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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

BMW SA investigates software solution to counter problematic GridCars chargers

By: Irma Venter     Updated 2 hours 16 minutes ago BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) will investigate updating the software on the 60 Ah version of the BMW i3 electric car, in an effort to assist with some older models of the vehicle apparently struggling to make use of selected GridCars fast chargers. The problem was first highlighted by the South... 

French car maker PSA opens $630m Morocco plant

By: Reuters     21st June 2019 French carmaker PSA on Friday opened its €555-million ($630-million) factory in Kenitra's Atlantic Free Zone, near Rabat. PSA will initially produce an annual 100 000 cars in 2020 increasing to 200 000 by 2023, Morocco's Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy said at an official inauguration... 

As South African demand stagnates, auto exports set new records

By: Irma Venter     21st June 2019 Automotive exports from South Africa had a positive 2018, setting a number of new records on the way up. In doing so, the industry managed to compensate for some of the losses seen in the South African new-vehicle sales market last year as the domestic economy continued its uphill battle, says... 

As South African demand stagnates, auto exports set new records

Naamsa seeks quick end to wage negotiations in auto sector

By: Irma Venter     14th June 2019 The National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) wants the quickest possible resolution to the looming wage negotiations between vehicle manufacturers and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), says  Naamsa executive director and CEO Mike Mabasa.... 

Naamsa seeks quick end to wage negotiations in auto sector

Volvo Cars and Uber unveil production vehicle ready for self-driving

By: Irma Venter     12th June 2019 Volvo Cars and ride-hailing firm Uber have presented a jointly developed production car capable of driving by itself. Uber and Volvo Cars entered a joint engineering agreement in 2016 and have since developed several prototypes aimed at accelerating both companies’ self-driving ambitions. 

Volvo Cars and Uber unveil production vehicle ready for self-driving

Continental Tyre to halt underground mining, agricultural tyre production in South Africa 

By: Irma Venter     11th June 2019 Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) will discontinue the production of underground mining and agricultural tyres. This decision affects about 170 employees within CTSA’s manufacturing and sales organisation. 

 Continental Tyre to halt underground mining, agricultural tyre production in South Africa

South Africa should go all out with platinum and manganese to be in best of two decarbonising worlds 

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2019 South Africa, which has a wonderful platinum group metals (PGMs) endowment and an abundance of high-quality manganese ore, should go all out to be in the best of two new carbon-reducing technology worlds. On the one hand, it should do all it can to be in the world of hydrogen with the help of... 

South Africa should go all out with platinum and manganese to be in best of two decarbonising worlds
Photo by Toyota/Anglo American
A fuel cell electric vehicle requires platinum

Nissan’s Mike Whitfield to head up Egyptian operation

By: Irma Venter     10th June 2019 Japanese vehicle manufacturer Nissan announced on Monday that Nissan South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa MD Mike Whitfield has been appointed MD of Nissan Motor Egypt. He will, however, also serve as chairperson of Nissan in Africa South. 

Nissan’s Mike Whitfield to head up Egyptian operation
Mike Whitfield

Suzuki South Africa on the hunt for new sales record

By: Irma Venter     7th June 2019 Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) is on the hunt for another yearly sales record. Sales are already up 9.8% for the first five months of this year, to 5 114 units, compared with the same period last year. 

Suzuki South Africa on the hunt for new sales record

Nissan set to create more than 1 000 jobs

By: Simone Liedtke     6th June 2019 Local production of the next-generation Nissan Navara is expected to create an estimated 1 200 new jobs in the automotive sector. Manufacturing is expected to begin in 2020 at Nissan’s Rosslyn-based facility, where output is expected to grow by more than 50%. 

Nissan set to create more than 1 000 jobs
President Cyril Ramaphosa pictured in a Nissan Navara

The world’s most powerful Ferrari and the South African investment company 

By: Irma Venter     5th June 2019 The most powerful Ferrari ever has the tiniest bit of a South African rainbow hidden under the hood. The new SF90 Stradale – Ferrari’s first series production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle – is powered by a 4-l twin-turbocharged engine delivering 574 kW of power and 800 Nm of torque, taking it... 

 The world’s most powerful Ferrari and the South African investment company
The SF90 Stradale

Exports, new-vehicle sales both down in May 

By: Irma Venter     3rd June 2019 In a double whammy for the South African automotive industry, new-vehicle sales contracted yet again in May, with exports also putting in a negative performance for the first time this year. The South African new-vehicle market declined by 5.7% in May, to 40 506 units, compared with the same... 

Exports, new-vehicle sales both down in May

Electric drive to take 56% of selected light commercial markets by 2040

By: Irma Venter     30th May 2019 Electric vehicles, or EVs, are on track to encroach significantly on the market for vans and short-distance trucking, according to the latest forecast from research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF). Based on analysis of the evolving economics in different vehicle segments and geographical markets, BNEF’s... 

