14 27 32

MISA Magic Dropping a Stitch Shock Treatment

56 60 68

Braking the Sound Barrier Life Goes On Springs has Sprung



Tilting at Windmills
Every now and then something weird and wonderful occurs which attracts my attention. Not weird in the strange and bizarre sense, but weird in the majestic and mythical sense. Just such a moment occurred in March 2009 at the Automechanika exhibition at NASREC.


t was the sight of a trade union exhibiting at a citadel of trade and capitalism that intrigued me, and even more intriguing was their artful use of marketing and communication, to such an extent that they were judged as the top stand out of 421 displays, and their efforts were lauded as “outstanding in every aspect in which an exhibition stand is evaluated”. I was humbled in the realisation that my perception of trade unionism was not entirely correct and the recognition that when anyone applies lateral thinking weird and wonderful things can happen. This was the catalyst to have a closer look at MISA (Motor Industry Staff Association), and as I unpeeled this tantalising onion layer by layer, tears came to my eyes, not from the pungency of the onion, but rather from a feeling of awe and wonder, and admiration for a true Don Quixote effort by a great team of out of the box thinkers. Don’t get me wrong. Don Quixote has gone down in the annals of literature as an impractical idealist, but any true scholar of the works of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes will understand that with Don Quixote, de Cervantes was really taking a serious and philosophical look at the world of ordi-

byline “the intelligent alternative”, and the linchpin for the aspiration of effective and responsible trade unionism. It is based on this understanding that ABR has allowed its much sought after cover to honour the inspiring team at MISA, and to give space to Dana de Villiers to answer two probing questions, which can be found on page 14. Talking about tilting at windmills, we also introduce in the June 2009 issue of ABR a new and exciting contributor, Theo Calitz of T-R-M (Total Relationship Management). Theo is going to focus on how to enhance personalised customer care and customer satisfaction, and this series of articles will complement and augment the Trilogy Customer C.A.R.E. Programme introduced in our April 2009 issue. To have two dedicated articles each month on customer care shows how seriously ABR takes this subject, and judging by the shocking levels of service in this country, our readers may think that we are really tilting at windmills, but we are made of strong stock, and we shall persevere in attempting to change the service culture in this country, and particularly in the motor industry. Go to page 28 to read Theo’s pearls of wisdom.

nary people and casting a sharp eye on accepted beliefs, reality, honesty, and chauvinism. The true intent of the story lies in the full title of the book “El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha”. Ingenioso means inventiveness, and this is the essence of Don Quixote’s quest. He was tilting at windmills, but with inventiveness. This is also the essence of what Dana de Villiers and his team are doing. They are people who do not accept the status quo, and who refuse to be pigeonholed. People who strive to fulfil their mandate, not in an aimless and conventional way, but in a highly effective and imaginative way. They confront the realities and they change perceptions. This is the quintessential rationale behind the

w w w. a b r b u z z . c o . z a
ABR’s website is growing from strength to strength. This month’s issue; as well as previous issues; is available in its entirety at www.abrbuzz.co.za, and this webpage is updated daily with the latest news and views. Read all about it in South Africa’s most respected and most influential automotive aftermarket publication.

Boardroom Edition of RMI 101
rilogy Publishing has been commissioned by the RMI to produce a prestigious edition of the history of the RMI, and a history of the companies that contributed to the development of the South African automotive industry, in all its forms, over the past 101 years. Scheduled for publication in November 2009, the RMI 101 serves the primary purpose of celebrating the centenary of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation, whilst also informing the automotive community of the role the organisation plays today. The RMI 101 issue has another exciting purpose – to provide a forum for the who’s who of the automotive industry to tell their stories,


and to contribute to this rich tapestry of our pioneering history. The editorial copy shall be written by highly qualified and esteemed journalists assigned the task by Trilogy Publishing, with the welcome participation of the companies involved. The compilation of RMI 101 shall commence in August 2009, and is scheduled for completion in October 2009, and distribution is planned for November 2009, as it will serve as a wonderful year end gift. We shall only be allowing 101 companies, basically first come first served, so we recommend that you indicate as soon as possible whether you wish to be involved in this venture. Trilogy Publishing and the RMI will truly appreciate an enthusiastic

response from the industry in compiling an accurate and magnificent acknowledgement of the pioneers of the automotive industry in our country and something worthwhile to serve as a memorable memento of our wonderful history.

Please contact Stanton Porter Marketing at 012 654 2745; or Graham Erasmus at 083 709 8184 or bigheart@iafrica.com for more details on how you can participate at incredibly low rates. Don’t delay; this opportunity only comes once every 101 years!








4 8 10 12 14 16 20 22 24 26 28 32 34 36 38 42 44 46
Publishing Editor Graham Erasmus 083 709 8184

The Phoenix What’s the Buzz Wilde Things Industry Icons Cover Story Tony’s Take The Chery Story Frankly Speaking Health Care Vehicle Evaluation Customer C.A.R.E. Managing the Risks Weighty Issues Auto Topical Personal Profile Tyre Safety Diamond Dialogues Safety, Bling and Flying High
Intelli-Driving Editor Eugene Herbert 082 941 3785 Correspondents Beeton, Frank Borlz, Baron Claude Burford, Adrian

Tilting at Windmills

The Dumbing Down of the World Focus on Forsdicks MISA Magic The Zuma Cabinet of 2009 Chery Shines at Shanghai Motor Show Dropping a Stitch? Managing Your Health Jiminy Cricket! Customer Relationship Management Trilogy Customer C.A.R.E. Programme Shock Treatment For Toyota Trucks, Read Hino Automotive GDP Contribution Recovers Q & A with Jacques Brent Tyres’ Contribution to Safety in Motoring Inferior Parts – the Consequences

Commercial Vehicle Editor Alwyn Viljoen 082 458 9332

Gamble, Austin Keeg, Howard McCleery, Roger Stadler, Johann Twine, Tony Wilde, Fingal

Published by: Trilogy Publishing Advertising Sales: Stanton Porter Marketing Tel. 012 654 2745






48 50 51 53 54 56 58 60 62 66 68 72 74 75 76 77

Transport History Burford on Brands e-CAR AutoZone Update Capricorn Insights Topclass Topics Euroquip News Industry Update Robert Bosch Industry Update Partinform AIDC Quiz AIDC Conference Fast Wheels Industry Update The Last Writes

Stonehenge – Eat your Heart Out Pontiac About to Join its Ancestors Golden Nugget Get Turbocharged Taking the High Road “Braking” the Sound Barrier Valeo for Life Life Goes On Bosch Service National Convention 2009 Champions of Industry Springs has Sprung 20 Questions Navigating the Storm No passing F1 is Back An Ideal Becoming a Reality

The publisher and contributors have done their best to ensure the accuracy of the articles and cannot accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience sustained by any reader as a result of information or advice in Automotive Business Review. The information provided and opinions expressed in this publication are provided in good faith and do not necessaraly represent the opinion of the publisher. No article may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission from the publisher, except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

Editorial Office: 81 Alma Road Wendywood Tel 27 11 656 2198 Fax 27 11 802 3979 e-mail: bigheart@iafrica.com Website: www.abrbuzz.co.za

Subscriptions and Data Management: Trilogy Trading & Promotion P O Box 69 Wendywood 2144 Tel 27 11 802 6020 Fax 27 11 802 3979 e-mail: bigheart@iafrica.com

Design and Reproduction: j. Kraft Information Design cc Tel: 012 997 6946 Fax: 012 997 6987 e-mail: jackie@kraftinfo.co.za

Printing: Business Print Centre, Pretoria





Alcoa Wheel Products has been selected by Automobili Lamborghini to supply lightweight wheels for its Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce (SV). The forged alloy wheels reduce unsprung weight and contribute to the SV’s 100kg mass reduction over the standard Murciélago. “The new Murciélago SV is the product of a substantial cross-car weight reduction programme and forged wheels are vital to this,” explains David Yates, marketing manager for Alcoa Europe. "The engineering behind Alcoa’s wheels enables a 20 percent weight saving over a comparable cast aluminium wheel, benefiting handling and ride.” The exclusive five twin-spoke design results in a superior metal structure that improves strength and durability, offering the opportunity to create very strong and lightweight wheels. The structure also allows for more material to be milled out to achieve finer detailing while retaining strength. At the front the 18”x 8.5” wheels weigh just 8.9kg each, while the 18”x13” rears each weigh 12.3kg. Lowering the unsprung mass at each corner results in more responsive steering, braking and suspension input all while optimising performance and efficiency for drivers of the SuperVeloce.

A new front in the war against malaria is being waged by insect repellent manufacturer Tabard. To coincide with the World Malaria Day on April 25, Tabard launched a brand new website dedicated to malaria awareness – www.malariafocus.com. An integral part of this website will be Tabard’s new school project initiative, and a special project pack containing vital information about combating malaria will be freely available to schools and teachers who register via Tabard’s new website. Applications can also be made in writing, either by e-mail or fax. The project materials will be available to schools throughout Africa and are most suitable for learners between 14 to 18 years of age. Malaria claims nearly 1 million lives annually in Africa. This staggering death toll is increasing largely as a result of environmental degradation and change, yet malaria is preventable and treatable. Controlling the disease is an essential key to breaking the cycle of poverty in Africa. Tabard advocates a full circle approach to malaria prevention; in other words taking all possible precautions. This includes anti-malarial medication, use of mosquito nets, water treatment, residual insecticide spraying and use of insect repellents. Tabard cautions people travelling into a malaria area against using minimal protection or relying on unregistered “natural” remedies.

Jaguar – a company that has long been famous for producing beautiful, fast cars – is about to make its mark in another area: that of saving the planet. With effect from April 2009 the company has introduced two industry-leading carbon dioxide (CO2) offset programmes. According to Andrew Daniel, Managing Director of Jaguar South Africa, the first of these is a programme to offset the CO2 emitted during the assembly of all vehicles produced at the company’s two manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom. “We will focus on three actions: switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, promoting renewable technology and improving energy efficiency within communities and industry alike,” he reveals. Simultaneously, the company is introducing a voluntary programme for Jaguar owners wishing to offset the CO2 emissions of their vehicles (both new and pre-owned). Owners who elect to participate in this programme should visit http://www.jpmorganclimatecare.com/jaguar. An easy-to-use calculator works out the carbon emissions after the owner has provided basic information such as the specific Jaguar he or she drives, the fuel and engine type, transmission and mileage he or she wishes to offset. The website also provides information about the projects that their contributions will support. “Funding will go towards real environmental technologies that can be introduced in different places or communities to reduce CO2 emissions – such as wind turbines or solar power,” explains Daniel. In addition to the reassurance that they are doing their part to save the planet, participating owners will receive a certificate from carbon offsetting expert, ClimateCare, which is administering the programme on Jaguar’s behalf. The programme will support the offset of around 70 000 tons of CO2 in 2009.

