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Passenger Cars, Bakkies & Vans News

Re-opened Merc plant gears up for face-shield, breathing aid production 

By: Irma Venter     14th May 2020 Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) will manufacture 3D-printed recyclable plastic face shields for use in the mass screening for Covid-19, and for use at clinics and hospitals.  In addition, and pending quality assurance regulatory approval, the local arm of the German auto manufacturer will also... 

Cartrack sees no spike in cancellations owing to Covid-19, says Calisto 

By: Irma Venter     13th May 2020 Cartrack CEO Zak Calisto is confident the asset management and workforce optimisation company will be able to weather the current Covid-19 storm, provided “the storm doesn’t last forever”. “We have been able to deliver a high level of service to all our customers, despite the economic disruptions... 

Cartrack sees no spike in cancellations owing to Covid-19, says Calisto
Zak Calisto

The motor industry re-opens its doors  

By: Irma Venter     13th May 2020 Newly published regulations by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition have allowed the motor industry to immediately open for business, albeit under strict conditions. “We have carefully crafted new directives which will empower our dealership network across the country to cautiously... 

The motor industry re-opens its doors 

DoT unveils plans for new auto terminal at Durban, branch line concessioning 

By: Irma Venter     12th May 2020 The Department of Transport (DoT) intends to take over the functioning of struggling integrated public transport networks (IPTNs) in five cities, with six cities currently operating these systems, says Department of Transport director-general Alec Moemi. IPTNs should, ideally, incorporate bus... 

DoT unveils plans for new auto terminal at Durban, branch line concessioning

VWSA lost 17 000 units owing to lockdown; restarts production 

By: Irma Venter     11th May 2020 Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has lost production of around 17 000 vehicles at its Uitenhage plant, in the Eastern Cape, owing to the national Covid-19 lockdown, says chairperson and MD Thomas Schäfer. The plant produces the Polo hatchback for the local and global export markets, with the... 

VWSA lost 17 000 units owing to lockdown; restarts production
Thomas Schäfer

Carmakers urged to invest in mines to avoid battery metal pinch

By: Bloomberg     11th May 2020 Mine developers scrambling to fund projects to meet forecast demand for battery metals see the threat of looming supply crunches as a trigger for electric-vehicle makers to step in with investments. An already tough environment to raise project finance for the mines is being made worse by the... 

Auto exports broke several records pre-Covid-19, says Lamprecht 

By: Irma Venter     8th May 2020 The nearly 100% decline in April new-vehicle sales and export figures serves as barometer of the impact of Covid-19 on the domestic automotive industry and the economy at large, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa and Automotive Industry Export Council executive... 

Auto exports broke several records pre-Covid-19, says Lamprecht
Norman Lamprecht

Sasol Solar Challenge postponed to early 2021

By: Irma Venter     7th May 2020 This year's Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) has been postponed until early 2021. The solar car racing event is provisionally scheduled to take place from February 19 to February 26, instead of September this year as initially planned, say the organisers. 

Sasol Solar Challenge postponed to early 2021

South Africa's auto industry ambitions threatened by coronavirus

By: Reuters     6th May 2020 The expansion of South Africa's auto industry is central to the government's economic development strategy but the coronavirus crisis has forced carmakers into survival mode and could push ambitious growth plans out of reach. Industry officials say the government needs to defer some tax payments... 

Ford dealers contribute R1m to face shield initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th May 2020 Ford dealers in South Africa, through the Ford National Dealer Council, have stepped up to support the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA’s) face shield manufacturing initiative by contributing R1-million to the project. Ford suppliers and business partners, including Absa, have... 

VW, German govt in project to convert PE plant into R135m medical facility  

By: Irma Venter     5th May 2020 Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has made its Port Elizabeth plant available as a temporary medical facility in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to assist the local and provincial government in providing care to Covid-19 patients in Nelson Mandela Bay. 

VW, German govt in project to convert PE plant into R135m medical facility 
The Port Elizabeth plant which will be converted into a medical facility. Thomas Schäfer is to the far left.

Covid-19 lockdown pummels April new-vehicle sales, exports 

By: Irma Venter     5th May 2020 As could be expected during the level 5 Covid-19 lockdown, new-vehicle sales and exports numbered almost zero in April. With dealerships closed, businesses forced to work remotely and consumers stuck at home, traffic was at an all-time low, never mind sales, notes vehicle and asset finance... 

