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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

Ford Resource and Engagement Centre awards grants to small businesses

By: Irma Venter     26th January 2021 The Ford Motor Company Fund is awarding the first grants from the Booth Schoch Future Success Fund to budding entrepreneurs at the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC) in South Africa.  The winners are all FREC programme graduates who will share $10 000 in grants to advance their businesses.  

Bloodhound project up for sale 

By: Irma Venter     26th January 2021 The UK’s Bloodhound land-speed record (LSR) project is looking for a new owner to take the team through to its world land-speed record attempt in 2022.  In 2019, the Bloodhound team deployed to South Africa to conduct high speed testing, with the car hitting a peak speed of 1 011 km/h, thereby... 

Bloodhound project up for sale

Death of diesel looms as carmakers accelerate to electric future

By: Reuters     26th January 2021 The world's biggest diesel engine factory in Tremery, eastern France, is undergoing a radical overhaul - it's switching to make electric motors. From less than 10% of output in 2020, electric motor production at Tremery will double to around 180 000 in 2021, and is planned to reach 900 000 a... 

Kia unveils new corporate name, strategy 

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2021 Kia has revealed a strategy it says will see the Korean car maker reach beyond vehicle manufacturing to “sustainable mobility solutions”. Signalling this break-away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model, Kia has also announced a new corporate name and slogan. 

Kia CEO Ho Sung Song
Kia CEO Ho Sung Song

Digital Key Plus technology with ultra-wideband technology coming to the BMW iX.

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2021 German car maker BMW says it will continue with the development and popularisation of its digital key feature. In line with this goal, the group says it will introduce the Digital Key Plus, which allows BMW drivers to unlock and start their vehicles without taking their iPhones out of their bags... 

BMW iX with UWB key
BMW iX with UWB key

Barloworld restructures its Motor Retail business in R947m deal 

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2021 Barloworld has entered into an agreement with NMI Durban South Motors (NMI-DSM) to dispose of its Motor Retail business as a going concern for R947-million. NMI-DSM is a joint venture of the Barloworld group, in which Barloworld holds a 50% interest alongside the Akoo family.  

Barloworld restructures its Motor Retail business in R947m deal

Green energy a macroeconomic imperative, says VW’s Kamuhinda

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2021 Green technology, electric cars included, are coming to Africa not just because of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, but because Africa has a problem of energy supply, says Volkswagen Africa business development director Serge Kamuhinda. “For a country like Rwanda, fuel imports account for 12%... 

New-vehicle sales down 29.1% in ‘extraordinary year’ – Naamsa

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2021 An “extraordinary year” that brought “unprecedented challenges” to South Africa’s economy has seen new-vehicle sales decline by 29.1%, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). This follows a 2.8% drop in sales in 2019. 

Rabotho to lead Nissan SA as Izumi departs, Whitfield named Africa boss

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2021 Japanese carmaker Nissan has announced that it will unite its operations on the continent under one region, namely Africa. Several leadership changes have been made as part of this restructuring, effective December, last year.  

Volvo Group and Daimler Truck sign agreement for new fuel cell JV

By: Irma Venter     22nd January 2021 The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck have signed a binding agreement for a joint venture (JV) to develop, produce and commercialise fuel cell systems for use in heavy-duty trucks as the primary focus, as well as other applications.  Both partners say they hope to make the new company a leading... 

Motus sharpens aim at used-car market with launch of Motus Select

By: Irma Venter     21st January 2021 The JSE-listed Motus group has kicked off the year with the launch of Motus Select, which replaces the long-standing Imperial Select as the retail motor group’s pre-owned vehicle brand. Traditionally Motus Select was the used-car brand for only the Motus Hyundai, Kia and Renault multifranchise... 

Motus sharpens aim at used-car market with launch of Motus Select

Peugeot Citroen South Africa takes over local Opel distribution 

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2021 Peugeot Citroen South Africa (PCSA) has announced that it will take over responsibility for German car brand Opel in the local market. This comes as US manufacturer General Motors (GM) in 2017 sold Opel to the French PSA group, which owns, among others, the Peugeot, Vauxhall and Citroën brands. 