Ken Ken 7 x 7
How to Play: Like Sudoku, even though difficulty may vary
from puzzle to puzzle, the rules for playing KenKen are fairly simple: For a 7x7 puzzle, fill in with the numbers 1-7. • Do not repeat a number in any row or column. • The numbers in each heavily outlined set of squares, called cages, must combine (in any order) to produce the target number in the top corner of the cage using the mathematical operation indicated. • Cages with just one box should be filled in with the target number in the top corner. • A number can be repeated within a cage as long as it is not in the same row or column. Answer on page 27






The Dumbing Down of the World
by Fingal Wilde

Freedom Day, 27th April 2009 marked 15 years of full blown democracy in South Africa. Co-incidentally, it is in Time magazine’s 27th April 2009 issue in which Carla Power reviews Paul Collier's new book; Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places.


xford economist Paul Collier argues that in rich countries, democracy makes life more peaceful and prosperous, whereas in poor countries, it makes life more dangerous. He points out that elections, unsupported by robust institutions, are simply political fetishes. Collins continues with a close to the bone analysis for South Africans, by showing that in rich democracies elections allow citizens to hold their politicians accountable. Spine chillingly, Collier shows how in poorly educated places, riven by ethnic and tribal rivalries, the easiest way to win is not good governance, but bad. He continues, "in a world that rewards the rituals of democracy - not just with loaded votes, but with fat aid checks from abroad, thuggery and vote rigging pay”. Uncanny, isn't it, coming just after our elections on 22nd April, and our unique form of thuggery and vote rigging. Our form of thuggery is the flimsy dropping of charges by an insipid, feckless and intimidated NPA, and our form of vote rigging is the ballot given to uneducated, and quite frankly, thick people. A rather harsh analysis, you may say, but consider this - apart from the jobs for pals and the patronage that the ruling party can dole out, why vote for a government that has done so little for the vast majority of the population? I am afraid that our election results show just how thick our citizens are, because the government can only go so far with patronage, and this cannot account for even 10% of their votes. The rest can only be ascribed to the fact that our electorate is as thick as seven planks, and their behaviour can be likened to that of a sheep mentality. No one can argue that when they put that cross against the smiling face of someone who has rather dubious credentials, that their cognitive processes were working at full tilt, and that they were thinking clearly. It is a great fallacy to believe that the electorate is not stupid, and that they know what they are doing, as

most political commentators claim. This is pure unadulterated hogwash, and dangerous semantics. It is political correctness taken to the extreme end of lucidity, and for those of us in the cerebral minority, it simply doesn’t wash. I could go on and on with so many examples, so I will close the chapter on our political immaturity with just one question to those mothers and fathers who voted for the shower fiend, and just one question to those women who voted for the self same AIDS guru. The questions, respectively, would be “Would you feel comfortable in allowing your daughter to stay overnight at his house, un chaperoned (or even chaperoned!)?” and “Would you feel comfortable in staying overnight at his house?” If the answer is yes, then you’re either a pimp or a prostitute. And yet, two thirds of our electorate did exactly that, so I rest my case. Now I am going to go a little further, and to say that it is not just the developing world that suffers from the malady of thick skulls. Whereas the developed world may have honed their democratic credentials over the centuries, the signs are there that these societies are also in serious decline when it comes to intellectual matters. I am not convinced that literary and speaking skills are not directly related to overall IQ levels, because these are what sets us apart from the animal world, and keeps us a generation away from retrograding into our previous savage state. But just look at the

letters written from the front in the American Civil War, and the letters written from the trenches in the First World War; and contrast them with today’s letters and e-mails written by the American and British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you will see a marked decline in literacy levels. You need more evidence? Take Sky News, for example. It is a useful news station in that you can get the latest news every 15 minutes, but to get this news you usually have to first suffer the mortifying experience of hearing about the latest comings and goings of the footballing fraternity. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together is simply not interested whether cretin A is moving from Arsenal to Chelsea for some ridiculous sum, or whether cretin B is upset because a referee did not give a penalty in some insignificant game where grown men chase a round ball in front of thousands of fellow cretins. My apologies for calling them cretins, but how can anyone who has a sliver of self respect be interested in Neanderthals who have problems in stringing a couple of sentences together, but do seem to have the cranium for heading a soccer ball? And the newspapers in the UK are also full of this absolute rubbish. Why can’t we provide enough room to celebrate the intellectual pursuits of humanity, and consign the athletic to a far less substantial space? I know that this is a forlorn hope, because the world is well on its way to even more dumbing down.

Which of these craniums is more suited to heading a soccer ball?






Bernie Fineman, the star presenter of the 'Chop Shop: London Garage' series on Discovery Channel UK and Kevin Perkins aka Michael Niaker,

will host this year’s action packed event. It’s all about the meanest, loudest, fastest and most desirable customised and modified cars, exotics, classic cars and custom bikes, along with the top automotive tuners, fitment centres, sound systems, wheels and tyres, suspension modifications, accessories – and a whole lot more, including the Mangawani Spa and Kids corner. For more information, visit www.extremeautoshow.co.za or www.chromecard.co.za

Hyundai Automotive South Africa recently announced the appointment of Seam Sports cc to roll out promotional and community upliftment projects in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Seam Sports will be responsible for rolling out its Hyundai Fast Furious Futbol concept at venues across the country. Seam Sports will also arrange and manage Football Clinics in underprivileged areas through their “Sports 4 Poverty” initiative on behalf of Hyundai. The Fast Furious Futbol concept is based on “Four versus Four” Football games played within a fully-enclosed, portable and inflatable arena. The basics of Foot balling Technique – Triangular Play – are put to the test in the highpaced games with speed of movement and positional play being of importance. The introduction of a “Flying Keeper” within the Fast Furious Futbol concept is sure to add to the speed, fun and excitement of the 6-minute long, non-stop, one-way games; with “shooting on goal” from varying parts of the Arena now becoming an integral and testing part of the game.



Focus on Forsdicks
A series of articles on Forsdicks Sandton
Forsdicks is a member of the McCarthy Group, South Africa’s leading motor retailer. Brand Pretorius, Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Limited, regards the Forsdick Group as an important element in the McCarthy mix, “The Forsdicks Group with its proud history spanning more than 50 years, is a valuable member of the McCarthy Group. Our BMW approved collision repair shops represent a particular centre of excellence because of their singleminded focus on quality, service and customer satisfaction. I salute our highly specialised and professional teams for their significant contribution to the ongoing success of our group”.

Geared for Customer Satisfaction
The recent dramatic change in the new vehicle sales market has created a new dynamic. Car sales across the globe have declined by anything from 20% to 40%, and in some cases even worse than this. What has not changed is the fundamental fact that the motoring population and demographics have stayed the same, and this puts the onus on vehicle dealers to up the ante on customer service levels, from the sales floor through to the after sales departments. With the sales of new vehicles currently below the natural replacement cycle, we are moving to an older car parc, and the demand for service back up that ensures that cars do not deteriorate and lose value is high and will continue to grow. Forsdicks Sandton is ideally placed to meet these needs, having first class facil-

repair if you have the misfortune to have an accident in your prized BMW. An added bonus for non BMW owners is that Forsdicks is also approved for the majority of vehicle marques. Housed in a modern and well-equipped building in a safe, corporate environment with around the clock security, Forsdicks Approved Repair Centre has a highly skilled and committed team to offer its customers the best possible service. The spacious repair centre accommodates more than 54 vehicles in a 2 300m² workshop built on a stand of 7 000 m², thus allowing for parking and storage for an additional 90 vehicles. In short, a world class facility which stands up well to the most stringent requirements and audits. More on Forsdicks in the next issue of ABR.

Trevor Turner, Manager of Forsdicks Sandton Approved Repair Centre, ensures that each vehicle is delivered to the customer in perfect condition ities, professional sales and service staff, and very importantly, a BMW Approved Repair Centre, for peace of mind collision






MISA Magic
ABR puts two important questions to Dana de Villiers of MISA
Why would a trade union like MISA participate in an International Exhibition such as Automeckanika?
The Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA) organises exclusively in the retail motor and aftermarket, and because of that we have a very specific target market. It will be of no use to MISA to exhibit at the Johannesburg International Motor Show as the focus there is on the consumer and MISA will spend more time explaining why the general public cannot join as members than actually promoting our brand and philosophy. At the Inaugural Automechanika show held during March 2009 at NASREC that was exactly what MISA achieved. We had the opportunity of speaking to close on 3000 employers in the retail motor aftermarket. During these interactions we had the opportunity to share our organisational philosophy, brand, benefits and services with those employers. Some people might say that a trade union should not speak to the employers but rather organise the employees. It is after all the employees who must consider joining the trade union or not. That is so, however the primary relationship is between the employer and the employee and then the employees join the trade union. The trade union needs to obtain access to the workplace in terms of the requirements of the Labour Relations Act to organise the employees and convince them to join the trade union. In order to obtain access to the workplace the employer must consent to the arrangement and a time which is convenient and holds no danger in for the safety of the employees. From a trade union perspective, and we have found this in reality, employers are more amenable to interaction if they understand the trade union and have had experience with the trade union. The Automechanika Exhibition was the ideal vehicle for MISA to reach as many employers in the retail aftermarket as possible. Automechanika is a business to business trade show. The reason is very simple, that is where MISA has the greatest potential for membership growth. The alternative was to contact those employers individually in an attempt to engage them. The general perception of trade unions in South Africa is negative for a variety of reasons based on perceptions and actual experiences. Those perceptions can only be changed by the trade unions themselves through taking responsibility for their actions, managing the organisation as a business, professional conduct, integrity and respect for others without compromising the interests of their members. Within the retail aftermarket MISA will certainly endeavour to address those negative perceptions through our actions, benefits and service delivery; at least in as far as it pertains to MISA and its members.

What is the MISA philosophy and view on the role of trade unions and employers?
There are radically different views on the role, importance and need for trade unions in the workplace specifically and the economy in general. These views range from total worker control of all aspects to getting rid of trade unions and then the economy will show a positive growth. The reality is that none of these two extremes work in the long run. Communism did not work as we know through history and the capitalist system without regulation and driven by exuberant greed caused the biggest world economic crisis since the great depression in the 1930’s.




The MISA philosophy and approach is informed by a couple of issues, mainly the objectives as set out in our Constitution as approved by the Registrar of Labour Relations. The first objective for MISA is “to regulate relations between members and their employers and to protect and further the interests of members in relation to their employers”. The focus is on regulating relations between the employer and the MISA members and protecting the interest of the members. This links in with the key principle as set out in Schedule 8 – Code of Good Practice: Dismissal of the Labour Relations Act.The key principle in the Code is “employers and employees should treat one another with mutual respect. A premium is placed on both employment justice and the efficient operation of business. While employees should be protected against arbitrary action, employers are entitled to satisfactory conduct and work performance from their employees”. MISA therefore has a responsibility towards their members in achieving their goal of contributing to the relationship between the MISA members and the employer through our professional conduct, education of our members, not creating conflict between the MISA members and the employer whilst at the same time protecting and advancing the interests of the members. Membership of MISA does not give any member the right not to adhere to reasonable instructions by the employer, unsatisfactory work performance and ill discipline with the knowledge that MISA will step in as the trade union and protect the member. MISA members making them guilty of dishonest conduct, fraud or theft will not be represented. MISA will not utilise the general membership money to represent and protect such members.


The process we have implemented in assessing the merits of a case on behalf of a member is extremely thorough and comprehensive. MISA does not create expectations with members and then we cannot deliver. When MISA is of the opinion that a member has been unfairly treated by the employer we will pursue that case until we gain what we believe should be forthcoming to the member. The most recent example is where an employer refused to listen to MISA in 2002 regarding retrenchment benefits owing to 16 MISA members. The employer and his representative thought that they could drag the issue out and refer it to every court allowed for in the Labour Relations Act and that the employees would run out of money for legal representation. MISA represented those members and carried all the legal costs and we were awarded Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court rulings in our favour. The capital amount of R3, 837, 806-00 plus interest is payable to the members. This full amount is paid to the respective members and MISA does not withhold any of the money to offset legal costs nor did we charge the members any additional money to pay for the legal costs. That is the extent to which MISA goes to protect the interest of our members if the employer is not interested in finding solutions. The daily interaction with and on behalf of employees keep our dedicated and professional team of officials busy. It is important to understand that the actions of the employers towards our members and MISA will inform our reaction.




by Tony Twine, Senior Economist, Director – Econometrix (Pty) Ltd


The Zuma cabinet of 2009 – something for everyone?

