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New Technology News

Merc aims to go all-electric ‘where markets allow’, South African EV launch slated for 2022

By: Irma Venter     17th September 2021 Mercedes-Benz is getting ready to go “all electric” by the end of the decade, “where market conditions allow”. By 2022, the German carmaker says it will have battery electric vehicles (EVs) in all segments of the market the company serves.  

New-vehicle market could reach 485 000 units, if supply holds – Hill 

By: Irma Venter     16th September 2021 The South African new-vehicle market could reach around 485 000 units this year, says Ford South Africa MD Neale Hill. This will be a significant increase from the 380 000-unit sales recorded last year. 

Image of Ford Rangers on a truck

Cartrack owner acquires 70.1% of Picup Technologies in R70-million deal 

By: Irma Venter     14th September 2021 Karooooo has acquired 70.1% of Picup Technologies (Picup) in a deal valued at R70-million.  Karooooo owns 100% of Cartrack, a mobility software-as-a-service (Saas) platform that maximises the value of automotive and workflow data by providing real-time data analytics solutions for smart... 

Image of Karooooo CEO Zak Calisto
Zak Calisto

Fritz to depart Mercedes-Benz SA, Raine announced as successor 

By: Irma Venter     10th September 2021 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has announced that co-CEO and Mercedes-Benz Cars executive director Johannes Fritz will be moving back to Germany to head up Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans in Bavaria, one of the largest sales regions in the German market.  “Fritz, who spent four years in South... 

Image of MBSA co-CEO Mark Raine
Mark Raine

Bell Equipment to launch self-driving truck in 2022 

By: Irma Venter     10th September 2021 Bell Equipment will launch its first autonomous articulated dump truck (ADT) on the global market next year, says Bell Equipment CEO Leon Goosen. The truck will also be available in South Africa. 

Image of Bell ADT trucks
The Bell ADT

Developments in SA's automotive industry  

10th September 2021 Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Irma Venter tells Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn about the progress Ford South Africa is making at its Pretoria plant in preparation for the start of production of the next-generation Ranger bakkie, as well as about how German car manufacturer BMW has... 

Image of Irma Venter
Developments in SA's automotive industry

Eleksa to launch R200 000 CityBug electric car in South Africa this month

By: Irma Venter     10th September 2021 Pretoria-based electric mobility importer Eleksa will introduce the CityBug on the South African market this month. The vehicle, described as an urban electric vehicle (EV), is a two-door four-seater, and will be priced at about R200 000. 

No jobs lost as FCA SA and PCSA merge into single entity following their overseas parents’ tie-up

By: Irma Venter     10th September 2021 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles South Africa (FCA SA) and Peugeot Citroën South Africa (PCSA) have officially merged in the domestic market into a new company called Stellantis, reflecting the marriage between its parent companies. “Stellantis is now an official entity in the South African landscape;... 

Metair sees potential in aftermarket, auxiliary batteries as EV revolution looms

By: Irma Venter     10th September 2021 The demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is driven largely by government incentives in regions such as the European Union (EU), which aims to become a zero-carbon economy, as well as increased consumer demand for greener products and a change in technology, says Metair CEO Riaz Haffejee.... 

Ford creates 1 200 jobs as it unveils modernised Ranger line 

By: Irma Venter     8th September 2021 Ford South Africa (Ford SA) has created around 1 200 incremental jobs by reintroducing a third shift to its operations at the Silverton assembly plant. The additional shift forms part of the US auto maker’s $1.05-billion investment in the Pretoria plant to produce the next generation Ranger... 

Image of the new Ford Ranger plant and assembly line in Silverton, Pretoria

How will solid-state batteries make electric vehicles better?

By: Reuters     7th September 2021 Solid-state batteries could be game changer for electric vehicles (EVs) by storing more energy, charging faster and offering greater safety than liquid lithium-ion batteries, helping accelerate the shift away from fossil fuel-powered cars. HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT FROM LIQUID LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES?... 

Promotion of electromobility in SA key to battery production participation 

By: Irma Venter     6th September 2021 One of the first steps for South Africa to participate in the global battery supply chain for battery electric or hybrid vehicles would be the promotion of electromobility in the local market, proposes Mercedes-Benz production and supply chain management board member Dr Jörg Burzer. “This is one... 