Covid-19 lockdown pummels April new-vehicle sales, exports 

Toyota Yaris fastest-selling used car in South Africa, says AutoTrader

By: Irma Venter     4th May 2020 The Toyota Yaris was the fastest-selling used-vehicle in South Africa from February 1 to March 31, 2020, at 18 days, says online trading platform AutoTrader. This data is derived from AutoTrader’s Used Car Rate of Sale, a metric used to extract insight from AutoTrader’s vehicle taxonomy database.  

Toyota Yaris fastest-selling used car in South Africa, says AutoTrader

WesBank receives more than 70 000 requests for payment relief

By: Irma Venter     30th April 2020 WesBank has, to date, received 64 434 individual customer requests for payment relief owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as 5 752 business customer requests, says head of marketing and communication Lebogang Gaoaketse. WesBank in March announced payment relief plans to assist... 

WesBank receives more than 70 000 requests for payment relief

Govt set to lose up to R7bn in April on fuel levies, says AA 

By: Irma Venter     29th April 2020 With the significant drop in fuel use seen during April’s lockdown, government’s revenue from the general fuel levy (GFL), which comprises about 25% of every litre of fuel, is set to suffer a major decline, says the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA). “Considering the annual collection... 

Govt set to lose up to R7bn in April on fuel levies, says AA

Despite drop in revenue, fuel price could save taxi industry  

By: Irma Venter     28th April 2020 South Africa’s minibus taxi industry will, most likely, see a reduction in fare revenue of between R100-million to R200-million a month, or R300 to R600 per taxi a month, owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, says senior strategist and economist Alistair Maxwell, who works with the Ubunye Group. “We’ll... 

Despite drop in revenue, fuel price could save taxi industry 

Even essential industries have suffered reduced demand

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th April 2020 Leading up to the phased reopening of the economy that South Africa will undertake from May 1, research institute Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (Tips) says data on the overall economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet available, but the economy will undoubtedly suffer owing to... 

Car, truck dealers urge govt to allow trade as soon as possible

By: Irma Venter     23rd April 2020 It is imperative that car and truck dealerships be among the first businesses to return to work once lockdown restrictions are eased, says National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) chairperson Mark Dommisse. “In order for the economy to function efficiently, it relies on various forms of... 

Car, truck dealers urge govt to allow trade as soon as possible
Mark Dommisse

Supply chain may be on the cusp of what it can endure, says Toyota boss 

By: Irma Venter     23rd April 2020 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) does not envisage any job losses at its plant owing to the countrywide shutdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19, says CEO and president Andrew Kirby. However, there are some concerns regarding the health of the automotive industry supply chain. 

Supply chain may be on the cusp of what it can endure, says Toyota boss
Andrew Kirby

Best-case scenario a 16% drop in new-vehicle sales, says Toyota 

By: Irma Venter     22nd April 2020 New-vehicle sales in South Africa may, at best, decline by 16% in 2020, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Leon Theron. “That is if the situation returns to normal immediately after [the end of lockdown on April 30], which is clearly not possible,” he adds. 

Best-case scenario a 16% drop in new-vehicle sales, says Toyota

A number of firsts as electric Jaguar I-Pace named Car of the Year

By: Irma Venter     21st April 2020 The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD SE has been named the 2020 AutoTrader South African Car of the Year. This is the first time the competition has been won by a Jaguar, and it is also the first win by an electric vehicle. 

A number of firsts as electric Jaguar I-Pace named Car of the Year
The Jaguar I-Pace

VWSA produces ventilator parts, face masks in fight against Covid-19 

By: Irma Venter     20th April 2020 With vehicle production halted owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has switched its focus to the manufacture of face masks and medical equipment. VWSA has partnered with Gusco, which has previously been a beneficiary of the company’s Community Trust, to produce... 

VWSA produces ventilator parts, face masks in fight against Covid-19
VWSA, Gusco face mask production

BMW South Africa donates 40 000 high-grade masks to Gauteng govt

20th April 2020 Responding to a call for help from the Gauteng Department of Health, BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA) has donated 40 000 protective respiratory (FFP2) face masks to the Gauteng government to assist health-service workers in their fight against Covid-19. FFP2 masks have a minimum of 94%... 

BMW South Africa donates 40 000 high-grade masks to Gauteng govt

South Africa’s new-car market could drop by 20% in 2020

By: Irma Venter     20th April 2020 The South African new-car market could decline by around 20% this year on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Auric Auto BMW dealer principal and former National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) chairperson Eric Scoble. “Lockdown means economic activity ceases. It doesn’t matter if your... 