When the budget was delivered in February 2009, this column looked at the probabilities of South African Economic Policy moving to the left of the Political spectrum in the wake of the ANC Pholokwane Convention of December 2007 and a probable ascent to the Presidency by Jacob Zuma (Lurching Left…Flying Right), March 2009. It concluded thatMacro Economic Policy, particularly fiscal and monetary policy would remain in a format agreeable to potential foreign investors, but that any leftward policy shift would take place in the operational or delivery departments of Government. The announcement of the Zuma cabinet on 10th May takes this story a step further forward.
he announcement of Jacob Zuma’s cabinet appointments saw a swathe of new cabinet appointees at both ministerial and deputy ministerial levels. The emergence of this new set of executive government leaders brings with it a group of new incumbents who have a significant amount of individual and collective experience, a privilege not as easily available to previous selectors within the governing alliance leadership and its policy advisors. The Star noted that “just over half the names on the new national executive are new, while only 12 out of the 62 ministers and deputy ministers from the previous cabinet are staying put. Only three former cabinet appointees – Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk and Labour Minister, Membathisi Mdlandlana – were retained in their previous positions.


Commission is yet to be detailed, as are its responsibilities and levels of authority, but it is unlikely that Manuel would have left Finance for any position of less influence and tangible power, the world and its employment opportunities currently being his oyster. The new department of Economic Development appears to be a spin-off from National Treasury within the Department of Finance, and its operational objectives are not crystal clear at this stage. One assumes that it will need to slot in with other major economy-driving departments like Finance, Trade and Industry, Energy, Transport and the new Presidential National Planning Committee.

The deployment of Rob Davies as Minister of Trade and Industry is probably very typical of the combination of ideology and pragmatism, together with experience of the massive department at both deputy ministerial level and as chair of the parliaCynics have pointed out the appointment mentary portfolio committee monitoring to Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial the department. Davies was one of the positions of SA Communist Party and early proponents of the phrase “developCOSATU leaders like Blade Nzimande, mental interventionist state”, the meaning Jeremy Cronin, Noluthando Mayendeof which is not particularly well defined in Sibiya and Ebrahim Patel. More fairly, it economic literature, but which could be a will be remembered that these are not the clear signal for both the financial and real first cabinet members to be appointed sectors of the economy to monitor the polfrom those particular parts of the ANC icy developments of DTI very closely. alliance, and the Mandela and both With the Zuma leadership having promised Mbeki cabinets had similarly aligned continuity of macro economic policy (espemembers, some of whom have survived cially fiscal and monetary rules and regulaJacob Zuma has put together a Ninja cabinet into the Zuma cabinet. At the same time, tions) the operating departments who have it would be naïve to deny the reward motivation for players who their hands on the regulatory levers governing actions and ownersupported Jacob Zuma in his ascent to the Presidency, but this is a ship in the real economy, are clearly the potential source of any idereality of real politick, which occurs in every organisation or enter- ological change that the new cabinet might bring to bear. The govprise, including political parties, business corporations, clubs and ernment departments most closely connected to the economy super-national governing organisations. The business community appear to be as well endowed with ministerial hands-on experience in South Africa will doubtlessly approve of the elevation of Pravin as could be imagined in a democratic government environment Gordhan to the position of Minister of Finance from the predom- which spans a mere 15 years. The economic ideology of a mixed inantly executive position at the head of revenue services, which he economy is already firmly established, and must continue to has held since 1999. His appointment inspires confidence because evolve. To paraphrase the ANC election manifesto and the words of his track record of predictability and unrelenting forcefulness in of Jacob Zuma at the time of announcing the cabinet, the time has moving from virtual chaos to highly systematic solutions. come for action and delivery, rather than debating the basic prinConsumers and business alike will welcome the fact that Trevor ciples of what it is that should be delivered. Manuel remains in cabinet, presumably at an even more elevated position than before. The work of the new National Planning Continued on page 18




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From page 16

Chery South Africa has launched a new 1.6-litre model and an automatic derivative to its Tiggo compact urban SUV range. Already consisting of a 2-litre model that is available in two trim levels, the Tiggo is a price leader in its class and packed full of surprises, offering a sedan-like performance, comfort and convenience. “Since the Tiggo range was first launched in May 2008, it has proved itself as a very well-rounded and versatile vehicle,” said Brett Soso, managing director of McCarthy Vehicle Imports. “These two new models are bound to appeal to a number of South African motorists who are looking for an affordable compact SUV.” The Tiggo 2.0 TXE Auto also now has a multifunctional steering wheel that allows the driver to conveniently adjust the radio or set cruise control without letting go of the steering wheel.




A series of articles on the rise of the Chery automobile

Chery Shines at Shanghai Motor Show
The Shanghai Motor Show, renamed as Auto Shanghai 2009, ran from 20 to 28 April 2009, and what was once seen as a marginal show on the international show circuit, is now considered as the place to be, by all and sundry. China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest car market, and with government incentives China is one of the few countries where the automobile market is still growing.

The M1

The A3 1,6 and 2,0
ith US and Europe car sales sharply down in the global recession, China is now perceived as an important market, and even the luxury players are doing the unthinkable by premiering at the Shanghai Show. Porsche unveiled the Panamera, their first foray into the sedan segment. In another world premiere, German automaker Daimler AG unveiled the remodelled Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG sedan. AMG sales nearly tripled in China last year, and government incentives will give sales of luxury cars a further boost this year. China’s leading car maker Chery was, not surprisingly, one of the stars at the show. "Many automakers now see the Chinese market as at the forefront," said Paul Gao, chief executive of Chery Quantum Auto, a unit of Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile. What makes Chery unique amongst the domestic manufacturers is its strategy of “going abroad”, and it was the first Chinese auto company to export CBU, CKD, engines and car manufacturing technologies to foreign countries. In 2008, Chery exported 135 000 vehicles, the sixth consecutive year that Chery took the honours as the leading vehicle exporter in China. An amazing statistic for a company that was founded in 1997, and its first car coming off the production line on December 18, 1999! South Africa is one of Chery’s important export markets, so ABR brings our readers a glimpse of what was on show at Shanghai. Chery has a multi-brand global strategy, with four brands: Chery, Riich, Rely and Karry. This does cause some confusion when vehicles are displayed, but the good news for South African is that it will be Chery for all models in this country.





A series of articles on the rise of the Chery automobile

The stunning Riich G6

The H5 1,9D

The Riich G5 2,0VVT

The Riich X1

hery had two electric vehicle concepts on display at this year's Shanghai Motor Show. The first one is called the Riich M1 EV, and it uses a 336V lithium iron phosphate battery pack. The vehicle itself is quite small, which should allow a reasonable range and performance from its 40kW electric motor. Chery claims that a full charge of the M1's battery will take 4-6 hours using a 220V plug, but a fast charger is reportedly in development that would provide an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes. The second EV from Chery is based on the automaker's Tiggo platform, a small SUV in the same vein as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The Tiggo 3 EV uses a 375V lithium ion battery pack that powers a permanent magnet electric motor that's rated at 45 kW (60 horsepower) continuously with short bursts of 90 kW (120 horsepower). Charging times from a standard 220V outlet stand at 6-8 hours, and again, a quick charger can supposedly offer an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.
June 2009





by Frank Beeton

Dropping a Stitch?

Conventional wisdom suggests that, when companies are faced with deteriorating markets and extremely challenging financial conditions, the best way to ensure corporate survival would be to cut costs to the greatest extent possible without compromising the core business, maximise the take of available sales volumes (with the aid of incentives, if affordable), “stick to the knitting”, and wait for the (hopefully) inevitable upturn. It may seem strange, then, that in the present scenario where new car sales volumes in the world’s largest market (the United States) have retreated to levels last seen in 1992, many vehicle manufacturers are rushing ahead with new product technologies that will consume billions of dollars in development and engineering, while there appears to be no consensus that these will result in any incremental sales!
he most common motivational forces behind the progressing of radical new automotive technical thinking to production status usually include environmentallydriven legislative requirements, the price of fuel, and the unending search for competitive advantage. How-ever, it is more common for evolution to come in incremental steps, as evidenced by developments through the 20th Century. Numerous new technology deviations from the original recipe developed by Karl Benz et al late in the 1800’s emerged in the intervening years, including petrol-electric vehicles (incredibly, these first “hybrids” were already in fairly widespread use well before the First World War!), two-stroke, diesel and rotary engines, the shift from chain drive to shaft drive, then from rearwheel to front-wheel and all-wheel drive, and the evolution from body-on-frame construction to full integral monocoque structures. Some of these practices were widely adopted, while others initially faded out, only to re-appear years later. By the turn of the Millennium, interest had become firmly focused on liquid hydrogen as the next mainstream fuel source, but with final adoption still subject to the solution of numerous distribution and storage challenges. Toyota launched the Prius petrol-electric hybrid driveline vehicle domestically in Japan during 1997, and drifted it into the global market in 2001. Initially it was seen as a novelty, or at best a significant learning step on the road to the ultimate dream of pollution-free hydrogen propulsion. The rapid rise of world oil prices to $US 147/bbl in mid-2008, however, brought new focus to bear on this fuel-efficient model, and its first million-unit global sales landmark was achieved just as oil prices hit their all-time peak.


Since then, a growing number of other vehicle builders have followed Toyota’s lead into hybrid territory, but there is still no evidence that these vehicles are being sold at prices which adequately cover their cost of construction, or provide a realistic margin of profit to their manufacturers. The subsequent launch in the US of Honda’s second-generation Insight hybrid at a price well below the Prius’ initial level is likely to further delay any meaningful resolution of this question. General Motors has also paid homage at the hybrid altar, but is now working flat out to introduce the Chevrolet Volt, which is primarily an all-electric car with an overnight plug-in facility for battery charging and an on-board “range extender” petrol-fuelled engine/generator, in 2010. (The official designation for this type of vehicle is “PHEV” – Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle). Chrysler has revealed its own array of electric propulsion possibilities, while Mitsubishi has shown off the “i MiEV” plug-in zero-emissions car, due for launch to major Japanese fleet operators during July, 2009. Other manufacturers working on electric vehicle development include Proton, Tesla, Ford and Renault/Nissan/Dongfeng. The retail price of the Chevy Volt has been estimated at around $US 40 000, some $US 10 000 more than the pre-Insight-launch Prius price level, but, in the stated opinion of the US government and many commentators, this will be too high to ensure ready market acceptance. There have been reports suggesting that Mitsubishi will price the i MiEV somewhere around $US 25 000, which would put it in a completely different space. Unfortunately, the same argument about product price cross-subsidisation being applied to hybrids will probably also rear its head in the PHEV arena, and we may not become aware of their true cost levels for some time. The question remains whether these developments will help to save some of the more troubled members of the global motor manufacturing community, or just hasten their demise? There is a body of opinion that says most consumers are likely to become more conservative in the prevailing economic climate, and will tend to buy well-proven products with a sound reputation. This will not make it easy to sell radical new technology at an expected price premium. The preoccupation with fuel cost has abated recently, and is only likely to re-emerge once global demand for oil recovers. Even hybrid vehicles may well be restricted to “fringe” status in global markets while their pricing remains substantially above that of conventional models.






