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Automotive News

Toyota replaces popular Etios with new Starlet

By: Irma Venter     13th November 2020 In August last year, Toyota and Suzuki announced a formal alliance between the two carmakers in order “to leverage each other’s strengths and compete in the evolving global vehicle market”.  Toyota’s expertise in hybrid technology and autonomous driving would be of benefit to Suzuki, while Toyota... 

Materials handling system performs well in local market

By: Donna Slater     12th November 2020 The Swedish-made Flexqube materials handling system, introduced to the South African market by materials handling company Lazar in June, offers users versatility in managing the transportation of goods within warehouse and factory type environments. Flexqube is a trolley or cart system based off... 

Metair appoints Sumitomo Rubber boss as new CEO

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2020 Metair has appointed Riaz Haffejee to replace outgoing CEO Theo Loock, with effect from February 1.  Metair is an international manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components. 

Metair appoints Sumitomo Rubber boss as new CEO
Riaz Haffejee

Absa considers a combined solar, EV finance package, should domestic market grow  

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2020 Absa is mulling the roll-out of a finance mechanism for electric vehicles (EVs) that will incorporate a solar home installation to charge that vehicle, says Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance (AVAF) business analytics and strategy head Henry Botha. However, before that can happen, South Africa’s EV... 

Absa considers a combined solar, EV finance package, should domestic market grow
Henry Botha

Absa wraps up its taxi assistance programme, leaves door open for affected operators 

By: Irma Venter     10th November 2020 The payment relief programme to assist minibus taxi owners with vehicle repayments through the Covid-19 lockdown period has just come to an end, says Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance (AVAF) head of dealer relationships for the Gauteng and Limpopo region, Fulufhelo Mandane, with Absa now considering... 

Absa wraps up its taxi assistance programme, leaves door open for affected operators

Motus launches its own digital vehicle marketplace 

By: Irma Venter     9th November 2020 The JSE-listed Motus group has launched its own digital vehicle marketplace, called motus.cars. This platform ties together all the Motus business entities in one digital location, with the aim to provide a simplified online shopping experience.  

Motus launches its own digital vehicle marketplace

KwaZulu-Natal automotive supplier park to be operational from 2021

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th November 2020 Durban’s R2.2-billion automotive supplier park special economic zone will be operational in 2021, with automotive manufacturer Toyota as one of the agreed tenants. It is projected that 1 339 jobs will be created as a result of the investment. 

Tim Abbott to depart BMW, but stay in South Africa; Van Binsbergen new CEO

By: Irma Venter     9th November 2020 South African-born Peter van Binsbergen has been appointed as the new CEO of BMW Group South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa (BMW SA). He replaces outgoing CEO Tim Abbott. Van Binsbergen, who will take up his new position on January 1, started his career 

Tim Abbott to depart BMW, but stay in South Africa; Van Binsbergen new CEO
Peter van Binsbergen

South Africa needs SMEs in its journey towards e-mobility 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th November 2020 The electric mobility (e-mobility) industry cannot be advanced without the help of local small and medium-sized enterprises and their participation in the sector, uYilo e-Mobility Programme director Hiten Parmar said on November 6. Speaking during the virtual Battery Technologies Webinar, on... 

Battery metals beneficiation holds ‘enormous potential’ for South Africa 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th November 2020 There is “enormous potential” for South Africa, should the country pursue green industrialisation and its manufacturing sector invest in the beneficiation of battery metals and the manufacture of various green products, such as electric vehicles (EVs), Department of Trade, Industry and... 

Suzuki keeps on growing as it breaks through the 2 000-unit-a-month barrier 

By: Irma Venter     6th November 2020 Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) sales have broken through the 2 000-unit-a-month barrier. The local arm of the Japanese small-car specialist started selling vehicles in South Africa in June, 2008. 

Suzuki keeps on growing as it breaks through the 2 000-unit-a-month barrier

VW CEO Diess says pandemic poses biggest near-term challenge

By: Bloomberg     6th November 2020 Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said the coronavirus pandemic poses the biggest near-term challenge for the world’s largest carmaker, hitting as the company shifts strategy to tackle climate change. While VW has a “healthy order bank” and remains confident on sales in the coming weeks, its... 

Shift in strategy to maximise offering

By: Halima Frost     6th November 2020 Bearings manufacturer and distributor SKF held a virtual webinar last month to discuss the company’s three-pronged strategy shift to better meet client requirements.  “The strategy has encouraged every part of the company to rethink the way it works, especially SKF’s core research and development... 