South Africa’s new-car market could drop by 20% in 2020

Ford acquires two humanoid robots

By: Irma Venter     16th April 2020 Ford Motor Company has acquired the first two robots off the production line at Agility Robotics, the producer of Digit, a commercially available robot with arms and legs designed to work with humans and in human spaces. This purchase continues the existing research partnership between Agility... 

Ford acquires two humanoid robots

Covid-19 decimates global Q1 new-vehicle sales 

By: Irma Venter     15th April 2020 With March sales reports for most markets in, save for China, it is possible to gain a better view of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on new-vehicle sales, says data analytics and consulting company GlobalData. In Europe, light-vehicle sales were down 46.3% year-on-year in March. 

Covid-19 decimates global Q1 new-vehicle sales

An African automotive industry is starting to emerge

By: Irma Venter     10th April 2020 The great African automotive story of this year will be Ghana, says Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) chairperson and MD Thomas Schäfer, who is also the president of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM). The AAAM, established in November 2015, focuses on the expansion of... 

An African automotive industry is starting to emerge

Covid-19 forces Bloodhound land-speed record attempt into hibernation

By: Irma Venter     9th April 2020 The Bloodhound land-speed record (Bloodhound LSR) attempt has gone into hibernation. Following successful high-speed testing in South Africa in October and November, Bloodhound LSR has been focussed on securing sponsorship to further fund its world land-speed record campaign, says CEO Ian... 

Covid-19 forces Bloodhound land-speed record attempt into hibernation

Ford South Africa starts face shield production 

By: Irma Venter     9th April 2020 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has started production of 57 000 protective face shields that will be donated to front-line medical and essential services personnel who are most at risk of contracting Covid-19.  The face shields, which protect the user’s eyes, nose and mouth, are... 

Ford South Africa starts face shield production
Face shield production at Ford

Sandton, Franschhoek most compliant in staying at home, says Tracker 

By: Irma Venter     8th April 2020 South Africans are largely heeding the call to stay home during the national lockdown, says vehicle locating firm Tracker. South Africa entered a national lockdown on March 27 in an attempt to fight the spread of Covid-19.  

Sandton, Franschhoek most compliant in staying at home, says Tracker

PE car terminal scores 96% in Volkswagen audit

By: Irma Venter     8th April 2020 The Port Elizabeth Car Terminal has aced the Volkswagen group’s global quality audit, scoring 96% across sections such as export processes, housekeeping, security, vehicle handling, as well as condition of storage, says Transnet Port Terminals (TPT). The audit is held every five years across all... 

PE car terminal scores 96% in Volkswagen audit

Covid-19 puts EV sales, carbon emission targets at risk, says GlobalData 

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2020 Data analytics and consulting company GlobalData says lower oil prices as a result of the Covid-19 crisis could reduce electric vehicle (EV) demand and impair European Union (EU) efforts to significantly reduce average new vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the European car market.... 

Review the market longevity of vehicles made locally, asks EV programme  

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2020 Government’s incentive scheme for the local automotive industry, the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), implemented in 2013 and ending in 2020, has no direct incentive for the production of alternative drivetrain technologies, such as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), says... 

Review the market longevity of vehicles made locally, asks EV programme

Toyota has repaired 70 essential service vehicles since lockdown started

By: Irma Venter     6th April 2020 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) says it has, as of close of business on April 3,  supplied vehicle parts and made repairs to about 70 essential-services vehicles since the start of the nationwide lockdown on March 27.  “We have dealerships in every province and we will continue to do our part... 

Toyota has repaired 70 essential service vehicles since lockdown started

As Covid-19 clears the air in the 13th most polluted city, rethink EVs, urges uYilo  

By: Irma Venter     6th April 2020 By the end of last year, a total of 1 119 plug-in electric vehicles had been sold in South Africa, of which 545 were battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 574 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), says the newly released State of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in South Africa report, published by the... 

As Covid-19 clears the air in the 13th most polluted city, rethink EVs, urges uYilo

March used-car sales provide a glimmer of hope, says AutoTrader 

By: Irma Venter     3rd April 2020 There is little positive news at the moment, but used-car sales in South Africa during March do provide a glimmer of hope, says AutoTrader CEO George Minnie. He says March began well, and used-car sales were on track to sustain this year’s positive performance. 

March used-car sales provide a glimmer of hope, says AutoTrader

Auto industry faces ‘existential threat’, says GlobalData

By: Irma Venter     2nd April 2020 The automotive sector is facing its biggest existential threat since the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis, with multidimensional challenges at its door, says data analytics and consulting company GlobalData. These include supply-chain restrictions, workforce safety and demand drop off. 

Auto industry faces ‘existential threat’, says GlobalData
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