MOTO Health Care

Managing Your Health
We are reminded almost on a daily basis by the media that there exists a global recession and that our country has not escaped the fall out from this. Nowhere is this more evident than in the retail motor industry that has seen a dramatic downturn. It is therefore not surprising that many of you engaged in this industry are feeling the pinch, with your household budgets coming under severe pressure. In the circumstances it is understandable that those of you who find yourselves in this difficult situation will be tempted to cut expenses by targeting those that are misguidedly regarded as grudge purchases. Insurance premiums and medical aid contributions seem to fall in this category.


f there are any of you who are seriously considering adopting such a course of action, I would strongly advise you against it. The fact that we are experiencing tough times does not reduce or remove altogether the chances of an event happening that would cause you to regret having cancelled your medical aid or insurance. You could well find yourself in deeper financial difficulty having to pay out of your own pocket for expensive medical treatments. This added burden can lead to you developing stress-related ailments, which are very costly to treat. It is far wiser to adjust your lifestyle, maintain your medical scheme membership, remain healthy, and enjoy peace of mind that you are covered for unexpected high cost events. Here are some tips to assist you to reduce your medical expenses and so reduce pressure on your household budget. • Do not cancel your medical scheme membership when your budget is stretched. If the need to reduce this expense is unavoidable, rather consider buying down to a cheaper option when the next opportunity presents itself for you to be permitted to do so. However, do weigh up very carefully your likely medical needs with the benefits provided in any lower cost option. Do not skip paying your medical aid contributions. You may end up not being covered should anything happen to you or your dependants. Make sure you understand fully what you are covered for in terms of your benefit option. Failure to do so can lead to added financial difficulty when

you are required to settle medical bills that are not covered by your benefit option. • Before your service provider (doctor, dentist, etc.) treats you remember to ask him/her whether he/she charges private or scheme rates. Depending on your option, the scheme may not settle the full bill received from the service provider. Negotiate a better rate if your service provider intends charging more than what the scheme is able to pay in terms of its rules. Do not sign blank forms when asked to do so by your healthcare provider. You could be charged for services that are not covered by your benefit option, in which case you may be liable to pay the bill out of your own pocket. Use pharmacies that charge SEP 26/26 (single exit price), you may have to pay levies or administration fees if your pharmacist does not apply the rate approved by the department of health. You do have the right to refuse medication if you are not happy with the price, it may be more difficult to do this once you have paid, so ask you pharmacist what they charge before you pay. Do not buy your medication on account, this may attract additional costs that you are not aware of. Barry Canning, Chairman Board of Trustees - MOTO Health Care butions and benefits are determined in many ways and under certain constraints. Our actuarial consultants play a pivotal role in determining the mix of benefits and the contributions, which have to satisfy the Council for Medical Schemes. A significant influencing factor in this process is the historical claims versus contributions experience. Thus a positive experience makes it easier for the scheme to settle on a more benign benefit design and commensurate contribution. For this reason I appeal to all of you to regard MHC as a precious asset and consequently to use the benefits of MHC in a responsible way, which will then hopefully translate into that positive experience.

I do believe that most of you understand the model on which medical aid schemes are based. Simply put, schemes offer ranges of benefits in return for contributions, which make up the pool of money used to pay the benefits claimed. However, the correlation between contri-






Jiminy Cricket!
by Howard Keeg

In 1968, Suzuki introduced to the world the concept of rugged and lightweight 4 x 4’s that could go anywhere and do anything. The world has been having heaps of fun with them ever since. These introductory words do not come from me, but from Suzuki’s Jimny brochure, and who am I to disagree, because during the week that I test drove this vehicle, that is exactly what I did do, I had heaps of fun! The fun aside, is it a good car? By Jiminy Cricket, it is!

had requested the Jimny for a vehicle evaluation as I had experienced this vehicle in all its 4 x 4 glory during the launch in September 2008 at Assegaay Bosch in the southern Cape, and it had passed the all terrain challenge with flying colours, but I had yet to test this vehicle in city conditions, and I also wanted to see how it behaved on the open road. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised by this tough little baby, as it navigated Gauteng’s highways and byways with aplomb. And for once in my life, I did not have to fear those potholes that are everywhere, and are not been repaired even though we all pay our rates and taxes, and obviously the fuel levy is not being used wisely. However, help is at hand in the form of the Jimny, because when it comes to badly maintained roads, the Jimny skrik for niks. Let’s recall what I said after the launch of the Jimny and Grand Vitara in September 2008, “Suzuki proclaim in their press release that the icon is back, and after driving this perky, pesky (in the non-literal sense of not giving up), lovable rascal, I


would not argue. A direct descendant of the SJ410 and Samurai 4x4s, the Jimny ‘retains the astonishing all-terrain capability and nimble reactions of the original’. During our test drive over a demanding 4 x 4 route, I mused that the Jimny should be called the Dassie in South Africa, and my driving colleague readily agreed. It literally jumps from rock to rock, with dassie like aplomb. The 1,3 litre engine delivers good torque at low revs, and with its pushbutton selection of rear-wheel drive, high range four-wheel drive, or low-range fourwheel drive, this car is a pleasure to drive, irrespective of the challenge. Words cannot describe the all-round ability of this hyrax hybrid, so I leave it to our readers to find out for themselves. I give the last words to Kazuyuki Yamashita, Managing Director of Suzuki Auto SA, ‘The Suzuki Jimny has played a pivotal part in the history of the Suzuki brand. In South Africa, the SJseries SUVs, and the Samurai, established a loyal following for Suzuki which endures to this day, and it is therefore only fitting that we introduce the latest, and vastly improved, iteration of those vehicles to this market.’ The Jimny 1.3 Manual retails

at R149 900 and will be available from September 2008 through Suzuki Auto SA’s national network of 19 dealers. In summary, I believe that whilst the Grand Vitara is a superb vehicle, it is in a busy SUV segment, and may not achieve the sales it deserves. Conversely, I believe that the Jimny is going to surprise Suzuki’s sales planners. It is going to create a segment of its own amongst the young, and young at heart, and it will also find favour in the rural communities and those who want to get to inaccessible areas.” Prophetic words, and whilst the Jimny price has now gone beyond the R170 000 mark, it remains an attractive price, considering the package that you are getting. So attractive in fact, that I am seriously considering getting one, as it does the job in the city and off the beaten track, seamlessly and cost effectively.






Theo Calitz has been working in or involved the motor industry for the last 16 years. A mechanical Engineer by profession, he is passionate about customer care and his company, T-R-M specialises in automotive CRM for the automotive industry and has been doing it for 9 years.

– what on earth…
Customer Relationship Management or CRM has been around for a while now. The first time I heard about it was in 1994 where I was exposed to some of Peppers and Roger’s works. Here I learned about concepts like Customers for Life, One-to-one marketing and Relationship Marketing. We learned that retention can be many times (I heard different figures over the years but the most prevailing seems 8) more profitable than acquisition. It was interesting stuff and it made a lot of sense but where does it leave us today? How have we progressed and what does it mean now?

Customer Relationship Management

www.t-r-m.co.za T 0861 TRM TRM F 086 686 8382

he story of Ray Kroc of MacDonald’s fame is still a relevant example of the thought process behind CRM. He had a figure on his cap which was a high number (like $100 000). This invariably resulted in questions as of the meaning thereof upon which he would reply that this is the value of a customer. Incredulously the employees would retort that they do not see how a company selling $1 burgers could earn that kind of money from a customer. As the story goes Mr. Croc would explain the value of a customer as someone who could 1) buy up – i.e. buy bigger or more, 2) come again and again 3) bring friends and/or family along and 4) recommend the Big Mac to his/ her circle of influence and do this over a lifetime. Now you start to understand where the $100 000 comes from. It does illustrate the good and bad of CRM though. On the one hand it is great that companies want our business and make an effort to know more about us but needing to submit our information when dealing with a company and then receiving endless ‘spam’ does seem to present more of a downside than up. CRM has become part of our daily lives. I now receive mail (printed and electronic) which is personalised. This is designed to make me feel special; it was sent just to me after all, because I am important. It is almost like the good old days when you could walk into the corner café and the person behind the counter knew you and knew what you were likely to buy. This is however technology at


work and it still is mass mailing which have the benefits of cost and efficiency (like a hypermarket). Today we even receive brochures that are customised; your name appear in the right places, the cell phone model that you own and its logical successor appear in the right places. Amazing! The problem is that with the first introduction the innovation is great, everybody is wowed. When everybody else does it however, this becomes the minimum standard and now everyone has to get it right. If you mix up the titles or make spelling mistakes with the name, chances are good that you now have created a disgruntled customer! It is clear that companies are applying CRM more often these challenging days with a struggling economy as it is a cheaper form of marketing. I see CRM in action daily with the number of SMS’s I get. It can be useful but mostly it is irritating, especially those SMS’s from companies that I only have dealt with once, maybe in a remote cities. This clearly is not very useful. There is so much more to CRM. It is great if a company has one view of me, that every time I need to fill in a form or sign it, my details are pre filled in. All I have to do is check accuracy. If, when I book into a hotel, they know my preferences and my favorite room or, when I take my car to the car wash, they know my favourite fragrance. The good news is, all this is possible but we are still only at the tip of the iceberg, incredible things can, and will still happen in the field of CRM!
June 2009


What’s the Buzz?
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is derived from the production Kangoo be bop and is instantly recognisable by its Energy Blue body colour, while the Renault logos on the grille and wheels are picked out in satin-finish blue-hued chrome. Inside, the satin-finish chrome and metallic acidic green trim ensure a unique ambience which is further expressed by the specific grey velour upholstery and embroidered 'printed circuit' motifs.

Ken Ken Answers from page 8

Audi of South Africa is proud of its association with the most decorated SAMA winner: Lira Lerato
“Lira”, has popularly become known as one of South Africa’s most treasured singers. She exudes soulfulness and femininity which comes through in her Afro-Soul music. She was nominated for 6 South African Music Awards for 2009, and won 4 of those 6 at the SAMA’s, which was held at Sun City on the 2nd of May. Lira has been an Audi Ambassador since April 2008, and is currently driving an S3 Sportback.





Trilogy Customer Programme

tioned service in Singapore, etc., etc.These cosmopolitan experiences can all be ascribed to culture, but in South Africa we have managed something unique in customer service. We manage to be both inefficient and unfriendly at the same time. This takes some doing, and even if it is a cultural thing, I have one message to those surly, slow, unco-operative and unproductive staff behind the counters, telephones, whatever - we’re not going to take it! We are the ones paying your salary, so we deserve better treatment. Back to the distillation process - what is CUSTOMER C.A.R.E. ? Even though it is complex, it is also very simple. In one sentence, CUSTOMER C.A.R.E. is the intellectual and emotional understanding that C.A.R.E. means CUSTOMERS ARE REALLY EVERYTHING. Once this is truly understood, everything falls into place, and the battle is won. Over the next few modules, we shall explore this concept in more depth, focusing on your own feelings.

– sponsored by Federal-Mogul MODULE ONE - THE CUSTOMER C.A.R.E. ENIGMA


doubt if there are any of the 46 million citizens of this country, who can honestly say that they have not had poor service in South Africa. In actual fact, the majority of us are experiencing very poor service every day of our lives. Why is this? I can personally vouch for many such experiences, not only of inefficient service, but unfriendly service, and in many cases, downright rude and arrogantly aggressive service. If you are the typical South African consumer, you hardly even notice such bad service anymore, because you have been desensitised, or in other words, you have been beaten into submission. I am not in such a fortunate position (is it fortunate?), as my stock in trade is customer c.a.r.e., and therefore I am very conscious of the service levels that I am receiving. So, I challenge you - for the next week, analyse your service experiences, every minute of the day. I can guarantee that after one week, you shall join me as a raving Customer C.A.R.E. Crusader.

