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Automotive News

Covid-19 is pushing back start of Navara production, says Nissan SA

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 The start of assembly of the one-ton Navara pick-up at Nissan South Africa’s (Nissan SA’s) Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria, has been pushed back from November to early next year, says Nissan Group of Africa MD Shinkichi Izumi. “Covid-19 has caused a slight delay in the start of production.” 

BMW SA expects premium market to slump by 20%

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 The South African premium new-car market will probably decline by about 20% in 2020, says BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (BMW SA) CEO Tim Abbott. Although he expects a slight improvement in the second half of the year from the first half, “we don’t see a recovery better than that”. 

High-mileage drive belt introduced locally

By: Tracy Hancock     24th July 2020 Automotive parts supplier Autobax extended its range of Gates automotive components in March this year by introducing drive belts specifically designed for high-mileage cars. This involved a soft launch of the RoadMAX belt to existing customers across South Africa, following which South Africa... 

High-mileage drive belt introduced locally
TO THE MAX The RoadMAX belts for high-mileage vehicles feature improved dimensions, good belt flexibility and stability, as well as smooth-running operation

Variable demand requires new strategy

By: Tracy Hancock     24th July 2020 Uncertain demand in the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket environments, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, is impacting on short- to medium-term capacity management decisions to meet variable demand, says automotive parts manufacturer GUD Holdings CEO Chris Haworth. “However,... 

Variable demand requires new strategy
CAPACITY CUT GUD’s plants have reopened under conservative conditions to about 60% of normal capacity

Lower human activity limiting tyre sales

By: Tracy Hancock     24th July 2020 Every business is going to face the consequences of lower human activity and, thereby, commercial activity, as South Africans consume less or differently, owing to Covid-19, says automotive tyre manufacturer and supplier Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) CEO Riaz Haffejee. Tyre sales... 

Lower human activity limiting tyre sales
REBOUNDING DEMAND Demand for Sumitomo Dunlop’s tyres is increasing since the restrictions of lockdown have eased

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

By: Irma Venter     22nd July 2020 Peugeot (Groupe PSA) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have announced the corporate name of the new group as they move toward 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 auto maker will be Stellantis. 

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

Ariya electric car, five SUVs to come to SA, says Nissan SA 

By: Irma Venter     21st 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 CEO Shinkichi Izumi. These launches will have a strong focus on... 

Ariya electric car, five SUVs to come to SA, says Nissan SA

Study calls for extension of moratorium on transport height restrictions  

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2020 Many South African industries, especially the fruit industry, could suffer major financial losses if they are not allowed to transport their goods in high-cube containers beyond June, next year, indicates a new Master’s degree study. This is when government’s seven-year moratorium (running from... 

Study calls for extension of moratorium on transport height restrictions 
Tiffany Adams

TEC programme benefits local colleges, communities

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th July 2020 As vocational students were graduating with skills that were not in demand by industry, engine manufacturer Cummins and multinational corporation Komatsu have partnered at eight Technical Education for Communities (TEC) sites globally, including the South African site launched in 2017. 

TEC programme benefits local colleges, communities
HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPORT The Technical Education for Communities programme at the Sedibeng Technical and Vocational Education and Training College, in Gauteng is supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training

PVC compounder continues supply despite pandemic

By: Theresa Bhowan     17th July 2020 Owing to its heavy investment in the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market, KwaZulu-Natal-based PVC compounder Continental Compounders has been able to continue supplying products to essential services during Covid-19.  

PVC compounder continues supply despite pandemic
GREAT EXPANSION The expansion and establishment of the engineering division was prompted by the South African Automotive Masterplan

June new-vehicle sales decline by 31%, exports down 39%

By: Irma Venter     17th July 2020 The South African new-vehicle market returned to its first full month of sales in June since the Covid-19 lockdown started.  However, this did not mean a return to the level of sales seen before the pandemic, as the domestic market remains under pressure. 

Durban car terminal sets new record

By: Irma Venter     17th July 2020 The Durban Car Terminal (DCT) has broken its handling record for two years running, with exports and transhipments playing a key role in the latest achievement.   The terminal handled more than 526 000 fully built vehicles/units (FBUs) against a target of 487 000 FBUs during the 2019/20 financial... 

