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Automotive News

Metair to revisit plan to split in two as it returns to profit 

By: Irma Venter     19th August 2021 Metair will revisit its plan to potentially split into two following the recovery of its business in the six months to end June. Metair manufactures, assembles, distributes and retails energy storage products and automotive components in Africa, Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Russia. 

Chery returns to the local market with former Haval boss at the helm

By: Irma Venter     18th August 2021 Chinese car manufacturer Chery is returning to the South African market, this time as a wholly owned subsidiary of its parent company. The company’s first foray into South Africa was through McCarthy, followed by the Imperial group, now known as Motus. 

Image of the Chery range of vehicles

UK provides new funding for research to develop cleaner automotive technologies

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th August 2021 The UK government and UK automotive industry are jointly funding four projects intended to significantly advance low carbon emission vehicle technologies, it was announced on Wednesday. The total funding comes to £91.7-million (about R1.88-billion), and is being awarded through the Advanced... 

Stellantis to invest €30-billion-plus in electrification, software development 

By: Irma Venter     17th August 2021 Stellantis, the manufacturer and owner of the Jeep, Peugeot, Opel, Alfa, Fiat and Citroën brands, says its low-emission vehicle (LEV) mix for passenger cars in Europe is targeted to grow to more than 70% through to 2030. In the US, its LEV mix for passenger cars and light-duty trucks is expected... 

Image of the Stellantis logo

Serco steps up truck repairs following KZN unrest, estimates 100 trucks destroyed

By: Irma Venter     17th August 2021 Truck and trailer building company Serco says it is fast-tracking the construction of vehicles, as well as repairs to vehicles, as it works to help the transport and food sectors return to normal in the wake of the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng. Serco CEO Clint Holcroft says... 

Image of Serco CEO Clint Holcroft
Clint Holcroft

EV makers eye bigger battery-metals role by inking mining deals

By: Bloomberg     17th August 2021 Electric vehicle (EV) makers are pushing for an intermediary role in mining to secure supplies of key battery metals, according to the head of Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. “We’ve had discussions on that and Tesla has definitely explored these options,” CEO Randy Smallwood said Friday in a phone... 

Wheaton Precious Metals CEO Randy Smallwood
Wheaton Precious Metals CEO Randy Smallwood

FCA SA, PCSA merge into Stellantis SA; no impact on employment numbers 

By: Irma Venter     16th August 2021 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles South Africa (FCA SA) and Peugeot Citroën South Africa (PCSA) have officially merged in the domestic market, reflecting the marriage between its parent companies into a new company called Stellantis. “Stellantis is now an official entity in the South African landscape,... 

An image of Stellantis SA MD Leslie Ramsoomar
Leslie Ramsoomar

New generation Isuzu mu-X to arrive by the end of the year

By: Irma Venter     16th August 2021 Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSA) says the second generation seven-seater mu-X sports-utility vehicle will be launched in South Africa later this year.  “The upcoming Isuzu mu-X is a game changer for us, as it offers class-leading driver assistance technology, new state-of-the art powertrains, and... 

Image of the 2021 Isuzu mu-X
The new Isuzu mu-X

Robots Shelby and Miles lend a helping hand at Ford Weather Factory

By: Irma Venter     13th August 2021 Ford’s Weather Factory allows engineers to simulate a range of extreme conditions under one roof. This means vehicles can be tested in conditions similar to those found in the Sahara Desert, in Siberia, or atop the tallest Alpine peaks. However, even the most experienced human test drivers may... 

Photo of robot in action at the Ford Weather Factory

Unrest, Transnet cyberattack cost BMW SA R200m in lost sales 

By: Irma Venter     13th August 2021 The recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, as well as the subsequent cyberattack on Transnet that caused major disruptions to South Africa’s port operations, cost BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) an estimated R200-million in lost vehicle sales, says corporate communications and... 

BMW X3s ready to be exported from Rosslyn plant

Toyota’s ‘much-loved and admired’ Johan van Zyl passes away

By: Irma Venter     13th August 2021 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) chairperson Dr Johan van Zyl passed away at the end of July from complications related to Covid-19. TSAM said in a statement mourning the loss of ‘The Doc’, as he was affectionately known, that he had an uncanny sense of knowing just what consumers wanted, and... 

Auto industry takes R3bn hit due to civil unrest, Transnet outage and lockdown restrictions

By: Irma Venter     13th August 2021 The events that dominated the headlines in July in South Africa cost the local automotive industry well over R3-billion, says Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council CEO Mikel Mabasa. These include looting and civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and certain parts of Gauteng, a cyberattack on Transnet... 

