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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

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. 

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... 

Vehicle sales decline for third month in a row in 2019

By: Irma Venter     2nd April 2019 New-vehicle sales continued their downward slide in March, declining for a third month in a row in 2019. March new-vehicle sales were down 3.1%, to 47 718 units, compared with the same month last year. 

Vehicle sales decline for third month in a row in 2019
Ghana Msibi

Ford adopts dual-port strategy, moves exports through Durban, PE 

By: Irma Venter     2nd April 2019 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has expanded its vehicle export operations by adding Port Elizabeth to Durban as a vehicle departure point. This multiport strategy has already seen the first shipment of 1 000 locally assembled Ford Rangers departing from Port Elizabeth to markets in Europe. 

Ford adopts dual-port strategy, moves exports through Durban, PE
Ford has started vehicle exports through Port Elizabeth

New car sales slow down 3.1% in March

By: African News Agency      2nd April 2019 The decline in the new vehicle market since the beginning of the year continued last month, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said on Monday.  The latest statistics show that 47 718 units were sold in March this year compared to 49 230 vehicles sold in... 

The new Sprinter, now also in a 3.49 t version, promises to use 8.5% less fuel

By: Irma Venter     1st April 2019 The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has finally landed in South Africa, following its launch in Germany last year. The Sprinter is well known in South African taxi circles – especially in the long-distance segment – with this industry absorbing around 80% of all Sprinters sold in the local market,... 

 The new Sprinter, now also in a 3.49 t version, promises to use 8.5% less fuel
The new Sprinter

Transport dept failed to protect commuters using illegally converted panel vans – Public Protector

By: News24Wire      29th March 2019 The Public Protector has found that the Department of Transport (DoT) failed to take effective and efficient measures to ensure commuters were safe while travelling in panel vans that were illegally converted into minibus taxis. Releasing the report at her offices in Pretoria on Monday, Public... 

Capex, skills spend at supplier level a concern, notes new study 

By: Irma Venter     28th March 2019 While South African component suppliers are, on average, holding their own in the international automotive industry, there are one or two warning lights flashing that all is not 100% within the industry. This is, in short, the finding of the newest South Africa Automotive Supplier Performance... 

Capex, skills spend at supplier level a concern, notes new study

Steinhoff sells South African auto showrooms unit to France's CFAO

By: Reuters     28th March 2019 Steinhoff has sold a majority stake in its South African auto dealerships unit, it said on Thursday, days after selling its stake in a local industrial group to shore up its finances following a devastating accounting fraud. Steinhoff revealed details earlier this month of the €6.5-billion fraud... 

Vitol analyst explains slide in global oil demand

By: Kim Cloete     27th March 2019 Global oil demand has weakened significantly over the past few months, largely due to slowing economic momentum across most markets, says energy and commodities company Vitol analyst Simon Warren. He told delegates at the annual conference of the African Refiners and Distributors Association... 

Revitalised Bloodhound project gets new livery and headquarters

By: Irma Venter     22nd March 2019 The Bloodhound is back and on the hunt to set a new world land speed record (LSR). Under the new ownership of Ian Warhurst, CEO of Grafton LSR, the freshly assembled Bloodhound LSR team will focus on completing development of the jet- and rocket-powered car and moving to the next phase of the... 

Revitalised Bloodhound project gets new livery and headquarters
The Bloodhound has shed its blue and orange colours for white and red

Mercedes-Benz South Africa produces 500 000th W205 C-Class

By: Irma Venter     20th March 2019 The 500 000th W205 C-Class – the current model – rolled off the line at the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) assembly plant in East London, in the Eastern Cape, on March 16. MBSA also this year celebrates 25 years of manufacturing the C-Class sedan and 25 years of women on the production line. 

Mercedes-Benz South Africa produces 500 000th W205 C-Class

Egypt, Nissan agree to produce 100 000 cars a year – Minister

By: Reuters     20th March 2019 Egyptian state-owned carmaker El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing and Japan's Nissan have reached an initial agreement to produce 100 000 cars a year in Egypt, the minister for public enterprises said on Tuesday. The agreement is part of efforts to boost the proportion of locally made auto... 

No escaping the move to electric, says Jaguar as it launches new I-Pace 

By: Irma Venter     19th March 2019 A third fully electric vehicle has made its debut in South Africa. The new Jaguar I-Pace adds to the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 already available in the local market. 

No escaping the move to electric, says Jaguar as it launches new I-Pace
The Jaguar I-Pace

PE-based e-coating specialist seeks majority empowerment partner 

By: Irma Venter     15th March 2019 Port Elizabeth-based e-coating specialist, Electrocoat, wishes to sell at least 51% of the business to a black investor. Businesses that are successful in implementing major transformational changes will secure a sustained competitive advantage under the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035,... 

