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Automotive News

Host of new tech sees Merc trucks save up to 5% on fuel

By: Irma Venter     14th August 2020 The new Actros heavy-duty truck launched in South Africa comes with a host of “next-level innovations”, says Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) CEO Michael Dietz. These include the absence of outside mirrors in favour of in-cab screens (mounted on the A-pillars), which are linked to... 

Sappi, Fiat in project to help reduce the carbon footprint of cars

By: Irma Venter     14th August 2020 Sappi’s Symbio biocomposite cellulose fibre, derived from responsibly managed renewable forests, has been chosen as the feedstock for the development of lightweight biocomposite materials for the Life Biobcompo project.  This project aims to reduce vehicle carbon dioxide emissions by 8% through... 

SAVE-P signs contract for 2 000 ventilators, looks to assist India, rest of Africa

By: Irma Venter     14th August 2020 The Solidarity Fund has concluded a contract with the South African Emergency Ventilator Project (SAVE-P) to produce 2 000 new ventilators that will be donated to the national Department of Health. SAVE-P is a Durban-based nonprofit organisation (NPO) started by local businessperson Justin... 

Fiat Chrysler SA appoints new CEO

By: Irma Venter     14th August 2020 As part of a restructuring in some African markets, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced the appointment of Ismaeel Hassen as the new CEO for FCA South Africa (SA).  Outgoing CEO Pierre Martin Bos will now head up the company’s operations in Morocco. 

EVs of all kinds to overtake ICEs by 2030, says KPMG survey 

By: Irma Venter     13th August 2020 For the first time in the history of the KPMG Global Automotive Executive Survey, executives think that by 2030 the largest share of vehicles will not be powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE). Executives also feel that fuel-cell electric vehicles (FECVs), battery-electric vehicles... 

EVs of all kinds to overtake ICEs by 2030, says KPMG survey

Naacam, Proudly SA launch portal for face shield producers 

By: Irma Venter     12th August 2020 The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) has joined forces with Proudly South Africa (SA) to launch a Web portal to list the manufacturers of locally produced face shields and visors. A similar portal was launched for face mask producers in May. 

Naacam, Proudly SA launch portal for face shield producers

It’s all online now, just like buying computers and houses, says Motomatch 

By: Irma Venter     11th August 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the proliferation and expansion of online tools in an effort to deal with the demands of physical distancing, with this also the case in the automotive industry.  One of these tools is Motomatch, a virtual marketplace and lead generator that aims to assist dealers... 

It’s all online now, just like buying computers and houses, says Motomatch 

Africa's first electric bus plant will industrialise Uganda while fighting pollution

By: Bloomberg     11th August 2020 The road from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, to Jinja, the site of Africa’s first electric bus factory, was packed with cars on a July morning. The traffic crawled. Breathing hurt your throat. Kampala was the most polluted city in the world that day, according to OpenAQ, a global air pollution... 

New-vehicle export revenue declined by R21bn in H1 2020 

By: Irma Venter     11th August 2020 Vehicle exports from South Africa declined by 73 419 vehicles, or 40.3%, in the first half of the year compared with 2019, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) trade, exports and research executive manager Dr Norman Lamprecht. This decline saw vehicle... 

New-vehicle export revenue declined by R21bn in H1 2020
Norman Lamprecht

Create, own your own driving data through AA Connected Car 

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 Ordinary motorists may now have access to the digital details of their driving behaviour and vehicle performance, through the launch of the Automobile Association (AA’s) Connected Car.  “This is a truly fantastic product which will not only give individual drivers, but also fleet managers, access... 

Create, own your own driving data through AA Connected Car
Gert Pretorius (left) and Willem Groenewald

Cautious optimism in used-car market, says AutoTrader

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 There is reason for “cautious optimism” when it comes to the used-car market in South Africa, says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie. “Prices have begun to increase – albeit slightly – while cars are also selling faster than experienced earlier this year. Both of these factors bode well for the... 

Fiat, Peugeot merge to form Stellantis, but no changes yet in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 Peugeot (Groupe PSA) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have announced the corporate name of the new group as they move towards the completion of a 50:50 merger as defined in the combination agreement announced on December 18 last year. The corporate name of the new automaker will be Stellantis. 

Hyundai installs rooftop solar system at its parts centre

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) has cut the ribbon on a more than R3-million  solar energy system at its parts distribution centre (PDC) in Ekurhuleni. 

