Fiat still on the lookout for merger partner. Could it be Hyundai?

Rome – In the wake of collapsed merger talks with French rival Renault, options for Italian-American carmaker Fiat-Chrysler to jump to the top tier of global automobile manufacturers are limited. Analysts said Fiat-Chrysler’s dramatic merger proposal with Renault last month had the potential to reshape the worldwide motor industry. It would have created the sector’s third largest company in terms of vehicle production and revenue, a company with a significant presence in every vehicle category and in almost every major car market. The planned “merger of equals” could have created…

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New Mitsubishi Triton toughens up

Engineered beyond tough, the new muscular-styled Triton makes its local debut less than six months after the world launch and is sure to keep the heads turning. Celebrating four decades with a tough new look and a host of enhanced exterior and interior features, the 2019 Triton also has an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission. “The new tough-looking Triton is significantly more competitive and meets the diverse needs of bakkie customers around the world,” says Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa. “Mitsubishi Motors is celebrating its 40th year…

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Ford unveils next-gen Kuga for SA: New hybrid SUV, drive modes, improved tech

• Sleek, spacious all-new Ford Kuga unveiled • Mild-, full- and plug-in hybrid powertrains • Based on Ford’s new global C2 architecture • FordPass Connect, 12.3″ digital cluster, wireless charging, SYNC 3 with 8″ touchscreen, B&O Sound System • Distinctive all-new Kuga variants including Titanium, ST-Line and Vignale Ford has unveiled its stylish and distinctive range of new Kuga SUVs. Ford says: “The Kuga Titanium, sporty ST Line and upscale Vignale will offer an advanced range of hybrid powertrains for unprecedented SUV fuel-efficiency.” The comprehensive line-up includes Kuga Plug-In Hybrid,…

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Squeezed consumers see new vehicle sales drop

JOHANNESBURG – Data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) showed that pressure was mounting on the new-vehicles sector due to consumers’ depressed disposable income and the weaker rand. Naamsa said new vehicle sales dropped 3.1percent year-on-year to 47718 units in March. Mike Mabasa, executive director of Naamsa, said prospects for domestic new vehicle sales, particularly the new car market, would continue to be affected by the depressed macro-economic environment and pressure on household disposable income. “Higher food, fuel and electricity prices, a weaker exchange rate…

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New car sales under pressure

New vehicle sales declined significantly in February compared with previous months, largely due to load shedding by Eskom, according to the National Automobile Association of SA (Naamsa). Industry sales declined 3016 units and ended the month on 43251 units, 6.5percent down on the same month last year. “While we expect first-half sales to be slow, the market was no doubt rattled by the week-long impact of load shedding at the beginning of the month, which impacted consumer and business confidence,” said Ghana Msibi, WesBank’s executive head of motor. “Reassuringly, however,…

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OPINION: Opportunity for SA to drive car manufacturing industry in Africa

JOHANNESBURG – The manufacture of vehicles is one of the most advanced forms of manufacturing within the global economy.There are many structural features of the automotive manufacturing process that cause it to locate in relatively few economies. These same structural features also mean that there is a high level of trade between producer countries in both built-up vehicles and componentry. The South African automotive sector only really entered the global value chain after the motor industry development plan in 1995. However, it has made good progress and now exports about…

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VW creates entry-level JETTA brand to capture first-time buyers

INTERNATIONAL -Volkswagen on Tuesday said it will launch an entry-level JETTA brand in China in the third quarter this year, as a way to capture first-time buyers in the world’s largest car market which has started to sputter. Car sales in China fell for a seventh straight month in January, the country’s top auto industry association said earlier this month. A third of the Chinese car market is in a segment which is positioned below the main volume segment, where the Volkswagen brand is market leader, VW said. To capture…

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Toyota’s Hilux GR Sport is coming to South Africa

Johannesburg – Toyota South Africa has officially confirmed that its Hilux GR Sport limited edition will hit South African showrooms in mid-2019. Although it would be a stretch to call it a rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor – which incidentally is also being launched this year – the Toyota does get modified “off-road biased” suspension, which Toyota has not elaborated on at this point. Of course the main selling point is that it’s packed with a whole lot of Gazoo Racing design flavour, in the form of a unique grille with…

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Honda Announces Global Automobile Manufacturing Restructure

Honda Announces Global Automobile Manufacturing Restructure

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