The new Opel Corsa
The new Opel Corsa

Suzuki sets new record even as local market tumbles

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2021 Despite the overall domestic new-vehicle market contracting by 29.1% last year, Suzuki Auto South Africa (SASA) and its 71 dealers celebrated its most successful year yet since the launch of the Japanese small-car specialist in the local market. SASA grew its sales by 6.7% in 2020, to 16 527... 

The S-Presso
The S-Presso

Knapp appointed as head of Volkswagen passenger cars in South Africa 

By: Irma Venter     18th January 2021 Steffen Knapp has been appointed to head the Volkswagen passenger car brand in South Africa.  He replaces Martina Biene. 

Steffen Knapp 
Steffen Knapp 

Study points to ‘cutting-edge’ South African firms in lithium-ion value chain  

By: Irma Venter     15th January 2021 A study into the possible development of a lithium-ion (li-ion) battery value chain in South Africa has just been completed. The study was undertaken by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), on behalf of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). It was funded by the... 

South African-made MellowVan ready for global roll-out this year

By: Irma Venter     15th January 2021 The South African conceived and developed MellowVan will enter commercial production in 2021, says MellowCabs founder Neil du Preez. The electric three-wheeler, aimed at the last-mile delivery market, is currently the subject of a number of advanced large-scale proof-of-concept projects with... 

Nissan to launch small Magnite SUV in local market

By: Irma Venter     15th January 2021 Japanese carmaker Nissan has confirmed that it will bring the newly launched Magnite sports-utility vehicle (SUV) to the local market early in 2021. Pricing will only be announced nearer to the domestic launch, however. 

Motus launches its own digital vehicle marketplace

By: Irma Venter     15th January 2021 The JSE-listed Motus group has launched its own digital vehicle marketplace, called motus.cars. This platform ties together all the Motus business entities in one digital location, with the aim to provide a simplified online shopping experience.  

AIDC EC appoints new CEO

By: Irma Venter     14th January 2021 The Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape (AIDC EC) has appointed a new CEO. Thabo Shenxane joins the AIDC EC from his position as trade, investment and innovation head at the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC).  

Thabo Shenxane 
Thabo Shenxane 

Live Company and Messe Frankfurt SA partner for Cape Town eMobility Festival  

By: Irma Venter     14th January 2021 Live Company Group has announced that it has, via E-Movement Holdings, a 100% subsidiary of Live Company Group, partnered with Messe Frankfurt South Africa for the launch of the eMobility Festival 2021. The eMobility Festival will focus on electric vehicles of all kinds, the future of e-mobility... 

Live Company and Messe Frankfurt SA partner for Cape Town eMobility Festival 

AIH to open sequencing centre in East London in April, Tshwane to follow 

By: Irma Venter     12th January 2021 Automotive Investment Holdings (AIH) will open its first sequencing centre (SC) at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) in April, says group CEO Corrie Kotzé. The 5 300 m2 facility will support new C-Class production at the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) plant, set to start in... 

The sequencing centre in East London
The sequencing centre in East London

Toyota’s Kirby elected as new Naamsa president

By: Irma Venter     11th January 2021 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has appointed Toyota South Africa Motors CEO Andrew Kirby as president following the retirement of BMW Group South Africa boss Tim Abbott at the end of last year. Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa MD Neale Hill... 

Super-rich car brands also felt the Covid-19 pinch in 2020, with the exception of Ferrari

By: Irma Venter     11th January 2021 Luxury and performance car brands in South Africa also felt the pain of the Covid-19 pandemic, with almost all brands showing a decline on 2019 numbers. Luxury brand Bentley saw a 20% drop in sales, from 69 units to 55 units. 

Super-rich car brands also felt the Covid-19 pinch in 2020, with the exception of Ferrari

SVI sees armoured vehicle sales grow as crime increases

By: Irma Venter     11th January 2021 In 2011/12, there were 9 417 carjackings in South Africa. By 2018/19, this number had grown to 16 026 incidents. Crime is on the increase and Covid-19 has not helped, particularly as the pandemic has pushed up unemployment figures. 

SVI sees armoured vehicle sales grow as crime increases

German automotive industry strengthens links with Africa

By: Irma Venter     11th January 2021   The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) has joined hands with the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) as part of the ‘PartnerAfrica’ project of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.  