Electric drive to take 56% of selected light commercial markets by 2040

Africa crash test results revealed for Avanza, Amaze and Ignis  

By: Irma Venter     29th May 2019 The third round of #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results revealed a reasonable safety performance for adult occupants, but disappointing results for child occupant protection. The vehicles tested were the Toyota Avanza, Honda Amaze and Suzuki Ignis. 

Africa crash test results revealed for Avanza, Amaze and Ignis
The results of the third round of the #SaferCarsForAfrica crash tests have been revealed. Video editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Adjudicator says any security defence of US auto tariffs at WTO 'very difficult'

By: Reuters     28th May 2019 The US will find it "very difficult" to defend President's Donald Trump's proposed car tariff against any challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO), a veteran trade adjudicator who has ruled on a related case told Reuters. Trump said this month that some imported vehicles and parts pose a... 

BloombergNEF expects 57% of car sales in 2040 to be electric

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2019 Research service, BloombergNEF (BNEF), expects yearly passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales to rise to ten-million units in 2025, 28-million in 2030 and 56-million by 2040. More than two-million electric vehicles were sold in 2018, up from just a few thousand in 2010. 

BloombergNEF expects 57% of car sales in 2040 to be electric

Jiangling unveils truck, bakkie; Changan cars to launch in 2020

By: Irma Venter     27th May 2019 Jiangling Motors South Africa (JMSA) has lifted the veil on its new one-ton-bakkie offering to the local market, the Vigus 5, as well as a new truck with a four-ton payload. JMSA is a subsidiary of China’s Jiangxi Jiangling Motors Import & Export (JMIE), which forms part of Jiangling Motors... 

Jiangling unveils truck, bakkie; Changan cars to launch in 2020
The Carrying Plus

Buoyed by mining recovery, Barloworld looks to Mongolia for growth 

By: Irma Venter     20th May 2019 Barloworld’s results on Monday reflected some of the biggest trends in the South African economy, with the company reporting a sharp drop in equipment sales to the troubled construction industry, as well as a decline in new-vehicle sales and car rental days, but with the mining industry seemingly... 

Buoyed by mining recovery, Barloworld looks to Mongolia for growth

Toyota targets wider market with new Quantum, retains old model for taxi industry

By: Irma Venter     16th May 2019 Toyota this week unveiled a new generation Quantum minibus, but says it will retain the old Quantum for use by South Africa’s minibus taxi industry. While the new generation Quantum will be imported, the old one will still be produced at Toyota South Africa Motors’ (TSAM’s) plant, in Durban. 

 Toyota targets wider market with new Quantum, retains old model for taxi industry
The new Quantum

Durban car terminal achieves a new milestone

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th May 2019 The Durban Car Terminal has broken a South African record, handling over 500 000 fully built units (FBUs) in the 2018/19 financial year. “A combination of a shift in the operating model, improved planning, dedicated operational teams and collaboration with customers and shipping lines have seen... 

Durban car terminal achieves a new milestone

Meet the electric car that keeps on going . . . and going

By: Irma Venter     15th May 2019 Ever thought South Africa would see an electric car with more than 202 000 km on the clock? Meet Shaun Maidment, from Pretoria. Maidment, a telecommunications consultant, is the proud owner of a BMW 60Ah i3, which has reached the 15th highest mileage of all i3s sold to date globally. 

Meet the electric car that keeps on going . . . and going
Shaun Maidment's i3 with more than 200 000 km on the clock

Local vehicle production expected to grow by 6.2% in 2019 

By: Irma Venter     9th May 2019 South Africa’s vehicle production is expected to expand by 6.2% in 2019, to roughly 648 000 units, compared with 2018, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa in its latest quarterly business review. South Africa made up 0.64% of global new vehicle production in... 

Local vehicle production expected to grow by 6.2% in 2019

Daimler to open IT hub at its East London plant

By: Irma Venter     7th May 2019 Daimler, parent company to Mercedes-Benz South Africa, has announced that it will establish an information technology (IT) hub at its vehicle production plant in East London, in the Eastern Cape. The IT hub will focus on data analytics, software development and business analysis, and will work in... 

Daimler to open IT hub at its East London plant

April new-vehicle sales rise by 0.7%, exports by nearly 54% – Naamsa 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd May 2019 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa on Thursday reported that the latest new-vehicle sales reflected a “welcome surprise” on the upside, with export sales continuing to perform “exceptionally” well. “Exports sales had registered strong growth, reflecting a... 