Once again, I ask, why is this? Why do we experience inefficient and unfriendly service whenever we visit the supermarket, the post office, the bank, any government department, the motor repair workshop, or whatever place you care to mention? Oh yes, I agree, there are wonderful exceptions, but why should pleasant customer service be the exception, rather than the rule? I ask, once again, why is this? I do have an answer, which is a complex and lengthy dissertation, but let us try to distil it into one sentence. I hear you say that it is a cultural thing, which is unquestionably so. I have been around the world, and I’ve experienced efficient but dour service in Germany, efficient and friendly service in England, efficient and unfriendly service in France, efficient and inscrutable service in Korea, inefficient but riotously happy and friendly service in Italy, efficient but unscrupulous service in Hong Kong, efficient and full teeth friendly service in Zimbabwe, quaint but friendly service in New Zealand, efficient and air-condi-

DISCUSSION POINTS 1. Why do you, as a typical South African consumer, accept bad service? 2. Describe a recent bad experience of customer service, in all its gory detail. 3. How does South Africa achieve its unique position of giving both unfriendly and inefficient service - give your frank opinion on the reasons. 4. It’s all very well to say that we’re not going to take it - discuss the problems that you have with this approach. 5. What is the intellectual understanding of CUSTOMERS ARE REALLY EVERYTHING? 6. What is the emotional understanding of CUSTOMERS ARE REALLY EVERYTHING? 7. The solution to the problem is to start with yourself - what does this mean?








by Séan Jackson

It’s been said a million times before that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This cliché takes on a new resonance when describing the truck industry. Times may be tough, but trucks are tougher, and truckers are the toughest. This industry is literally the wheels of the economy, so thank goodness that when the going gets tough, the toughest get going. A critical element in this dynamic is the ability to keep costs down, and to ensure that operating costs are kept under tight control. The first port of call in this endeavour is to protect against theft and misuse. The first port of call in this endeavour is to protect against theft and misuse. A close second is thinking smart and keeping costs down. ABR has commissioned Séan Jackson of TRUCKTEK to give our readers a series of tips on Managing the Risks.

Shock Treatment

Last month, Séan Jackson expounded on the benefits of fitting world class shocks, both in safety and performance, and the concomitant savings in tyres, fuel efficiency, driver fatigue, downtime costs, etc. Séan now looks at the technical aspects of superior shocks, which translates into lower cost per kilometre.


RUCKTEC distributes KONI shock absorbers, and for good reason – KONI shock absorbers are “simply the best”. KONI have been designing and developing shock absorbers since 1857, when they introduced shock absorber innovations for horse driven carriages. Today, KONI is part of the world renowned ITT Group, whose

motto is “Engineered for Life”. KONI has a full range of shock absorbers for passenger vehicle, bus, truck, trailer and military applications, all designed specifically for the task at hand, but it is in the area of technical superiority that KONI really stands out. Firstly, let us take a look at the primary role of a shock absorber, which is to minimise wheel movement and thus

keep the contact of the tyre on the road, to allow for grip. The following three diagrams show the role of the shock absorber, allied to the role of the springs. All good and well, but there are complications such as damping, and taking it a little further, rebound damping. This is where KONI shocks come into their own.

Take a look at the next six diagrams, which highlight the effects of damping.

In both the damping, and the rebound damping, KONI can be likened to the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. Goldilocks was looking for beds, chairs and porridge that were just right. KONI shocks, whatever the application, give damping and rebound damping that is spot on. So, if Goldilocks happened to be a truck driver, she would find that the truck fitted with KONI shock absorbers would be “just right”.




What’s the weighty issues


by Frank Beeton

For Toyota Trucks, Now Read Hino

Regular readers of this column will be familiar with this scribe’s oft-repeated contention that happenings in the Australian truck market should be of more than passing interest to the South African transport community. As far back as 2001, the Toyota group, in a revision of its Australian strategy, launched the Hino Dutro medium commercial into that market. This turned out to be a badge-engineered sibling to the then-current version of the Toyota Dyna light truck. At that time, it was not generally known that this highly successful light truck series was, in fact, manufactured by Hino Motors, although it had been marketed widely as a Toyota-badged product. Subsequently, the Toyota-badged version was phased out in Australia, and Hino emerged as the group’s exclusive truck brand “down under” for everything larger than a Hilux pickup. The Dutro name was also deleted in favour of “Hino 300 Series” in 2007, bringing the nomenclature into line with the heavier Hino 500 Series cruiserweights (formerly known as Rangers) and 700 Series extra-heavies (previously called Profias).
n South Africa, a similar, but not identical, process has been followed. At the Johannesburg International Motor Show late last October, the truck division of Toyota SA Motors began the process of morphing into Hino South Africa. However, at that time, the Toyota Dyna MCV line-up still clung steadfastly its identity, and there was a strong feeling that the internal corporate political climate was not yet ready for the full switchover. Sure enough, the process moved forward during April, 2009, when most of the Dyna range gave way to Hino 300 Seriesbadged equivalents, although it was noteworthy that the “baby” of the Dyna family, the one-and-a-half ton payload 4-093, was still to carry Toyota branding into the future. It is entirely appropriate that this rebranding exercise has been approached with a degree of caution. The Toyota Dyna has been an incredibly successful model range in South Africa, having chalked up more than 80 000 unit sales since its introduction to this market in 1965. While the Hino brand has been locally present since 1972, it started off initially as a supplemental product line-up to the volume-selling Toyota branded trucks, notably the Dyna and DA Series of bonneted 7-tonners. For many years, locally-sold Hino products carried additional “Toyota” badging to clearly indicate their corporate connection to the best-selling vehicle family. However, the clever timing of the local migration of much of the Dyna family to the Hino


brand should not cause any disruption, because the basic product stays unchanged, and all the properties that have led to its past success will be carried over. The wider adaptation of the Hino identity for Toyota’s South African commercial vehicle operation is clearly intended to shift perceptions of the group’s commitment levels to the truck business, despite its considerable history of success in this area. It is no secret that the truck market demands a radically different business approach to that employed in the light vehicle sector. This is particularly evident in the need for clear communication channels between vehicle users, and the manufacturer’s top management, in all its activities. The appointment of a comprehensive network of dealers and sales outlets does not, in itself, guarantee success, and the interface with the purchasers of these working vehicles requires a high deal of co-ordination. Every broad-based vehicle franchise that has tried to succeed in the truck arena has made this same voyage of discovery, and those that have not established sufficient credibility with the operating community have been left licking extremely painful and costly wounds.

Hino has a clear mission to improve its local performance in the Extra Heavy market segment. Since the discontinuation of local Atlantis Diesel Engine fitment through the 1990’s, the performance of Hino product in the local market for multiaxled trucks has trailed behind that of archrival Nissan Diesel. During the first quarter of 2009, Hino sales in this segment were slightly more than a third of equivalent Nissan Diesel volumes, which were, by far, the highest for any Japanese-sourced XHCV product range. Operators buying vehicles in the XHCV class are mostly engaged in long-distance linehaul operations, with a significant secondary element involved in construction-related activities. This is clearly a huge opportunity for Hino, and an important avenue by which the present 7% market share gap to overall truck market leader Mercedes-Benz can be narrowed. In global terms, Hino Motors Limited is an extremely important and successful manufacturer of light, medium and heavy trucks and buses. The fact that is 50,1% owned by Toyota does it no harm at all. The developments in Australia and South Africa are part of a global plan to position Hino as a truly global brand by 2015. Other elements include the opening of new plants in Arkansas (USA), Mexico and Colombia, and joint ventures in India and Russia. Hino’s annual global sales currently amount to just more than 100 000 units.






by Tony Twine

Automotive GDP Contribution Recovers in 2008

Given the pressure that the integrated South African Automotive sector was under in terms of sales during 2008, the calculation of the sector contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) initially came as a surprise to the research team at Econometrix. In April each year, they sift through various data sources, including trading revenue statistics from STATS SA, Reserve Bank data and international trade data assembled by Normal Lamprecht, Executive Manager at NAAMSA. The objective is to estimate the proportional contribution of the Automotive Sector, split between manufacturers and assemblers, importers and the motor retail trade, to the total GDP of the country.


he result of the analysis for 2008 showed that, after reaching a peak contribution share of fractionally over 7,4% of GDP in the record new vehicle sales year of 2006, the automotive sector share of total value added in the economy dropped to 6.8% during 2007. Based on two results during 2008 that have been mentioned in the automotive business press over recent months, but which are sometimes difficult to translate directly into a picture of any gain or loss of GDP share, the contribution of the vertically integrated automotive sector spring back to 7.3% of the country’s GDP during 2008. The bigger of these two events turned out to be the massive increase in export revenue earned by the industry, made up mainly of vehicle exports, which increased in value by 82% or R22.6 billion compared to 2007’s levels. This had the effect

of reducing the sector’s international trade deficit from R35.6 billion in 2007 to R14.7 billion in 2008. This was the single largest contribution to the recovery of GDP share. The second important contribution came from after market sales, where STATS SA data reveals a doubling of the growth rate of the retail sales value of accessories from 18.3% during 2007 (already a hugely impressive rate), to 36.6% during 2008. The annual Econometrix study splits the value added contribution of the sector into 2 major areas, namely vehicle and components supplier’s share, and the share of the retail motor sector. The latter includes value added by means of new vehicle retail activity, used vehicle margins, parts and workshop sales, and the rapidly growing value of accessory sales. The latter includes all kinds of electronic equipment, from car

sound systems that can melt Ellispark, to the full splendor of gadgets with which to pimp ones ride, geographic positioning systems and ultra sophisticated tracking devices. Because the relatively modest decline in new vehicle domestic unit sales of -5.2% had contributed to eroding the sector’s share of GDP so markedly during 2007, observers would have been forgiven for anticipating an even worse contraction in GDP share during 2008, simply on the back of a -20.2% decline in NAAMSA unit sales that year. But the rapid growth of export volumes and values and relatively tame value growth for both imported vehicles and components for domestic vehicle assembly, meant that the severe negative effect of the sectors international trade balance was reduced to such an extent that its GDP share rose back to almost record levels during a rather depressed domestic vehicle demand year. Predicting an outcome for 2009 is at least as hazardous as was trying to forecast 2008, even after the year had closed! While original equipment sales levels were heavily down during the first four months of 2009, and vehicle exports were also taking a pounding from the global recession, slack domestic demand probably implies that sector imports will probably reduce during the year. At this very early stage, with little more than the very up to date NAAMSA new vehicle sales statistics to go by, it appears that the sector will do well to hang onto the GDP share which it attained last year. We should not forget, however, that the overall value of Gross Domestic Product in the country has probably also moved backwards so far in 2009, further complicating the art of prediction.







by Roger McCleery

South Africa has produced top motormen in many spheres. They have achieved great things overseas and under uniquely tough conditions in our market, they have achieved great things here in South Africa. Such a person is 39-year-old Jacque Brent, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford and Mazda. He has enjoyed a string of successes and a meteoric rise to the top.