Shift in strategy to maximise offering
LEARNING CURVE The ability to re-look at the company's research and development strategy has been important to SKF during the Covid-19 pandemic

New bearing brand well received

By: Halima Frost     6th November 2020 Bearings and accessories distributor Bearings International (BI) says the range from bearing manufacturer Craft Bearings has drawn a positive response across different sectors, with notable successes in the food and beverage, agriculture and mining sectors. “BI was granted the status of exclusive... 

New bearing brand well received
COMPREHENSIVELY CRAFTY The comprehensive range of Craft Bearings is now being distributed in South African and it's neighbouring countries

Bearings supplier awarded distributorship  

By: Halima Frost     6th November 2020 Bearing manufacturer and distributor ISO Bearings South Africa has launched a substantial marketing drive to announce its being a distributor of bearing manufacturer FYH Bearings in Southern and South Africa. ISO Bearings GM Bennie van Niekerk tells Engineering News that the new brand was... 

Bearings supplier awarded distributorship
ISO Bearings GM Bennie van Niekerk discusses the company’s becoming a distributor of the FYH brand of bearings in South Africa. Camerawork: Halima Frost. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Pandemic prompts local focus on energy efficiency

By: Cameron Mackay     6th November 2020 Owing to Covid-19, the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) has witnessed an increase in the number of new applications from companies for the Section 12L Energy Efficiency tax incentive. “With companies aiming to be competitive under the pandemic and remain in business,... 

Pandemic prompts  local focus on  energy efficiency
BARRY BREDENKAMP The economic benefits of energy efficiency are indisputable and will assist companies that are re-starting their operations

BMW to set up pilot plant as it aims for large-scale battery-cell production 

By: Irma Venter     6th November 2020 The BMW Group will set up a pilot plant to produce lithium-ion battery cells. This comes as the German carmaker seeks to penetrate all aspects of the battery-cell value chain: from selection of materials to battery cell composition and design, all the way to near-standard production and recycling.  

Number and prices of financed vehicles up in August, September – TransUnion

By: Irma Venter     6th November 2020 The South African car market showed signs of resilience in the third quarter of the year as it bounced back from an all-time-low second quarter to record month-on-month increases in the number of new and used cars financed in August and September, according to the latest TransUnion South African... 

Electric trucks on the radar for South Africa, says Daimler

By: Irma Venter     6th November 2020 There is “definitely a demand for alternative drive vehicles in South Africa”, although the diesel engine, or internal combustion engine, will continue to play an important role in the local transport industry, says Daimler Trucks Southern Africa product management head Christo Kleynhans. “We... 

Bidvest International Logistics launches road-freight management portal

By: Irma Venter     6th November 2020 Bidvest International Logistics (BIL) has launched a new road-freight portal that will allow clients to manage deliveries from start to end.  “It takes away the pain of having to procure transport service providers and still manage them,” says BIL road freight director Marcus Ellappan. 

Nissan unveils new-look Navara, local production to start early next year

By: Irma Venter     5th November 2020 Japanese car marker Nissan has unveiled the spruced up Navara bakkie that will be made in South Africa and exported to sub-Saharan markets. Production of the new Navara at the Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria, will start in the first quarter of next year. 

Nissan unveils new-look Navara, local production to start early next year
The new Navara

Golden Arrow operator keen on running passenger rail service in Cape Town 

By: Irma Venter     5th November 2020 Hosken Passenger Logistics & Rail (HPL&R), which among others operates the Golden Arrow bus service in Cape Town, is interested in expanding its operations to become a private participant in the country’s rail sector, confirms HPL&R spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer. HPL&R is listed on the JSE, and... 

Golden Arrow operator keen on running passenger rail service in Cape Town

Volvo Trucks to test LNG trucks for possible South African debut 

By: Irma Venter     5th November 2020 Volvo Trucks Southern Africa has brought two liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks to South Africa to test their performance under local conditions.  The trucks have specifically been developed for heavy regional and long-haul operations. 

Volvo Trucks to test LNG trucks for possible South African debut 
The Volvo LNG truck

e-mobility, EVs present opportunities for SADC, but action required

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th November 2020 The uptake of e-mobility and electric vehicles (EVs) is set to increase globally and this provides a myriad of opportunities for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, especially given its endowment of natural resources used in the production of the batteries used in these... 

Eastern Cape’s localisation supermarket sees healthy uptake 

By: Irma Venter     4th November 2020 Local companies have made bids to produce 25% of the automotive parts listed in the Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape’s (AIDC EC’s) Localisation Supermarket. The Localisation Supermarket is both a physical showcase and online catalogue of automotive components that are currently... 