Nissan to launch Ariya SUV with 610 km range in Japan, Europe, US next year

By: Irma Venter     16th July 2020 Nissan has introduced the Ariya, a 100% electric sports-utility vehicle (SUV) with a range of up to 610 km – or a one-way trip to Durban from Johannesburg or five to six days of travelling between Pretoria and Johannesburg. The Japanese auto maker believes the Ariya is perfect for the daily... 

Nissan to launch Ariya SUV with 610 km range in Japan, Europe, US next year

Coega Development Corporation to implement Tshwane auto SEZ 

By: Irma Venter     13th 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 choice... 

Fiat Chrysler SA appoints new CEO

By: Irma Venter     13th July 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. 

Fiat Chrysler SA appoints new CEO
Ismaeel Hassen

Contracted bus sector struggles with high cost of Covid-19 compliance 

By: Irma Venter     13th July 2020 It costs around 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... 

Contracted bus sector struggles with high cost of Covid-19 compliance

South Africa urged to recycle more of its copper scrap

By: Donna Slater     10th July 2020 Given limited domestic copper production, South Africa should prioritise the recycling of copper scrap to ensure there remains sufficient stock as the economy changes to be more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels, Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) executive chairperson... 

Ford enters fourth month of face shield production 

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 As the number of recorded Covid-19 cases continues to climb in South Africa, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has entered its fourth month of producing protective face shields at its Silverton assembly plant, in Pretoria. To date, the vehicle manufacturer has assembled 285 000 face... 

Ford enters fourth month of face shield production 

Pandemic encourages larger project scope

By: Cameron Mackay     10th July 2020 The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have encouraged inter-country trade organisation the Competence Centre for Mineral Resources (CCMR) to increase the scope of its Health & Safety on South African Mines project. “It’s important to remember that if you are running a project over three years, you... 

Pandemic encourages larger project scope
RENÉ ZARSKE It is a win-win situation. We have many German companies that want to invest into South Africa, while local mining operations are looking for investors

VW’s Lionesses Den initiative seeks business pitches from female entrepreneurs

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 Volkswagen and Lionesses of Africa are on the hunt for three winning business pitches to win a total of R175 000 in cash to support their businesses. As part of its partnership with Lionesses of Africa, the one-million-plus-strong all-female business network in Africa, Volkswagen has introduced... 

Barloworld to exit logistics, shed 2 500 jobs in auto, logistics unit

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 Barloworld will be exiting the logistics sector, says CEO Dominic Sewela. Announcing the company’s financial results for the six months ended March 31, he said that the business had been given a three-year period to turn around, with a decision on its future scheduled for September. 

BMW, German govt in R76m partnership to upgrade South African hospitals

By: Irma Venter     10th July 2020 German carmaker BMW and the German government will assist in upgrading eight South African hospitals and four clinics in the fight against Covid-19, in a project valued at R76-million. BMW will contribute €2.7-million, with the German government to add €1.6-million. 

S Africa crucial for centre’s growth into SADC

By: Cameron Mackay     10th July 2020 South Africa is vital for inter-country trade organisation the Competence Centre for Mineral Resources’ (CCMR’s) goal of expanding its network into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, according to CCMR head René Zarske. “South Africa is an important gateway for this, and the... 

S Africa crucial for centre’s  growth into SADC
VITAL ECONOMIC PARTNERS Last November the CCMR invited eight South African companies to Germany to liaise with equipment suppliers, with follow-up delegations planned once travel restrictions are lifted

South Africa's manufacturing output down 49.4% on Covid-19 impact 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th July 2020 South Africa's manufacturing production decreased by 49.4% year-on-year in April. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reports that the largest contributors to this decline was the motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment sector, where output decreased by 98%... 

Germany to become major source of platinum demand for fuel cell EVs, says WPIC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th July 2020 As much of Europe prepares for a rapid green energy transition as part of the region's Covid-19 recovery strategy, Germany, in particular, could be the gamechanger that makes widespread adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in Europe a reality, says the World Platinum Investment Council... 