It is an old saying that “Once a Ford man, always a Ford man.”
Q. HOW DID IT ALL START FOR YOU? I was born in PE. My grandfather, Dennis, was a Ford Sub-dealer in Peddie in the Eastern Cape after a spell with the GM Franchise. My Dad, Jeff, worked for Ford in PE and Silverton for 37 years, so I have lived with Ford culture all my life. Q. I SUPPOSE YOU WANTED TO JOIN FORD? Not really. When I was at school at Westering in PE and Glen High, Pretoria, I wanted to be a pilot, but that came to nothing. My parents convinced me I needed a degree or two so off I went to university. Q. SO WHAT DID YOU DO? After school I went to the University of Pretoria and took my B.Comm. majoring in Accounting. Q. WHERE DID YOU WANT TO WORK? Armed with a Post Graduate Diploma in Education with the emphasis on Accounting and Economics, I wanted to be a teacher, but after a short time at Germiston High School I decided that would not be for me. Q. WHAT FOLLOWED AFTER THAT? One year’s Military Service in Intelligence and then three years working in the Finance Department of Unilever in Boksburg, concentrating on finance and the management development program. Q. YOU HAD TO GET TO FORD SOMETIME. In 1995 I joined Ford in the Finance Department as a Revenue Accountant. Q. THINGS REALLY STARTED TO HAPPEN AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY? At 30 I got an offer to join Astoria Bakery as the General Manager where I stayed for two years. Q. THEN BACK INTO THE MOTOR INDUSTRY? Back I came to Ford Motor Company to integrate Land Rover, which had been bought by Ford away from BMW, and to get it to fit seamlessly into Ford. The idea was to retain the Land Rover culture, which is different from most other manufacturers. After completing that job I was appointed as Finance Director of Land Rover, which lasted a year. Q. BIG THINGS WERE HAPPENING AT FORD? We formed Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo into one company called The Premier Automotive Group (PAG) and I was the Financial Director of that until Deesch Papke left Volvo in 2003 to go to Russia and I took his place as the MD of Volvo for the next two years. Q. ALL THESE BRANDS DID WELL IN THE MARKET PLACE? Volvo took the Car of the Year with the S40 in 2004, which pleased me a lot. Q. THINGS KEPT CHANGING? I came back to Ford as National Sales Manager, and despite it being a tricky period in our history, Ford sales went up. Q. MAZDA PART OF THE PICTURE? For one year I took over as General Manager of Mazda when sales went up there as well, with the Mazda 2 taking the 2008 Car of the Year title. Q. CURRENTLY? I was appointed Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Ford and Mazda with service being added a year later. Pleasing was that we nearly won the Car of the Year, according to what we hear, with the Ford Fiesta, just one year after the Mazda 2 took the title. Q. WHO MADE A BIG IMPRESSION IN YOUR LIFE? A. My father and brother, Donavan, who worked for and are still working for Ford, and Martha Woolard, who taught me a lot about Ford and its systems. Q. MARRIED? To Tracy, with three daughters, Tamryn, Nicola and Alexia, who are all at Woodhill College in Pretoria. They are all very supportive of what I do, especially with the hours that I spend away from home. Q. WOULD YOU GO AND WORK OVERSEAS IF ASKED? Yes, for experience, but I would ultimately like to work in South Africa in the motor industry. Q. SPORTS? Mainly motor sports. I’m also a recreational golfer with a huge handicap which I am not going to disclose here. Q. READING? Mainly non-fiction titles and particularly biographies about South Africa and South Africans. Q. WHAT CAR DO YOU DRIVE? A Mazda CX7 for its functionality. Q. IF MONEY WAS NO PROBLEM? A Ford Mustang or a GT40, which I have never driven, although an offer has been made by Colin Lazarus. A Focus RS would be great as well.




by Marcus Haw


and Their Contribution to Safety in Motoring

Some fleet owners/managers may be feeling a bit left out after the last two articles knowing they have vehicles with different capacities and yet many of the same tyre problems. These would be the fleets with trucks of more than 4ton capacity, but not more than 10tons. These guys have as many different applications as all the vehicles we have been discussing. They also have as many tyre problems, some exactly the same and some isolated to these vehicles only. There are in fact some advantages with these over the smaller vehicles, the best one being that due to the tyre sizes used, better mileages can be expected. But before we get into the details, let’s look at the operations in general.
hat kinds of operations use the vehicles in this category? Many, and varied kinds; furniture transporters, long distance parcel carriers, explosives, supermarkets, meat, vegetables, refrigeration, farmers and farm suppliers, some tippers, milk, bread, animal-feeds, automotive parts, trans-African tourist carriers, construction companies and many more. What types and configurations do these vehicles come in? Again the answer is many and varied; various load bodies, high, low, flat-deck, dropside, tow/ recovery, refrigerated, skeletal (not common), some tankers (very commonly as watercarts in construction), municipal garbage collection, and even including bus bodies for tourist carriers.


By far, the majority are single drive-axle with dual rear wheel fitment. There are a few special purpose vehicles with dual driveaxles, or my pet hate, two rear axles but one being a tag-axle. Then there are many where the steer axle is a drive axle as well. In most cases, such as those vehicles used by Eskom and other electrical pylon erectors, as well as some in the construction sector, the Typical in town curb scuffing rear drive axle has dual wheel fitment. The 4X4 configurations used by tour operators in trips up Africa, use single wheel fitment all round with extra large tyres which have some flotation capability and have deep off-road tread patterns. So as you can see, these vehicles are as versatile if not more so, than those discussed previously, and are therefore very much in demand.

The routes used by this segment of vehicle obviously include every kind one would imagine, and many we would never imagine. Even those trips which would be considered as only ever on tar roads, are often on roads in such poor condition that they are harder on tyres than the off-road ones. Those used in construction, and the electrical power supply companies, are very often not on roads at all. And once the ‘roads’ are built, they are constantly on sand, rock and mud. Those used on long haul have to put up with higher speeds, higher loads, and although the main roads are good, those at the beginning and end of each trip may not be so good. The short distance ones suffer from stop start driving, left turns, right turns, up hill and down hill. The tyres suffer in all these operations, and that’s without taking the vehicle body needs of the various operations into account. High bodies are the hardest on tyres due to the lateral sway they induce. This loads and unloads the tyres constantly on any of the routes mentioned and in all the operations. The tour operators are distinct in this respect from the others and we’ll get to them later. The flat decks and drop-sides should be the easiest, but aren’t because they don’t limit the weight in any way, and nor do the operators. These vehicles are usually the most abused. They also don’t limit the load type, so very often they are loaded as high as those with high load bodies. Although we say high load bodies are the hardest on tyres, they are hardest when, or if, all the configurations are loaded within the correct parameters. Otherwise the flatbeds and drop-sides can be harder on tyres.




Any and every load will do even at the same time These are also used in more varied operations, where those with closed bodies are more specialised and therefore their load types are more constant. So now there is a basic idea of the general operations of the vehicle segment and some of the difficulties. But how does this all affect the tyres? As already mentioned, the one advantage these vehicles have over the previously discussed segment is that the tyres can be expected to last longer. The reason for this is purely that the tyres are bigger, their rolling circumference is greater meaning that to travel the same distance their job is comparatively easier. This naturally means that running costs are also generally lower. While this is a good thing for everyone concerned, the potential improvements are harder to achieve. But they are possible, and very achievable. Let’s look at the tyres involved. This vehicle segment uses a variety of different tyre sizes, usually ranging from 10.00-20s up to 12R22.5s. The latter is somewhat of an overkill although what some operators load on these vehicles still manages to stress the tyres. However, it is the total operation package that makes the segment so ‘tyre-harsh’ - the routes, the loads, the speeds and the specifics of each individual operation. These are the challenges the controllers must face from day to day if they want to improve their tyre and general running costs. And as mentioned in the previous issue, improving your tyre costs is a never ending challenge although maintaining low costs is the biggest and hardest challenge.
June 2009

The tyres in use are the first place to start. Generally it is good practice to run radial tyres. So if you are running 10.00-20 or 11.00-20 tyres you should seriously consider changing. However, there are some exceptions as these cross-ply tyres are a lot cheaper than radial tyres. So if your operation is so harsh that your tyres are getting damaged before they reach their potential life, buy the cheapest and stay with the cross-plies. This advice would normally apply to scrap metal dealers, some municipal garbage removals, and sometimes also in the construction industry. There are some operations where buying the best only means scrapping better tyres. But before this decision is taken, one needs to be absolutely sure that you cannot improve the conditions that your tyres work in. Remember, whatever improvement you can make will improve your running costs, so make it. Even if it still works out that buying the cheaper option is the best way, you still need to get the most out of them. Remember to be realistic in your thinking and your expectations. All tyres and all tyre brands can be damaged. In the next issue we will look at as many operational problems and tyre remedies as we can, and we’ll get into some cost saving as well.



Diamond Editorial Partnership
Giel Steyn


In this series of articles ABR discusses with Giel Steyn of Grandmark International the four significant factors that should be taken into account when purchasing automotive parts - Technology, Quality, Safety and Value for Money. These four characteristics are inter-related, and each cannot stand on their own, and together they become a motorist's best friend. Similarly, diamonds are also judged on four characteristics, known as the “four c's” - carat, clarity, colour and cut; and of course, diamonds are a girl's best friend. Grandmark International, as a distributor of automotive parts, is keenly aware of the need to source only the best in Technology, Quality, Safety and Value for Money, and therefore it is appropriate that this series of articles is titled Diamond Dialogues.

Inferior Parts – the Consequences
In the two previous issues of ABR, Giel Steyn of Grandmark explained the differences between the terms quality, original, genuine, pirate part and counterfeit; all these terms being measured against a quotation that Giel uses as his personal yardstick, “I think it is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises – but only performance is reality”.
n this issue, Giel closes the discussion with a look at the ramifications of fitting inferior parts, and the true cost in both human and economic terms. We do not have to labour the point around the life threatening dangers to which you are exposing yourself and your family when you fit poor quality brakes, windscreens, lights, tyres, safety belts, etc. These parts could cause a serious accident, or not protect you when you’re involved in such an accident, but have you considered the human safety factor when you fit other “innocuous” products such as radiators, clutches, suspension parts, and the like. When you suffer a mechanical breakdown and your car is at a standstill, it can be irritating and you will incur financial costs, but what if you break down in an isolated spot? If help does not arrive in a hurry, the odds are pretty short that sooner rather than later some one will relieve you of your possessions and maybe your life. Human safety is thus no longer only hostage to vehicle accidents; it is also vulnerable when you fit less “safety critical” parts. Apart from the safety factor, the economic costs also have significant consequences. Whether the product is counterfeit or inferior or both, deceived customers do not receive value for money, and the perception is reinforced that the automotive aftermarket is sometimes prone to rather dubious practices. Far fetched stories thus become fodder for the media, and the whole industry is tarred with the same brush. However, there is an even bigger cost to the country, because the vast majority of automotive product, whether good or bad, that is sold in this country comes from across the seas. It is therefore not an exaggeration to describe inferior parts as a threat to our country’s economy, and that the government should treat the obligation to eradicate this practice as a national priority. The proposed Consumer Protection Bill is a major step in


Picture courtesy of the RMI

A drag link fitted to an Isuzu KB280; ten kilometres later, as the driver entered his driveway, the vehicle stopped when the front wheels had a mind of their own, and went awol, just from a little bump. What the owner thought he was buying was a one piece forged unit – but what he got was a remanufactured unit welded together and sold as new, and with a welding penetration of less than 15% of the joint. Imagine if he was doing 120km with his family in the car and he hit a pothole. The irony of the situation is that suspension parts are not even considered as safety critical.
the right direction, as it holds everyone in the supply chain jointly and severally responsible and liable for harm and/or loss. This will make the purveyors of inferior product sit up and take notice, but some are just irredeemable.

