacturer Ford have contributed a collective R70-million to support government's fight against gender-based violence and femicide. President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement during the virtual launch of the... 

International standards lacking locally

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     5th February 2021 Lubricants distributor OILY SA’s offering is comparable to that of other major oil companies, such as oil industry company Shell, petroleum refining company Total and independent lubricants manufacturer Fuchs, while the quality standards of locally manufactured lubricants have been found to be... 

Motus sharpening aim at used-car market with Motus Select

By: Irma Venter     5th February 2021 The JSE-listed Motus group has kicked off the year with the launch of Motus Select, which replaces the long-standing Imperial Select as the retail motor group’s pre-owned vehicle brand. Traditionally Motus Select was the used-car brand for only the Motus Hyundai, Kia and Renault multifranchise... 

Barloworld restructures Motor Retail business in R947m deal

By: Irma Venter     5th February 2021 Barloworld has entered into an agreement with NMI Durban South Motors (NMI-DSM) to dispose of its Motor Retail business as a going concern for R947-million. NMI-DSM is a joint venture in which Barloworld and the Akoo family hold a 50% interest each.  

Despite Covid-19 hazard, auto industry hopeful of 2021 sales recovery

By: Irma Venter     5th February 2021 This year should see the South African automotive industry claw back some of the losses experienced in 2020, despite the second wave of Covid-19 raging across the globe.  Market commentators believe the 2021 South African new-car market should improve on last year, and that the used-car market... 

Despite Covid-19 hazard, auto industry hopeful of 2021 sales recovery

Suzuki sets new record, even as local market tumbles

By: Irma Venter     5th February 2021 Despite the overall domestic new-vehicle market contracting by 29.1% last year, Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) and its 71 dealers celebrated the company’s most successful year since the launch of the Japanese small-car specialist in the local market. SASA grew its sales by 6.7% in 2020, to 16... 

Naacam hopes momentum seen at the end of 2020 carries through to the new year 

By: Irma Venter     4th February 2021 The South African component manufacturing sector had a tough 2020, says National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) executive director Renai Moothilal. There is, however, hope that some of the positive momentum seen at the end of last year can be sustained in... 

Renai Moothilal
Renai Moothilal

Ramaphosa lauds progress at Tshwane Automotive SEZ

By: Donna Slater     2nd February 2021 Despite the “massive challenges” posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, in visiting the newly established Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on February 2, said it was “great to see the progress” that had been made since construction started in August... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa attends a sod-turning ceremony at the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone in November 2019
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa attends a sod-turning ceremony at the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone in November 2019

Ford invests R15.8bn to build new Ranger in SA, high-capacity rail corridor in the works  

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 2021 Ford will invest R15.8-billion in its South African operations to produce the new-generation Ranger pickup at its Silverton assembly plant, in Tshwane, for the local, as well as more than 100 export markets, starting in 2022. The plant currently produces the current generation Ranger pickup, also... 

Work on the expansion of the Silverton plant has already started
Work on the expansion of the Silverton plant has already started

E-hailing platform Bolt launches women-only service

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 2021 E-hailing platform Bolt has launched a women-only service that enables women passengers to request rides from women drivers only. Women passengers who request the service will only connect with women drivers on the Bolt platform, with their request for a ride not visible to male drivers.  

New-vehicle sales drop by 14%; three years to recover from Covid-19, says Naamsa 

By: Irma Venter     1st February 2021 New-vehicle sales fell by 13.9% in January, to 34 784 units, compared with the same month last year. An estimated 28 716 units, or 82.6%, were dealer sales, with 11.4% going to the vehicle rental industry, 3.5% to government, and 2.5% of total sales to industry corporate fleets. 

New-vehicle sales drop by 14%; three years to recover from Covid-19, says Naamsa

Nada calls on government to reduce vehicle taxes  

By: Irma Venter     1st February 2021 The automotive industry needs a “significant financial stimulus package” from government to allow it to accelerate its recovery, says National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada) chairperson Mark Dommisse. “The most effective way to increase sales will be to make new vehicles more affordable... 

Nada calls on government to reduce vehicle taxes

Alstom completes acquisition of Bombardier Transportation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th January 2021 Rolling stock manufacturer Alstom has completed the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. Leveraging on its Alstom in Motion strategy and its strong operational fundamentals and financial trajectory, Alstom, integrating Bombardier Transportation, will strengthen its leadership in the growing... 

Hudaco says business remains ‘solid’, despite trauma, hardship of 2020 

By: Simone Liedtke     29th January 2021 Describing 2020 as “a year of great trauma and hardship for people the world over”, branded automotive, industrial and electronic consumable product importer and distributor Hudaco’s headline earnings a share for the 2020 financial year, ended November 30, were down by 22.5% to R10.50, while... 

Hudaco CEO Graham Dunford
Hudaco CEO Graham Dunford gives more insight into the company's financial results. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Italy’s Energica electric superbikes make their debut in SA

By: Irma Venter     29th January 2021 The Electronia group has signed an exclusive deal with Italy’s Energica Motor Company (EMC) to become the official local agent for its Energica electric superbikes.  Electronia is an electrical, solar and home automation company based in the Vaal Triangle, whose CEO, Kobus Janse van Rensburg, is... 

The Ego super bike
The Ego super bike

Toyota expects 2021 new-vehicle market to grow by 21%   

By: Irma Venter     29th January 2021 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) believes the domestic new-vehicle market may grow by 21% this year, to around 460 000 units, following a decline of 29% in 2020. TSAM president and CEO Andrew Kirby says the recovery seen in the latter half of a Covid-19-hit 2020 bodes well for an increase in... 

Toyota expects 2021 new-vehicle market to grow by 21% 
TSAM president and CEO Andrew Kirby discusses the new Corolla Cross that will be produced at the Durban plant from the end of the year.

Regulations force exhibition supplier to diversify

By: Cameron Mackay     29th January 2021 The Covid-19 pandemic has led to exhibition stand design and construction company RedAnt Design diversifying its offering to provide more design capabilities and solutions for virtual and hybrid shows. The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted on the business exhibition events and... 

INDUSTRY LOSSES 
While many event organising companies have survived by integrating digital aspects into previously held in-person events, suppliers’ events have been severely affected
INDUSTRY LOSSES While many event organising companies have survived by integrating digital aspects into previously held in-person events, suppliers’ events have been severely affected

Electric truck refrigeration manufacturer eyeing global market

By: Irma Venter     29th January 2021 South Africa’s Maxwell and Spark is ready to go global, says CEO Dr Clinton Bemont. Maxwell and Spark is a Durban-based lithium-ion (li-ion) battery and systems manufacturer, responsible for producing the world’s first li-ion  truck refrigeration unit – called the Fridge.Li. 

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