VDA president Hildegard Müller
VDA president Hildegard Müller

New-vehicle sales down 29.1% in ‘extraordinary year’, says Naamsa 

By: Irma Venter     8th January 2021 An “extraordinary year” that has brought “unprecedented challenges” to South Africa’s economy has seen new-vehicle sales decline by 29.1%, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). This follows a 2.8% drop in sales in 2019. 

New-vehicle sales down 29.1% in ‘extraordinary year’, says Naamsa

African Association of Automotive Manufacturers applauds AfCFTA launch

By: Irma Venter     7th January 2021 The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which was finalised at a virtual African Union (AU) summit in December, is an important milestone for the realisation of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers’ (AAAM’s) vision, says the association in a statement. This vision is... 

Dave Coffey
Dave Coffey

Hyundai introduces new brand to represent its hydrogen fuel-cell business

By: Irma Venter     6th January 2021 The Hyundai Motor Group has introduced HTWO as a new brand to represent the group’s hydrogen fuel-cell system.  The South Korean car maker says the brand builds on its 20-year-plus experience in hydrogen fuel-cell technology and will aim to present hydrogen as “a positive energy for humanity”.  

Hyundai introduces new brand to represent its hydrogen fuel-cell business

Volkswagen plans to link top executives’ bonuses to ESG targets

By: Bloomberg     18th December 2020 Volkswagen plans to link top executives’ bonuses to environmental, social and governance targets as the German industrial giant seeks to bolster sustainability credentials that are increasingly relevant to investors. VW will seek shareholder approval for the updated remuneration system at its... 

Electric cars closing in on gas guzzlers as battery costs plunge

By: Bloomberg     17th December 2020 Electric vehicles may cost about the same as their gas-guzzling brethren in just three or four years -- and only get cheaper from there, according to a new report from BloombergNEF. Electric cars and buses have long been saddled with bigger up-front costs than those burning gasoline or diesel,... 

Rare earth producers aim to agree global environment standards in 2021

By: Reuters     14th December 2020 Producers of rare earths, under increasing pressure from their industrial buyers over longstanding pollution issues, are hammering out a single set of global environmental standards, the head of the industry association has told Reuters. Manufacturers of products such as electronic goods and... 

Competition Commission publishes final automotive aftermarket guidelines

By: Donna Slater     11th December 2020 The Competition Commission has issued its final Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket, which are now available on the commission’s website and which will take effect from July 1, 2021. The guidelines were prepared in terms of Section 77 of the Competition Act (89... 

Absa to launch EV financing should critical mass be attained

By: Irma Venter     11th December 2020 Financial services group Absa is mulling the roll-out of a finance mechanism for electric vehicles (EVs) that will incorporate a solar home installation to charge that vehicle, says Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance (AVAF) business analytics and strategy head Henry Botha. However, before that can... 

Barloworld to focus on industrial goods, food sector

By: Irma Venter     11th December 2020 Barloworld will, in the medium to long term, focus on two verticals, namely industrial goods and related services, as well as food and food ingredients, says CEO Dominic Sewela. “As we manage the pivoting out of the automotive and logistics business, we are very clear that we don’t want to be a... 

Nissan, Japan Motors to set up assembly plant in Ghana

By: Irma Venter     11th December 2020 Nissan has appointed Japan Motors Trading as its local partner in setting up a new vehicle assembly facility in Accra, Ghana. The appointment flows from a 2018 memorandum of understanding signed between Nissan and the government of Ghana. 

Toyota Financial Services appoints new CEO

By: Irma Venter     10th December 2020 Toyota Financial Services South Africa (TFSSA) has appointed Thabo Manaka as its new CEO, effective January 1.  Manaka is succeeding Marius Burger, who is retiring at the end of the year, after seven years at the TFSSA helm.  

Thabo Manaka
Thabo Manaka

Barloworld signals intent to sell 50% of its motor retail division

By: Irma Venter     9th December 2020 Barloworld has advised shareholders that Barloworld South Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barloworld, has started discussions with NMI Durban South Motors – a joint venture of the Barloworld group in which it holds a 50% interest alongside the Akoo family – to dispose of the Barloworld... 

Dominic Sewela
Dominic Sewela
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