Over and above government interventions, what can the trade do to stop this scourge? Giel’s advice is 1) to only buy from reputable suppliers and/or at least purchase known trade names, 2) to be very suspicious of “white” box product; 3) to insist on a warranty; and 4) to be aware of the dangers when offered a very low price - if the price is too good to be true, it is most probably too good to be true. If distributors, wholesalers, and the other resellers and fitters down the line follow this advice, it will make it very difficult for the unscrupulous importers and suppliers to ply their trade, but it will not eradicate the problem. Eradication will require a massive effort from everyone throughout the industry, but especially the members of the RMI who control a huge proportion of the aftermarket. A collective, committed and constant effort will over time become an impenetrable trade barrier. However, the end user is key, and all the consumer has to do is to exercise some common sense. Giel once again uses a quote to reinforce this aspect. John Ruskin, a 19th century English author and social reformer hits the nail on the head, “It is unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, all you lose is a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.” Amen. The good news for the end consumer is that there are companies such as Grandmark International, who are proud to be part of the solution, supplying quality product at reasonable prices, and who are committed to bringing respect to the industry.









Safety and Bling

By Marcus Haw - mhaw@bridgestone.co.za

With the current global economic crash, vehicle sales are taking a pounding. It is generally believed that this will continue for some time yet, and that replacement cycles are going to lengthen quite drastically. It is expected that while people will keep their means of transport for longer periods, they will off-set their “boredom” by prettying the vehicles up. Wheels and tyres are always top of any wish list, and sales of these high profile items seldom slow down, even in tough times. In fact, if the above thinking proves correct, future sales may indeed improve.


his brings me to one of my main concerns, which involves a growing trend. It is currently high fashion to put extremely large diameter wheel rims, usually chrome and very ‘bling’, fitted with ultra-low profile tyres on MPVs, SUVs, and bakkies. The safety of your vehicle should never be compromised by the need to beautify it. Low profile tyres are far superior to conventional profile tyres when it comes to ultimate grip and handling. This is the reason that high speed sports and super cars are fitted with them. The latest executive saloons and even the newest budget hatches are going lower and lower in their tyre profiles in the interests of response, grip and handling. They enhance safety on cars through improved handling and braking performance. However, this very factor is why fitting them to SUVs, 4X4s and the others can present a danger that few realise exists. Cars and especially sports cars have a low centre of gravity (COG). They can accept extremely high lateral G-forces without reaching the point of rolling. SUVs, 4X4s, MPVs and double cabs have a high COG, and their roll moment is reached far earlier than cars. The phenomenal grip provided by ultra low profile tyres can work against one in an emergency in a high COG vehicle.

It is sometimes an advantage for a vehicle to be able to slide. While it is sliding, it won’t roll. When the grip is too high, and no slippage takes place at the bottom, and lateral forces cause the top to carry on going until the inevitable roll over. With recently inspected tyres on three vehicles involved in rollovers, one fatal, they all occurred when the drivers swerved to avoid different emergencies. All three responded to the swerve and rolled on the recovery from too much grip at the point when the lateral forces swopped sides.

Suzuki Slick 360 Wows the Crowds at Rand Airport
hey descended by their thousands on the Rand Airport on Sunday 17th May 2009, to see an enthralling air show. Whilst the cars were gridlocked and earthbound outside the airport and the frustrated drivers were gobbling with the turkeys, the young guns in their magnificent flying machines were soaring with the eagles. Despite the wind, the air jockeys enthralled the crowd, and Johnnie Smith, crop sprayer extraordinaire and part time aerobat, did not disappoint in his Suzuki Slick 360, doing an exciting routine of aerial flips, flaps, pirouettes and his own version of the Jackson moonwalk.










X-Customs Motorcycles
Is it engineering? Is it Art? You Decide!
X-Customs was created in South Africa for the exclusive motorcycle enthusiast, Art Collector and Investor. They build and manufacture unique designs and complete Custom motorcycles, utilising the most technically advanced engineering in Computer Numeric Control (CNC) manufacturing; CNC bending and the latest Tig Welding – all done in-house! Rian Janse van Rensburg founded the company in South Africa in 2003 after many years working for a Custom Motorcycle Operation in the USA. Here he perfected his trade and brought his knowledge of select engineering and the art of bike building back to South Africa. Rian has a passion for creating beautiful timeless classics and is a perfectionist to the core. Mark Groenewald; the owner of RT Group; the company that incorporates Rolling Thunder Classic Cars, Danmar Autobody, Hillbank, AMG Conversions and Autohaus Danmar invested in X-Customs in 2007, enabling this exclusive Company to take shape in the form of a very large and very well equipped Workshop and Showroom. To have your dream motorcycle built is easy with X-Customs. All you need is a picture in your head or on paper of what your dream bike resembles. X-Customs works with you to create a blue-print and conceptualise the final design. The overall look, theme and design of your Motorcycle will be determined by your choice of Frame - Tank – Motor – Wheels – Brakes – Suspension - Art work. The choice of motor is yours and X-Customs brings in any type of motor ranging from a Harley-Davidson Motor® to an S& S Motor. The choice of the X-Customs experts is most certainly performance motor by ‘Patrick Racing.’ www.patrickracing.com. Almost every part of the X-Customs Motorcycle is built from ‘seamless certified tubing’. Various components are designed by Jacques Gates; X-Customs highly trained Machinist; using the 3D CAD system. X-Customs Frames are completely Tig welded and allowed to fully cool in the Jig for 100% accuracy. All parts are ‘brought to life’ in-house at the XCustoms Engineering Workshop. The beauty of having your own bike built is that you can visit the X-Customs Workshop at anytime to view and understand the building process – this ensures that your

dream becomes your reality. The cost of building your own Motorcycle starts at around R320 000, and can be built within 3 months. The cost is ultimately determined by your choice of accessories and components. You are free to visit their workshop and showroom at Autohaus Danmar, Cnr Modderfontein & Hereford Road, Longmeadow Business Park, Modderfontein, Johannesburg or do it virtually at www.x-customs.co.za






By Austin Gamble

Stonehenge – eat your heart out
– according to local Sangomas – dates back much further than the Stonehenge’s 2 000 to 3 000 BC. “The mysteries around the origin and age of the Highveld ruins can inspire a slew of Indiana Jones or Lara Croft sequels,” says Viljoen, who recently invited the archeology departments of the Wits and Arizona universities to install new dating techniques at various sites of the complex that stretches from Ermelo in the south to Steelpoort in the north. “We hope that by the end of 2010 the new dating techniques will add an empiric age to our mysterious complex, and are confident that this date will at least list the Highveld’s lost city amongst the oldest in southern Africa, and at best, qualify it as Africa’s oldest”. Meanwhile, the Highveld’s complex of ruins are still officially described as “cattle kraals” in tourism brochures because, as Viljoen explains, the

Ancient road gives hope to auto industry
Hidden in the tall grasses of the Highveld escarpment are sections of ancient road that serve to encourage the auto industry that even after entire economies have collapsed and been forgotten, transport will go on. To find inspiration for the future of the auto industry, ABR’s Austin Gamble took the GM’s V6 Captiva in search of what amateur archeologists have dubbed “Africa’s oldest road”.
he Captiva LTZ is a 3,2l V6 AWD that takes one off the beaten path with little fuss and in sublime comfort. Its on road and off road capabilities are awesome to behold and make it the ideal car for the adventurer who wants to travel in style. A somewhat thirsty beast, but what do you expect when you have 189kW of power and 297 Nm of torque on tap? Our attempt to be the first vehicle on an 8 000 year old road came to naught because of the difficult terrain and the fact that no 4x4 tracks have yet been established, but we’ll be back once we have the benefit of local knowledge and some further surveying to be undertaken by the Graham Hancock wannabes from Mpumalanga. I hope to be taking the Captiva again, because thus is a superb vehicle, and somewhat underrated, and when I get the chance to actually get close enough to these ancient roads, I can then give the vehicle a thorough evaluation.


Is this an ancient road? The secrets of the ancient travelers will eventually be revealed. Alwyn Viljoen, spokesperson for the Highlands Meander, says that the tall elephant grasses in the Highveld hide a vast complex of ancient megaliths, geometric structures, terraces and walled roads which could very well be SA’s real lost city. Viljoen says local amateur archeologists have already mapped a complex that stretches over an area that is bigger than Johannesburg and which

Close to Waterval Boven is an easily identifiable stretch of ancient road, but not yet accessible more visible remains looks like – and have in the past 800 years often been used – as kraals by various tribes. “Challengers to the cattle-kraal theory however point out that the stone circles have no entrances and they question why the cattle herders constructed many kilometres of walled roads against steep hills.
June 2009


Viljoen says that despite the vast size of the complex, most of the remains of the thousands of stone circle ruins are only ankle-high and often hidden even in short grass, which is why no-one has bothered to “connect the dots” until now. “The disastrous fire that swept through the Highveld escarpment a few years ago had the one benefit that it exposed the sheer number of these faint stone circles to pilots and farmers. We currently know of more than 20 000 stone circle structures, and encourage hikers to report the location of any new ruins that they often literally stumbled over.” Viljoen says the sections of ancient roads in the escarpment conceal “a very humbling and encouraging lesson for business: no matter how the economy and technology changes – the business of transport will go on.” All it takes is to survive is to anticipate and then meet customers’ changing needs, as General Motors did when it bought Daewoo for a song to add some American marketing muscle to Korean affordability, or when its engineers built the Volt electrical car, long before Nissan’s recent plans to shortly sell as many electric cars as fuel-burning models.


On the other extreme, esoteric author of “Slave Species of the Gods” and renegade scientist Michael Tellinger has interviewed sangomas and healers who venerate the megalithic structures near Kaapsehoop, dubbed “Adam’s Calendar”. Tellinger lectures to eager audiences that the Adams Calendar megalith would have been in sync with the sun some 75,000 years ago, although his psychic sources, which include Credo Mutwa, claim the megalith has been in use for more than 250,000 years.

Dravidian Indians?
The middle theory, lead by anthropologist Dr Cyril Hromnik, presents an Indo-African connection, with members of India’s Dravidian trading caste supposed to have built the terraced stone towns near their open cast mines and horizontal shafts. Dr Hromnik’s theory is that the Indians sailed from the Gomti River to explore and later colonise the area now known as Komatipoort, expanding their trading route through settlement from Carolina to Steelpoort to Lydenburg. His hypothesis rests on the quaintly romantic anthropological fact that most Indian castes required gold dowries to get married, and is supported by notes from 14thcentury Dutch and Portuguese seafarers, who met with Indians from the Gomti River who was actively mining around Komatipoort. Dr Hromnik also used the so-called Moon Sickle, an astrologically-aligned structure near Steelpoort, as well as more tenuous linguistic links, to build a postulate that the Indians colonisers intermarried with the Kung Bushmen to create the Hottentot race, which descendants later intermarried with newly African tribes to create the Venda tribe. More on this legend in the making in future issues of ABR.

Who built the Stone Ruins?
Currently three schools of thought each present a different hypothesis about the origin of the ruins, ranging from African tribes to gods to the Dravidian trading caste from India.

African Tribes?
The officially accepted and very conservative theory, lead by archeological Professor Pieter Delius, is that the older ruins date back to AD 1200, built and subsequently occupied by African tribes, ranging from the small baKoni and the mighty maTabele, to the current baPedi and siSwati.

