Tag Archive 'car industry'

May 20 2009

About “half-South Africans” Musk and Federer

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

In my (slightly biased) view, the most important news item in today’s Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) was the 10% stake taken by Daimler in California-based electric car company Tesla, founded and managed by the ex-South African Elon Musk. [Read on]

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May 07 2009

Fiat wants General Motors South Africa

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

According to a 46-page business plan Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne presented the German government in Berlin today, the Italian auto company also wants to take over the General Motors (GM) business in South Africa.

The good news: If Marchionne gets his way, GM South Africa will continue to be managed independently under Fiat. [Read on]

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Mar 17 2009

SA benefits from Germany’s economic support package

Published by under Companies,More News

Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) unexpectedly received an extra order for 6,000 Polos for export to Europe, the company’s managing director David Powels told the website SouthAfrica.info earlier this week. He described the order as a “mini windfall”. 

“Our factory was set to shut down completely during the weeks before and after the Easter weekend,” Powels said. “These plans have now been cancelled, and we will run full production due to this increase in export demand.”

The extra export order was a direct spin-off from Germany’s economic support package, and specifically the so-called Auto Industry Financial Support Package, which pays €2,500 (about R32,269) to anyone in Germany who buys a new, low-emission passenger car and scraps an existing car that is over nine years old. 

“The short-term demand created by the support package has resulted in VWSA’s receipt of the order for incremental export Polos,” Powels said. 

“In view of the current uncertain business climate, we welcome this new development.”

VWSA recently exported its 375,000th vehicle. 

Comment: No doubt, the German taxpayer, who is funding the support package with his tax money, would have preferred to save jobs in his own country!

Similar “unintended outcomes” from the stimulation package, eg. booming sales of small cars from France and other non-German car manufacturers, have lead to revisions of the stimulation package in recent weeks. But, it’s unlikely that the “unintended outcome” of bigger imports from South Africa, will be jumped upon by the local media. After all, VWSA is part of the “extended family”.

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Mar 04 2009

Z-One on Geneva Motor Show

Published by under Companies,More News

The South African-built sports car Z-One also featured in today’s Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) report on the Geneva Motor Show. But, nothing more than a picture and a caption describing the Z-One a “car for enthusiasts, designed in Italy and built in SA”.

Here is the background to the car.

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Dec 11 2008

The blogger’s adrenalin kick

Published by under More News,Opinion,South Africa

This blog is really about hard news. More specifically, news made by South African businesses in Europe. But, every now and then I indulge in an opinion piece, or crystal ball gazing. And then get a helluva kick when my “forecasts” later turn out to be spot-on.      [Read on]

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Nov 17 2008

Daimler draws a blank

Published by under Companies,Opinion,Top Stories

This morning’s Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) confirmed to me that Stuttgart-based Daimler has a tough time ahead of it. And that Daimler’s advertising agency might be suffering a lapse in concentration.  [Read on]

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Oct 09 2008

SA to manufacture own electric car

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

By Joule! South Africa has developed a 6-seater multi-purpose electric car. It’s called Joule and the first manufacturing plant will be based in Gauteng, reported the UK-based newspaper The South African.  

[Read on]

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Sep 10 2008

Shame on you, motoring journalists

Published by under Europe,Opinion

First published on my old blog on 11/5/2007.

When a competition for the global car industry called “The International Engine of the Year Award” does not have a sub-category called “Best Green Engine” or “Best New Energy Engine” among its 11 sub-categories, one can (and should) criticize the organisers for their “lack of environment awareness”.  [Read on]

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