Eastern Cape’s localisation supermarket sees healthy uptake

Fugitive auto executive Ghosn settles scores in new French book

By: Bloomberg     4th November 2020 Executive-turned-international fugitive Carlos Ghosn is gunning for revenge in a new book published this week about the events surrounding his November 2018 arrest in Tokyo, 130-day Japanese imprisonment and dramatic escape to Lebanon. The former high-flying chairman of Nissan Motor Co. and... 

Audi Africa appoints new head

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2020 Audi South Africa has announced the appointment of Sascha Sauer as the new head of Audi Africa.  He replaces Trevor Hill, who has taken up a position within the Audi Sport division abroad. 

Audi Africa appoints new head
Sascha Sauer

Next year could see local auto industry regain some momentum 

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2020 Next year could see the local automotive industry regain some momentum in terms of domestic sales, exports and production, but it will not manage to claw back all of the losses recorded in a Covid-19-hit 2020. The newest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa)... 

Next year could see local auto industry regain some momentum

Volvo sells UD Trucks to Isuzu as part of alliance deal, impact in SA unclear

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2020 Sweden’s Volvo Group and Japan’s Isuzu Motors have agreed to form a strategic alliance within the commercial vehicle sector, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding signed in 2019.  The agreement includes Isuzu Motors’ acquisition of UD Trucks from the Volvo Group for 243-billion yen. 

Volvo sells UD Trucks to Isuzu as part of alliance deal, impact in SA unclear

New-vehicle sales down 25.4% in October, exports at risk as second Covid wave hits Europe 

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2020 Total South African new-vehicle sales declined by 25.4% in October, to 38 752 units, compared with the 51 968 vehicles sold in the same month last year. The new-passenger-car market also fell by 25.4%, to 26 793 units.  

New-vehicle sales down 25.4% in October, exports at risk as second Covid wave hits Europe

Local consumers ready for EVs, but they seek cheaper cars with more range  

By: Irma Venter     2nd November 2020 The 2020 South Africa Electric Vehicle (EV) Car Buyer Survey shows that consumers are ready to buy EVs, and that they are willing to do so in the next five years. However, they want a vehicle that costs less than R500 000 and they want more range and faster charging than what is currently the... 

Local consumers ready for EVs, but they seek cheaper cars with more range
George Mienie

Volvo Group and Daimler Truck sign agreement for new fuel-cell JV

By: Irma Venter     2nd November 2020 The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck have signed a binding agreement for a joint venture (JV) to develop, produce and commercialise fuel-cell systems for use in heavy-duty trucks as the primary focus, as well as other applications.  Both partners say they hope to make the new company a leading... 

Hyundai South Africa expects 15% drop in sales for 2020 

By: Irma Venter     30th October 2020 Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) will probably record a 15% drop in new-vehicle sales in 2020, says CEO Niall Lynch. This is better than the 25% to 30% drop expected in the overall domestic new-vehicle market, he adds. 

Hyundai South Africa expects 15% drop in sales for 2020
The new Grand i10

Bank to play pivotal role in recovery plan

By: Cameron Mackay     30th October 2020 State-owned development finance institution Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is looking to accelerate playing a meaningful role in the economic recovery of the country by assisting in financing and implementing vital infrastructure projects for the transport sector, particularly road... 

Bank to play pivotal role in recovery plan
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY The DBSA sees roads infrastructure and other transport sector infrastructure as key to stimulating economic growth and social inclusion

Daimler’s first hydrogen fuel-cell truck to start customer trials in 2023

By: Irma Venter     30th October 2020 Daimler Trucks has unveiled its first hydrogen-based fuel cell truck. The GenH2 Truck is aimed at the long-haul transport market and marks the beginning of commercial fuel cell drive development for the German truck maker. 

Cartrack's operating profit up 16%, despite Covid-19 disruptions

By: Irma Venter     30th October 2020 Covid-19 was like getting a puncture when you are driving really fast on the highway, says Cartrack CEO Zak Calisto. “We were ready to grow in the 2021 financial year, and we still got growth, but not quite what we anticipated, or what we had planned for, but our economies of scale allowed us to... 

GWM’s new P Series bakkie set for November local launch

By: Irma Venter     30th October 2020 Haval Motors South Africa (HMSA) has announced that the GWM P Series bakkie will make its local debut in late November. HMSA says the P Series will be available in 16 derivatives in South Africa and other countries in the Southern African Development Community region, including single and double... 

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