Global spark plug maker, local unit face prosecution for collusion

By: Irma Venter     13th August 2021 The Competition Commission (Comp Comm) has filed a referral with the Competition Tribunal for prosecution against NGK Spark Plug (NGK) and its South African subsidiary, NGK Spark Plugs South Africa (NGK SA), for their involvement in price fixing, market division and collusive tendering. The Comp... 

Hard-to-fill vacancies prevalent in the automotive component supply base 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th August 2021 Hard-to-fill (HTF) vacancies are prevalent in the automotive component supply base in South Africa, a survey has found. High Gear’s second Quarterly Skills Survey, which is administered by National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM), shows that 90% of... 

Merc aims to go all electric ‘where markets allow’; first EV to launch in SA in 2022 

By: Irma Venter     12th August 2021 Mercedes-Benz it is getting ready to go “all electric” by the end of the decade, “where market conditions allow”. By 2022, the German car maker says it will have battery electric vehicles (BEV) in all segments of the market the company serves.  

Image of the Mercedes-Benz EQS
The Mercedes-Benz EQS

Commuter mobility platform Zeelo raises R175m for expansion project  

By: Irma Venter     11th August 2021 Zeelo, a smart commuter mobility platform for organisations in South Africa and Europe, has raised R175-million to accelerate its expansion in Africa, the UK, the US and Europe. The funding will also aid investment in Zeelo’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology offering, and its continued... 

Image of a Zeelo bus

Continental appoints new senior management at its local plant

By: Irma Venter     10th August 2021 Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) has appointed a new senior management team for its tyre manufacturing plant in Gqeberha, Continental’s only tyre production facility in Africa. Ahmed Boualam is the new manufacturing GM, with responsibility for overall management of plant operations.  

A photo of CTSA's Ahmed Boualam
Ahmed Boualam

Used-car market continues to surge, prices set to rise even further ­– AutoTrader 

By: Irma Venter     10th August 2021 Digital motoring marketplace AutoTrader saw a 36% increase in searches for used-vehicles in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. However, normalising for lockdown in the second quarter of last year, vehicle-search growth would have been 26%, says AutoTrader CEO... 

A photo of AutoTrader CEO George Mienie
George Mienie

Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa restructures its executive management

By: Irma Venter     6th August 2021 Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) has named Ziyad Gaba as customer service, parts and downstream VP, and Maretha Gerber as sales and marketing VP. Gaba was previously at the helm of Fuso Trucks Southern Africa, with Gerber head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks Southern Africa. 

A photo of DTBSA's Maretha Gerber
Maretha Gerber

Latest lockdown and civil unrest could stunt auto industry’s green shoots, says TransUnion 

By: Irma Venter     6th August 2021 While the latest indicators for the second quarter (Q2) of the year suggest an uptick in the local car market, the combined effects of the third-wave Covid-19 lockdown and the civil unrest witnessed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July, could take a heavy toll on the South African automotive... 

Image of cars in a row

Control tower effectively monitors transport of chemicals

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 Specialist transport company Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions has noted a 42% improvement in driver awareness, while distracted driving incidents have decreased by 45%, since the launch of its centralised control tower in January 2017. The control tower manages Unitrans’ chemical, petrochemical,... 

An image of a large Unitrans truck bearing an abnormal loads sign
VANTAGE POINT Unitrans' new control tower uses new tech, trained staff and an aerial view of its yard to successfully dispatch its trucks throughout S. Africa

Online vehicle searches accelerate to new record

By: Irma Venter     6th August 2021 The 2021 AutoTrader Midyear Industry Report reveals that online vehicle searches on AutoTrader have reached a new record. Covering the period from January 1 to June 30, 2021, the report notes a new record of more than 319-million online vehicle searches, representing 44% growth year-on-year. 

KZN, Gauteng mayhem had ‘massive impact’ on truckers’ ability to deliver goods

By: Irma Venter     6th August 2021 Data released by telematics company Netstar has revealed the massive impact the widespread protests and looting seen in July had on the trucking industry’s ability to deliver goods to market. Netstar says three major clients lost more than 613 000 km in delivery miles in just five days.  

A round of the 2022 Formula E race to be staged in Cape Town

By: Irma Venter     6th August 2021 Cape Town is to host a round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, says Jaguar and e-Movement. e-Movement is the promoter of the Cape Town race, set to follow events in Saudi Arabia and Mexico. 

Audi to launch six electric vehicle models in South Africa next year 

By: Irma Venter     5th August 2021 Audi South Africa will go full throttle on electric vehicles (EVs) next year, when it plans to introduce six electric models across three different model ranges to the local market. The follows the announcement earlier this year by the German luxury brand that by 2026 every new Audi model... 