PE-based e-coating specialist seeks majority empowerment partner

Adapt to digital or be left behind — warning to South African auto industry

By: African News Agency      14th March 2019 South Africa's automotive component supply sector needs to urgently focus on vehicle electronics if it is to meet ambitious new localisation targets. This emerged at the the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa conference which continued in Durban... 

Soekoe Bicycle Company to launch vintage-look electric bike for export market 

By: Irma Venter     11th March 2019 By his own admission Desmond Soekoe is not a traditional business man. Rather heavily tattooed and not fond of a suit and tie, he runs Soekoe Bicycle Company, a fledgling bicycle manufacturer based in Germiston. Soekoe is perhaps better known as the former MD of materials-handling company Deebar... 

Soekoe Bicycle Company to launch vintage-look electric bike for export market

New-vehicle exports to Africa improved by 10% in 2018 

By: Irma Venter     8th March 2019 New-vehicle exports from South Africa to the rest of Africa have improved by 9.8% in 2018 compared with 2017, “following a number of years of sharp decline”, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its newest quarterly business review. Export sales to... 

 New-vehicle exports to Africa improved by 10% in 2018

Auto industry disruption is here with shakeup starting in Geneva

By: Bloomberg     7th March 2019 The great auto-industry shakeout has started to arrive in force. Anyone paying attention knows change is looming for global automakers grappling with new technologies, stricter emissions standards and apps that have turned car buyers into renters or just riders. 

Ghosn freed on bail after 108 days in jail

By: Bloomberg     6th March 2019 Carlos Ghosn walked out of a Tokyo prison on bail after 108 days in detention, vowing to fight allegations of financial crimes that could imprison the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman for as long as a decade. Flanked by police officers and wearing construction worker reflectors, a light blue... 

Ghosn's release on bail in doubt as Japanese prosecutors appeal

By: Bloomberg     5th March 2019 Carlos Ghosn’s impending release from a Tokyo jail is in jeopardy after prosecutors appealed a decision granting bail to the fallen car titan after 107 days in custody. The prosecution responded just hours after a Tokyo court approved the release of the former Nissan Motor chairperson on bail of... 

Second month of decline in domestic new-vehicle sales market 

By: Irma Venter     1st March 2019 Domestic new-vehicle sales faced a second consecutive month of decline this year, dropping by 6.5% in February, to 43 251 units, compared with the same month last year. New-vehicle sales numbers released on Friday showed that February new-passenger car sales fell by 13.3%, to 27 000 units. 

Second month of decline in domestic new-vehicle sales market

Daimler, BMW deepen cooperation with self-driving venture

By: Bloomberg     28th February 2019 Daimler and BMW have agreed to cooperate on developing self-driving cars, the latest move by the luxury-car rivals to share cost as a technology shift shakes up the industry. The German manufacturers have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop the next generation of... 

Mahindra aims for top ten spot in SA market, tractors to launch this year

By: Irma Venter     27th February 2019 Mahindra South Africa (SA) aims to sell more than 6 000 units this year, which will be a significant jump from last year’s new record of more than 5 500 units – a 26% increase on 2017 sales. “We aim for more than 10 000 units by 2022, says Mahindra SA CEO Rajesh Gupta. 

Mahindra aims for top ten spot in SA market, tractors to launch this year
Rajesh Gupta

Naamsa appoints Mika Mabasa as new executive director

By: Irma Venter     26th February 2019 Mike Mabasa is set to take over as new executive director at the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) at the end of March.   He will succeed Nico Vermeulen, who will be retiring after 37 years of service. 

Naamsa appoints Mika Mabasa as new executive director
Nico Vermeulen

Motus achieves H1 growth despite muted new-vehicle market

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th February 2019 Amid a downturn in new-vehicle sales and a challenging economy, JSE-listed automotive holding company Motus achieved consistent operating profit, normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS) and revenue growth for the six months ended December 31, 2018, compared with the six months ended... 

Motus achieves H1 growth despite muted new-vehicle market
Motus CEO Osman Arbee

Start of production at BAIC plant delayed until later this year

By: Irma Venter     26th February 2019 Following a delay in the completion of the Beijing Automotive Group Corporation South Africa (BAIC SA) plant in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, in the Eastern Cape, full-scale vehicle production is now scheduled to start before the end of the year. At the sod-turning event in 2016, it was... 

Start of production at BAIC plant delayed until later this year

Ford South Africa achieves new export and production records

By: Irma Venter     26th February 2019  Ranger exports from Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA’s) Silverton plant reached an all-time high in 2018, with the company shipping 68 364 units to export markets. This is a 16.2% increase compared with 2017. 

Ford South Africa achieves new export and production records
The Silverton plant

Hyundai opens assembly plant in Ethiopia

By: Reuters     22nd February 2019 South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co opened a 10 000-a-year vehicle capacity assembly plant in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday, its first factory in East Africa. While second-hand vehicles dominate sales in the Horn of Africa country, Hyundai hopes locally-assembled cars could prove... 

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