Project completed using rope access

By: Theresa Bhowan     7th August 2020 Rope access specialist Skyriders completed the removal of a layer of cementitious fireproofing and insulating material from a spherical gas storage tank at a petrochemicals producer, in Mpumalanga, during the first quarter of 2020. 

Project completed  using rope access
SAFELY SOARING Rope access was deemed the safest option, as the fireproofing was not stable enough to allow for other more traditional means of access to get close to the gas storage tank

2020 Sasol Solar Challenge postponed to early 2021

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 The 2020 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) has been postponed to early 2021. The solar car racing event is provisionally scheduled to take place from February 19 to February 26, 2021, instead of September this year, as initially planned, say the organisers. 

Local vehicle production to decline by 31% in 2020, says Naamsa 

By: Irma Venter     5th August 2020 Following record new-vehicle production of 631 983 units in 2019, supported by record vehicle exports, 2020 vehicle production is expected to decline by about 31%, to 435 500 units, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its newest quarterly business... 

Local vehicle production to decline by 31% in 2020, says Naamsa

Sluggish growth in safety features on entry-level cars, says AA report 

By: Irma Venter     5th August 2020 The number of safety features on entry-level vehicles remains low in South Africa, although there have been some positive developments. This is according to the 2020 Automobile Association (AA) Entry-Level Vehicle Safety (ELVS) report, which assesses available safety features on entry-level... 

Sluggish growth in safety features on entry-level cars, says AA report

July new-vehicle sales decline by 30%

By: Irma Venter     4th August 2020 Total South African new-vehicle sales declined by 29.6% in July, to 32 396 units, compared with the 46 042 vehicles sold in the same month last year. The new-passenger-car market fell by 35.8% to 18 905 units. 

July new-vehicle sales decline by 30%

Volkswagen adds Ghana to its list of African assembly plants

By: Irma Venter     4th August 2020 Volkswagen has cut the ribbon on a new vehicle assembly facility in Accra, the capital of Ghana. This makes Ghana the fifth Volkswagen vehicle assembly location in sub-Saharan Africa, with the other plants in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda. 

Volkswagen adds Ghana to its list of African assembly plants

Tribunal confirms order against Japan-based company

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd August 2020 The Competition Commission has welcomed the decision by the Competition Tribunal to confirm, as an order, the consent agreement between the commission and a Japanese company, Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI), for fixing prices, dividing market and collusive tendering in contravention of the... 

Schäfer leaves VWSA to become ŠKODA Auto CEO 

By: Irma Venter     3rd August 2020 Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) chairperson and MD Thomas Schäfer is departing the local arm of the German car maker to join ŠKODA Auto as its new global CEO, effective August 3. The Czech brand has been part of the Volkswagen group since 1991. 

Schäfer leaves VWSA to become ŠKODA Auto CEO
Thomas Schäfer

Used-car market value climbs 3.8% to more than R100bn, says AutoTrader 

By: Irma Venter     3rd August 2020 AutoTrader’s new yearly used-car industry report, launched on August 3, shows that South Africans used the country’s largest digital used-car trading portal to conduct 401-million online searches from July last year to the end of June this year.  This is an all-time record and an almost 40%... 

Used-car market value climbs 3.8% to more than R100bn, says AutoTrader

New-vehicle pricing increasing sharply, shows TransUnion index

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2020 The South African car market experienced record lows in the second quarter of the year, as the combination of minimal trading owing to the Covid-19 lockdown and the depressed economy saw a 71% decline in the number of new and used cars financed over the same period in 2019. This is according to... 

New-vehicle pricing increasing sharply, shows TransUnion index

RAV vaccination of pregnant women could prevent pneumonia in babies – Wits prof leads study

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st July 2020 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Professor Shabir Madhi has uncovered that immunising pregnant women with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine could prevent pneumonia in babies. Madhi is leading Africa’s first coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trial. 

RAV vaccination of pregnant women could prevent pneumonia in babies – Wits prof leads study

Covid-19 compliance exacting huge costs on contracted bus sector

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2020 It costs about R1.3-million a day, or R34-million a month, for the contracted public transport bus sector to adhere to the hygiene and safety protocols implemented under the Covid-19 pandemic, says South African Bus Operators Association (Saboa) executive manager Bazil Govender. The sector... 