Image of the Mercedes-Benz EQB car
The Mercedes-Benz EQB electric vehicle

Internal combustion engine car sales in permanent decline – BloombergNEF 

By: Irma Venter     3rd September 2021 There are currently 12-million passenger electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. There are also more than one-million commercial EVs, including buses, delivery vans and trucks, as well as more than 260-million electric mopeds, scooters, motorcycles and three-wheelers in traffic globally.  This is... 

Plan to split Metair into two to be revisited, following return to profitability

By: Irma Venter     3rd September 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. 

New intervention aims to improve engineering skills pipeline in Eastern Cape

By: Irma Venter     3rd September 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... 

Audi to launch six EV models in South Africa next year

By: Irma Venter     3rd September 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 launch follows the announcement earlier this year by the German luxury brand that by 2026 every new Audi model... 

Dask to manufacture Saint-Gobain bonding tapes in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd September 2021 Engineering consumables manufacturer and distributor Dask Distributors has partnered exclusively with Saint-Gobain Tapes Solutions to locally manufacture automotive bonding tapes for original-equipment manufacturers (OEM) assembly plants in South Africa. Dask Distributors notes that it is now... 

New-vehicle supply constraints could ease towards the end of the year – Motus

By: Irma Venter     31st August 2021 Automotive group Motus expects new-vehicle supply, currently constrained by a global computer chip shortage, to start normalising towards the end of the year, says CEO Osman Arbee. “Yes, there are some constraints with the supply of new vehicles globally – not only in South Africa. There are... 

Image of a Motus dealership

Eleksa to launch R200 000 CityBug electric car in South Africa  

By: Irma Venter     24th August 2021 Pretoria-based electric mobility importer Eleksa will introduce the CityBug to the South African market in September. The vehicle, described as an urban electric vehicle (EV), is a two-door four-seater, and will be priced at around R200 000. Anton Jordaan from Eleksa says charging the vehicle... 

Image of the CityBug electric vehicle
The CityBug

Festival of Motoring postponed to next year

By: Irma Venter     23rd August 2021 “Given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases and the worsening of the third wave, Messe Frankfurt South Africa has decided to postpone the 2021 Festival of Motoring (FoM),” says Messe Frankfurt South Africa MD Joshua Low.  “The safety of our exhibitors, attendees and staff is of the outmost concern... 

Image of new dates of Festival of Motoring

Metair sees potential in aftermarket, auxiliary batteries as EV revolution looms  

By: Irma Venter     20th August 2021 The demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is driven largely by government incentives in regions such as the European Union (EU), which aims to become a zero-carbon economy, as well as increased consumer demand for greener products and a change in technology, says Metair CEO Riaz Haffejee.... 

Image of an assembly line worker at BMW SA

Series production of Mercedes’ first battery electric truck to start in October

By: Irma Venter     20th August 2021 Mercedes-Benz Trucks will start series production of its first battery-electric truck in Germany in October. The electric Actros (eActros) is destined for urban heavy-duty distribution haulage markets. 

Audi unveils electric car that will compete in 2022 Dakar Rally

By: Irma Venter     20th August 2021 Audi Sport has started testing the new Audi RS Q e-tron, which it plans to enter in the 2022 Dakar Rally. Audi says it wants to be the first car manufacturer to use an electrified drivetrain in combination with an efficient energy converter to compete for overall victory against conventionally... 

Hyperloop punted as less-polluting, efficient transport solution

By: Irma Venter     20th August 2021 Hyperloop Transport Technologies (HyperloopTT) has unveiled HyperPort, a high-speed cargo and freight solution which it says is “capable of increasing capacity and efficiency while decreasing pollution and congestion at ports worldwide”.  Developed in partnership with terminal operator Hamburger... 

Daimler split into trucks as well as cars and vans units gets board nod

By: Irma Venter     20th August 2021 The management and supervisory boards of German car and truck maker Daimler have given the go-ahead for the group to split into 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. 

US moves to secure critical minerals for EV supply chain

By: Darren Parker     20th August 2021 Modern civilisation was built on fossil fuels, with the invention and commercialisation of the internal combustion engine during the 1800s setting the stage for petroleum-based vehicles to be dominant worldwide for the next 150 years. Various oil majors continue to produce huge volumes of oil and... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly magazine cover

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. 

An image of Metair CEO Riaz Haffejee
Riaz Haffejee

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

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

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

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

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. 

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. 

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

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
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