Image of a model in the Audi e-tron range
The Audi e-tron range will come to South Africa early next year

Board gives go-ahead for Daimler split, SA to follow 

By: Irma Venter     4th August 2021 The management board and supervisory board of German car and truck maker Daimler have given the go-ahead for the group to split in two: Mercedes-Benz Group and Daimler Truck. Daimler shareholders are set to decide on the company realignment at an extraordinary general meeting on October 1. 

Image of the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star

Ford South Africa appoints Yota Baron as new CFO 

By: Irma Venter     4th August 2021 Yota Baron has been appointed as the new CFO for Ford South Africa. She previously served as CFO for direct markets within the Ford International Markets group. 

A photo of Yota Baron, Ford SA CFO
Yota Baron

TVET intervention aims to boost engineering skills pipeline in Eastern Cape 

By: Irma Venter     3rd August 2021 An intervention launched with public technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in the Eastern Cape is expected to aid the output of engineering training and boost the pipeline of skills required by South Africa’s automotive industry. The intervention will place mechanical... 

An image of IYF programme manager Masakhane Mlamla, AIDC EC project coordinator Priscilla Fry and AIDC EC CEO Thabo Shenxane
IYF programme manager Masakhane Mlamla, AIDC EC project coordinator Priscilla Fry and AIDC EC CEO Thabo Shenxane

Perfect storm took heavy toll on motor industry – NADA, WesBank 

By: Irma Venter     3rd August 2021 The South African economy, including the automotive industry, was hit by the perfect storm last month, says National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) chairperson Mark Dommisse. “This is not limited to July and will, in all likelihood, have an ongoing negative effect for several months to... 

Graph of July 2021 sales division in SA auto market
July 2021 new-vehicle sales

Auto industry takes R3bn hit due to unrest, Transnet outage; exports drop by 33% 

By: Irma Venter     2nd August 2021 The events that dominated the headlines in July in South Africa cost the local automotive industry well over R3-billion, says Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council CEO Mikel Mabasa. These include looting and civil unrest in Kwazulu-Natal and certain parts of Gauteng, a cyberattack on Transnet... 

Image of a burnt out bus

BMW SA appoints Deena Govender as product communications head

By: Irma Venter     2nd August 2021 BMW Group South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa (BMW SA) has announced the appointment of Deena Govender as its new head of product communications.   Govender will also take responsibility for the overall steering, as operational lead, of the corporate communications and government affairs portfolio... 

Deena Govender
Deena Govender

Toyota’s Johan van Zyl passes away

By: Irma Venter     2nd August 2021 The chairperson of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), Dr Johan van Zyl, passed away on Friday evening from complications related to Covid-19. TSAM says in a statement mourning the loss of ‘The Doc’, as he was affectionately known, that he had an uncanny sense of knowing just what consumers... 

A photo of former TSAM chairperson Dr Johan van Zyl
Dr Johan van Zyl

French hydrogen sedan manufacturer unveils first rolling prototype 

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2021 French manufacturer of hydrogen-powered sedans, Hopium, has unveiled its first rolling prototype in Paris. Announced in October, last year, and produced in record time in the Linas-Montlhéry test workshop, the vehicle, called the Alpha 0, certifies the reliability of the fuel-cell system, says... 

The Hopium Alpha 0
The Hopium Alpha 0 prototype

VivoPower eyes electric Land Cruiser conversion partnership with Toyota Australia 

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2021 VivoPower International has entered into a binding letter of intent (LoI) with Toyota Australia to collaborate on the electrification of Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles using conversion kits designed and manufactured by VivoPower’s wholly-owned electric vehicle (EV) subsidiary, Tembo e-LV. The LoI... 

Photo of Vivopower's electric Land Cruiser
Vivopower's electric Land Cruiser

Govt has ‘gone a long way’ towards allaying fears of future looting in KZN – Toyota

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2021 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has confirmed the authenticity of a letter from its head office in Japan to Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, dated July 15, requesting that local government set out its proposed measures to stop the widespread looting seen in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this month, as well... 

Sumitomo Rubber loses 70 000 tyres to looters

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2021 Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), manufacturer of the Dunlop tyre brand, has warned consumers that goods stolen at its KwaZulu-Natal warehouse are currently being advertised for sale on social media and online classifieds sites. SRSA says that its Durban Westville warehouse was invaded and... 

Volkswagen SA sells 6 824 more vehicles in H1 than in same period last year

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2021 Volkswagen South Africa sold 32 603 vehicles in the first half of the year – 6 824 more than in the same period last year.  The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand has sold 29 772 units to date this year, while Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has sold 2 881 units.  

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