April new-vehicle sales rise by 0.7%, exports by nearly 54% – Naamsa

Volvo tech to pull over drunk drivers, cap speed at 180 km/h

By: Irma Venter     25th April 2019 Car manufacturer Volvo has decided to cap the top speed on all its vehicles produced from model year 2020 at 180 km/h. This will also be the case for all Volvo cars sold in South Africa, says Volvo Car South Africa MD Greg Maruszewski. 

Volvo tech to pull over drunk drivers, cap speed at 180 km/h

BMW to buy cobalt direct from Australia, Morocco for EV batteries

By: Reuters     24th April 2019 German carmaker BMW will buy cobalt, a key component for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, directly from mines in Australia and Morocco to ensure they are not produced by child labour, an executive said on Tuesday. The announcement came as the London Metal Exchange (LME) launched an initiative... 

South African premium car market faces another tough year 

By: Irma Venter     23rd April 2019 The South African premium car market has seen four years of decline, ending 2018 below 50 000 units, says BMW Group South Africa CEO Tim Abbott. The first quarter of this year has also not signaled a turnaround, with sales below that of the first three months of 2018, he adds. The previous peak... 

South African premium car market faces another tough year
Tim Abbott

BMW SA expands Midrand campus in R260m project as IT prowess grows

By: Irma Venter     16th April 2019 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) has cut the ribbon on its expanded and revamped campus in Midrand, Gauteng. The project carried a price tag of R260-million. 

BMW SA expands Midrand campus in R260m project as IT prowess grows
Tim Abbott

Former VW CEO Winterkorn charged in Germany over diesel rigging

By: Bloomberg     15th April 2019 Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged alongside four other managers in Germany for their role in the diesel-rigging scandal. Winterkorn and other suspects are accused of serious fraud by Braunschweig prosecutors, who allege he knew since 2014 about the illegal use of software to... 

Auto giants battle used car dealers for Africa's huge market

By: Reuters     12th April 2019 At the edge of Nairobi's Ngong Forest, thousands of used cars glitter in the hot sun on a dusty field, waiting for buyers. Imported from Japan or the Middle East, they offer an affordable route to vehicle ownership in Kenya and have dominated the market for decades. 

Morocco biggest contender for SA auto assembly hegemony

By: Cameron Mackay     12th April 2019 Owing to lower costs, access to European markets, attractive incentives offered to industry and high investment into infrastructure, Morocco has become South Africa’s biggest challenger in the automotive manufacturing industry, says multinational professional services firm Deloitte Africa... 

Morocco biggest contender for SA auto assembly hegemony
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
MARTYN DAVIES MARTYN DAVIES South Africa’s passenger vehicles sales declined roughly by 25% in the past decade

Supportive policy held up as key to unlocking Africa’s auto ambitions

By: Irma Venter     12th April 2019 Policy certainty and flexible thinking will play an important role as Africa increasingly look to the automotive industry to grow its industrialisation footprint, says Thomas Schaefer, chairperson and MD at Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA), as well as chairperson of the African Association of... 

Supportive policy held up as key to unlocking Africa’s auto ambitions

Honda Motor Southern Africa appoints Hiroyuki Tazawa president

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th April 2019 Honda Motor Southern Africa has appointed Hiroyuki Tazawa president, effective immediately. He succeeds Toshiaki Konaka, who has, in turn, been appointed regional head of the company’s Africa Middle East operations.  

Nissan invests R3bn in Rosslyn plant to build Navara pickup  

By: Irma Venter     10th April 2019 Japanese vehicle manufacturer Nissan will invest R3-billion to prepare its Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria, for production of the Navara pickup.  Assembly will start in November 2020, and will add to current production of the NP300 one-ton bakkie and NP200 half-ton bakkie, which is set to continue. 

Nissan invests R3bn in Rosslyn plant to build Navara pickup
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Nissan Group of Africa MD Mike Whitfield

VWSA invests more than R70m in black supplier development

By: Irma Venter     8th April 2019 To date, R70.9-million of the R86-million invested by Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) in the Volkswagen Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Initiatives Trust has been committed to the development of black-owned component suppliers. The aim of the trust is to increase the number... 

VWSA invests more than R70m in black supplier development

Local telematics market has room to grow, says new Cartrack South Africa CEO 

By: Irma Venter     4th April 2019 Global telematics group Cartrack has appointed Harry Louw as the new CEO for its South African business. Louw is the former CEO of rival Netstar. 

 Local telematics market has room to grow, says new Cartrack South Africa CEO
Harry Louw

Ghosn rearrested on new charges, vows 'I will not be broken'

By: Bloomberg     4th April 2019 The drama surrounding fallen auto executive Carlos Ghosn erupted again, with Japanese prosecutors rearresting him on fresh allegations that he used millions of dollars from Nissan Motor for his own purposes. Authorities showed up at Ghosn’s Tokyo apartment shortly before 06:00 on Thursday to... 

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