Mazda unveils new BT-50, supplied by Isuzu 

By: Irma Venter     7th 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.  

Mazda unveils new BT-50, supplied by Isuzu
The new BT-50

EVs are starting to buoy the global metals market

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 The market gloom over the metals that will power the cars of the future is starting to lift. Supply overhangs and then the coronavirus pandemic had crushed short-term prospects for the minerals used to make rechargeable batteries. But new government commitments to green transport in China and... 

Covid-19 pushes back start of Navara production at Nissan SA  

By: Irma Venter     6th July 2020 The start of assembly of the one-ton Navara pickup at Nissan South Africa’s (Nissan SA’s) Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria, has been pushed back from November this year to early next year, says Nissan Group of Africa MD Shinkichi Izumi. “Covid-19 has caused a slight delay in the start of production.” 

Covid-19 pushes back start of Navara production at Nissan SA
Shinkichi Izumi

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

By: Irma Venter     3rd July 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) that are linked to... 

Host of new tech sees Merc trucks save up to 5% on fuel
MirrorCam debuts in South Africa

Jaguar Land Rover, partners to launch wireless charging taxi project in Oslo

By: Irma Venter     3rd July 2020 In a programme known as ‘ElectriCity’, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will join Nordic taxi operator Cabonline (NorgesTaxi), the region’s largest charge point operator Fortum Recharge, US technology developer Momentum Dynamics and the City of Oslo to build wireless, high-powered charging infrastructure... 

Jaguar Land Rover, partners to launch wireless charging taxi project in Oslo

EV rally to maintain demand for battery metals despite Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     3rd July 2020 Although subdued as a result of Covid-19, demand for battery metals, including cobalt, lithium and copper, will remain strong as a result of growth in the global electric vehicles (EV) market, business intelligence company CRU UK cobalt, lithium and battery markets senior analyst George Heppel... 

EV rally to maintain demand for  battery metals despite Covid-19

Components makers face cash crunch, demand imbalance

By: Irma Venter     3rd July 2020 The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) is not aware of any dedicated automotive components company that has closed its doors following the Covid-19 lockdown period, says executive director Renai Moothilal. “But I don’t think the full impact of the... 

Used-car market poised to grow as new-vehicle prices surge

By: Irma Venter     3rd July 2020 The depreciation of the rand could see new-car prices increase by up to 10% over the next quarter, says National Automobile Dealers Association (Nada) chairperson Mark Dommisse. He says the dealership environment is currently seeing a “resilience” in the used-car market, with a “bit of hunger”... 

Motus to cull 40% of rental fleet as Covid-19 takes toll

By: Irma Venter     3rd July 2020 Automotive group Motus will reduce its vehicle rental fleet by 40% and close 20 sites within its rental business, says CEO Osman Arbee. Motus operates the Europcar and Tempest vehicle hire brands, operating through 100 car rental outlets in South Africa and 17 outlets in neighbouring countries. 

Value of AutoTrader used-car sales surge to R7.3bn in June

By: Irma Venter     2nd July 2020 AutoTrader data shows that the value of used-car sales through its platform increased by 46% month-on-month in June, while the market in the Western Cape – which saw a 101% increase in sales last month – is on the boil.  The Volkswagen Polo Vivo was the most popular used car sold in the Western... 

Value of AutoTrader used-car sales surge to R7.3bn in June

June new-vehicle sales decline by 31%, exports down 39%

By: Irma Venter     2nd July 2020 The South African new-vehicle market returned to its first full month of sales in June since the Covid-19 lockdown started.  However, this did not mean a return to the level of sales seen before the pandemic, as the domestic market remains under pressure. 

June new-vehicle sales decline by 31%, exports down 39%

New study pushes for safer used vehicles to be imported into Africa 

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2020 A new study by the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA), funded by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Region I, shows that the unregulated importation of cars into many African countries has had a negative effect on the continent’s environment, health, society and economy.... 

New study pushes for safer used vehicles to be imported into Africa
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