Coega Development Corporation to implement Tshwane auto SEZ

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2020 The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), the developer and operator of the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ), has been appointed as the implementing agent to develop and operate the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ).  The CDC, as a public entity, is the implementing agent of... 

Ariya electric car, five new SUVs destined for local market – Nissan SA

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2020 Nissan South Africa (Nissan SA) will launch seven new models in South Africa in the next two years in an effort to streamline its product portfolio in line with international developments at the Japanese manufacturer, says Nissan SA CEO Shinkichi Izumi. These launches will have a strong focus on... 

Mazda unveils new BT-50 bakkie

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2020 Mazda Motor Corporation has lifted the veil on its all-new Mazda BT-50 bakkie.  Fully redesigned for the first time in nine years, the new BT-50 is supplied by fellow Japanese manufacturer Isuzu Motor Limited.  

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

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2020 The BMW Group will set up a pilot plant to produce lithium-ion battery cells. This comes as the German car maker 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... 

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

SAVE-P signs contract for 2 000 ventilators, looks to assist India, rest of Africa 

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2020 The Solidarity Fund has concluded a contract with the South African Emergency Ventilator Project (SAVE-P) to produce 2 000 new ventilators that will be donated to the national Department of Health. SAVE-P is a Durban-based nonprofit organisation (NPO) started by local businessman Justin Corbett... 

SAVE-P signs contract for 2 000 ventilators, looks to assist India, rest of Africa
The CPAP 100

'Relief' as Toyota confirms R2.5bn hybrid production in Durban

By: African News Agency      29th July 2020 KwaZulu-Natal's MEC for economic development, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, on Wednesday expressed "relief" after Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) confirmed a R2.5 billion investment in the province's automotive economy.  The company will be building a hybrid synergy drive (petro-electric) car at its plant... 

 'Relief' as Toyota confirms R2.5bn hybrid production in Durban
Photo by Supplied by KZN EDTEA
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs during a meeting with Toyota South Africa

National Automobile Dealers’ Association appoints Marcia Mayaba as VP

By: Irma Venter     28th July 2020 Barloworld Motor Retail franchise executive Marcia Mayaba has been elected as National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada) VP. “We are extremely excited to have Marcia on board,” says Nada chairperson Mark Dommisse. “We look forward to working closely with her on various matters impacting... 

National Automobile Dealers’ Association appoints Marcia Mayaba as VP
Marcia Mayaba

Nissan’s Mike Whitfield elected as AAAM president

By: Irma Venter     28th July 2020 Nissan Africa South (NAS) chairperson Mike Whitfield has been elected president of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM). He replaces Volkswagen Group of South Africa chairperson and MD Thomas Schäfer. 

Nissan’s Mike Whitfield elected as AAAM president
Mike Whitfield

Cautious optimism in used-car market, says AutoTrader 

By: Irma Venter     27th July 2020 There is reason for “cautious optimism” when it comes to the used-car market in South Africa, says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie. “Prices have begun to increase – albeit slightly – while cars are also selling faster than experienced earlier this year. Both of these factors bode well for the... 

Cautious optimism in used-car market, says AutoTrader

Premium car market to decline by 35%, Land Rover to gain from new Defender

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 South Africa’s new premium car market was down 45% for the first six months of the year compared with 2019, says Jaguar Land Rover South Africa (JLR SA) MD Richard Gouverneur. “We are expecting a gradual recovery for the rest of the year. We expect that the premium market will be down 35% for the... 

Premium car market to decline by 35%, Land Rover to gain from new Defender
The new 110 Defender

Auto repairs without a workshop

24th July 2020 Local manufacturer and supplier Pratley offers a wide range of flexible and cost-effective do-it-yourself adhesive products that are ideal for “quick, on-the-spot automotive repairs” where engineering workshops are often unavailable, such as in rural and informal settlements. To repair engine... 

Auto repairs without a workshop
ON-THE-SPOT REPAIRS Pratley offers a range of products, such as Pratley 1-2-3, that can be used where engineering workshops are often unavailable

Toyota starts construction on R365m parts warehouse

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 Work has begun in earnest at the Toyota Parts Distribution Warehouse, in Atlas road, East Rand, where Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is doubling the facility’s size from 40 000 m² to 80 000 m².  TSAM is investing R365-million in the project and, when completed in 2021, the facility will be the... 

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