The Captiva handles uneven terrain with aplomb







Pontiac About to Join its Ancestors
by Adrian Burford

The swinging 60s suited Pontiac to a tee, but clearly the first decade of the 21st century has not. By the end of 2010 it looks very likely that it will be no more, disappearing as part of General Motors’ s plans to survive by shedding a number of brands – including Pontiac.
the evocative names there wasn’t the performance to back it up. That may explain why Pontiac had a somewhat fuzzy image by the middle 1950s, being neither fish nor fowl in the eyes of the American public. This market research was the catalyst to creating a sporty new image, partly achieved thanks to a new V8 and success in NASCAR racing. 1960s Pontiac was GM’s most successful division in terms of image and also the most profitable per car. There was simply no question what Pontiac stood for: performance, speed and sex appeal. By the mid-1970s the V8 performance cars which had been the USA’s stock in trade for the last dozen years were all but dead and like the rest Pontiacs were becoming smaller and less sporty. In 1980 the first front-drive versions went on sale. By the beginning of 1988, with the exception of the Fiero and the Firebird, all Pontiacs were front-wheel-drive yet this philosophy seemed to work and it was the third-placed domestic brand in the States that year. Arguably one of the finest Pontiacs from that era was the Fiero, a neat-looking and agilehandling mid-engined twoseater, which was unfortunately undermined by a wheezy engine and a lack of development. It never ultimately achieved its true potential despite the eventual introduction of a V6 model. Nevertheless, Pontiac peaked in 1984, when it sold almost 850 000 vehicles, making it GM’s third largest division. But since then it has been mostly downhill with little in the way of signature models to keep the faithful happy and nothing cutting edge to meet the needs of younger buyers. So it seems Pontiac is destined to join a host of other names in that great big graveyard of great cars. Let’s hope that the enthusiasts and collectors keep it alive forever, so that when we tell our grandchildren about a car call a Goat, they may have some idea of what we’re talking about.
June 2009


ho would’ve thought it would come to this, the brand named after a warlike Ottawa Indian chieftain who rose against the British sent to the car cemetery after more than eight decades? Of course, it acts as a poignant reminder that nothing is impossible in the modern motor industry and Chrysler’s Plymouth is also gone, another brand which made its name in the muscle car era. Despite its muscle car reputation, Pontiac started its life as a genteel and affordable sub-brand of GM subsidiary Oakland, and was so successful that it became a separate entity in its own right almost immediately. It then proceeded to speed up the demise of its parent, which was gone by 1932. All early Pontiacs had straight six powerplants and two doors, and in 1926 were keenly priced at a little over 800 Dollars. These cars were Chevy-based in terms of bodywork and also dipped into other areas of the GM parts basket. They were made of thicker steel than Chevrolets so their refinement was superior, though performance suffered as a result, giving rise to the slightly sedate reputation.

Interestingly, the very first cars manufactured at the General Motors South African plant in Port Elizabeth were Pontiacs and the car was highly popular here for a number of years. Straight eights followed the sixes into the 1930s and Pontiac continued to use Chevrolet bodies, setting a trend for much of the brand’s existence. For example, the 1967 Firebird was based on the Camaro but had tauter handling and Pontiac’s own engine. In keeping with its Indian roots, earlier Pontiac models were named Super Chief, Star Chief, and the Chieftain, but despite

That started in the latter part of the 50s and ultimately culminated in the GTO. While Firebird is probably the best-known Pontiac model, aficionados go all starryeyed when the GTO name is mentioned. A take on Ferrari’s Gran Turismo Omologato – a nomenclature which is steeped in motor sport – the ‘Goat’ as it is affectionately known grew out of the Tempest, a fairly mundane American compact of the early 1960s designed with a only a four-cylinder powerplant in mind. It was the division’s general manager, John Z De Lorean (who went on to Chevrolet and then made his eponymous sports car in Ireland in the early 1980s before going bust amidst accusations of drug dealings), who came up with the name. The original, 1964 GTO had a 6,2-litre V8 with up to 260 kW and it is this car which is widely regarded as the one which changed the brand’s image. In the late


Golden Nugget
When Antonio Folgore immigrated to South Africa in 1965, little did he know that one day three of his sons would be running a very successful automotive workshop in central Johannesburg. It takes guts and an entrepreneurial spirit to emigrate, and Antonio obviously passed on these pioneering genes to his sons.
echnocar Auto Services is situated on the corner of Albert and Nugget Streets, City & Suburban, Johannesburg; an area that can be accurately described as downtown Johannesburg but, according to the Folgore trio, Daniel, Nunzio and Ugo, this is where the action is, pointing out that Johannesburg central is still by far thebiggest catchment area of businesses in South Africa. Thus Technocar’s location is ideal and convenient for many business and private clients. So ideal and convenient that despite having spacious premises, Technocar Auto Services is expanding and building an annex on the parking lot next door. In addition, the word recession does not even enter their minds, as they are as busy as ever and their loyal clientele plus new clients keep streaming in. With Daniel’s engineering background, combined with Ugo’s Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Porsche formative training, and Nunzio’s Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia and Maserati automotive pedigree, it is no wonder that they have built up a loyal clientele, with the ability to repair anything from the basic Citi Golf to a Mercedes-Benz Actros.


A car ready to leave the wash bay, and another satisfied client

Daniel, Ugo and Nunzio Folgore fly the e-CAR flag in downtown Johannesburg




From page 49 Whilst the loyal clientele need no further invitation, the new clients are attracted by the e-CAR signage, and this was the primary reason why Technocar became one of the first e-CAR members in April 2005. The Folgore’s were looking for a strong national brand, as they realised that the industry had a perception problem, and that the new breed of car owners are looking for peace of mind and an assurance that they are going to get value for money and consistency. Would they go for an e-CAR workshop, or the unknown workshop with unidentified signage? As Ugo puts it, “It’s like Steers vs. the corner café”. e-CAR was thus a no-brainer, as together with the national identity, Technocar also gets branded product and competitive prices from the Diesel-Electric organisation, a nationwide warranty back-up, diagnostic equipment, advice and world class training from Robert Bosch, and various networking and marketing opportunities. Upstairs is used for the major repairs

From a Citi Golf, to the AA fleet, to an Actros, even alternative fuel businesses, many companies and private clients rely on Technocar Auto Services

To join the fastest growing workshop network in South Africa and to add a new dimension to your business, contact Wilfried Langenbach at 0860 003 227 (0860 00 ECAR)



picture is taken from above the robotic off loading at the BL1 Windscreen bending furnace. The glass being off loaded is the inner glass with the black printed border. The stainless flutes, one of which is clearly visible, is positioned to swallow the separator spacer which is collected by the robot at the same time as the glass with a different set of suckers and is released before the glass is loaded onto the conveyor. The robot loads the outer, which is generally not printed, on the same conveyor which is to the left of the screen where it gets layer of interleaving powder from the powder dispenser (visible on the photo) while it passes underneath the dispenser. The conveyor moves from left to right and the printed glass is picked up by some suckers in the next operation while the outer glass indexes to a point where the two align and the inner is placed on top of the outer glass before it is perfectly aligned and placed on the rim of the bending mould during their rotation through the furnace. The dispensing powder unit is the reason the area looks covered in a fine layer of white powder as the shape and size of each glass determines the amount of powder that can go to waste in this process. This operation is done behind a glass panel which contains the contamination to just the area around the dispenser.” There you have it, as clear as glass to robotic and glass engineers.

Cover picture creates interest

ABR’s April 2009 cover pic created quite a bit of interest, with many asking what exactly it was. This was taken at Shatterprufe’s Garankuwa plant, and we give you the description from the horse’s mouth; “This





Get Turbocharged at AutoZone
By Johann Stadler

AutoZone has “upped the boost” and taken themselves to the next level with the introduction of a comprehensive range of new products in their distribution arsenal and then charged their reputation even further by hanging warranty tags on them

utoZone is the preferred distributor for Garrett® and Holset Turbochargers in this country and it stands to reason that South Africa’s number one parts and accessories retailer be chosen as the preferred distributor as AutoZone offers, amongst other things, the widest range of aftermarket parts and accessories, world class service and a ‘12 month hassle free warranty’. In today’s developing and technologically superior vehicle manufacturing industry, world’s leading vehicle manufacturers have an obligation to provide a quality product that is durable and reliable, meets emissions standards, offers acceptable fuel consumption and problem/failure free mechanical/engine life for at least 100 000km. These manufacturers turn to two of the world’s leading turbocharger manufacturers in order to achieve this – Garrett® and Holset, and now these leading brands are available from AutoZone. AutoZone’s national buyer for turbochargers, Raymond Read says, “As the country’s number one distributor of top quality parts and accessories, it makes perfect sense for AutoZone to be expanding their range and products to cater for the industry’s demands with the best brands available in turbochargers. We believe that this will add yet another facet to the overall offering that AutoZone makes to the market and furthers the goal for AutoZone to supply the right part, at the right price, everytime.” The turbocharger industry is a rapidly growing and expanding market. Many vehicles manufactured today are powered by turbocharged engines. The benefit of turbocharging an engine is simply increased engine power output. A turbocharged engine produces more power output than a normally aspirated engine
June 2009


significantly larger in size, offering the vehicle a lighter and more efficient power plant. Secondly, turbocharged engines offer improved fuel consumption, due to denser air/fuel charge entering the engine and also, a turbocharged engine is ‘ozone friendly’ due to the very low emissions produced by the engine. Considering that the turbocharger runs on waste exhaust energy, this is astounding. Garrett® is the largest and most widely used turbocharger on the market today and caters for almost every vehicle application. These units are manufactured in over ten countries around the globe, and have a total sales figure of nine million units sold in 2008 on an international scale. Holset Turbochargers specialise in the heavy duty and industrial sector. Not only does AutoZone’s national footprint make these top brands available throughout South Africa, AutoZone have engaged the services of TurboDirect S.A, an internationally accredited technical partner, to further enhance the offer. The ability to offer repairs and an overall after sales backup is key to the success of any turbocharged application. Customers who have repair, rebuild, refurbishment or even component balancing requirements are welcome to contact AutoZone as together with TurboDirect, their back-up service guarantees a speedy, smooth, turnkey and ‘turbo-ed’ turnaround. The service includes, pre and post sales support, application enquires, failure analysis & reporting, maintenance requirements, repairs or refurbishments, component balancing and failure preventative solutions. All queries must be directed to AutoZone’s call centre on 0861 122 111, these will then be directed further depending on the nature of the query.



Taking the High Road
In the March 2009 issue of ABR, we published an open letter to Capricorn Society Limited Suppliers. Trent Bartlett, chief executive office of Capricorn Society Limited, made Capricorn’s uncompromising stance quite clear that its suppliers would be able to manage their cash flows with the confidence that comes from the knowledge that the Society guarantees its Members’ debt. A true vindication of Capricorn’s reputation as “an organisation that you can rely on”. Automotive Business Review, in the wake of an overwhelmingly positive response to this letter, chatted with Rob Mildenhall, South Africa’s Business Development Manager, on the dynamics around the situation.
appeal to the guilty parties to take stock of the damage that they are doing and to do the right thing. ABR: Going back to Trent Bartlett’s open letter, this is truly a shining example of Capricorn Society’s ethical approach, and taking the high road. Hopefully other organisations will emulate this. RM: Yes. The onus lies on everyone to stay on the moral high ground, and to manage their cash flows and to pay their accounts timeously. If everyone stayed true to this ideal and put their shoulders to the wheel, the whole supply chain benefits. However, if too many companies default, it spells trouble as it can create a domino effect. ABR: With the technology and skills challenges facing the modern day workshop, it is most unfortunate that the guys in the frontline are now expected to face one more challenge. RM: Yes. It is the survival of the fittest, and the ability to adapt is now a characteristic that is sorely needed. Effective procurement now becomes of critical importance, and a collective arrangement is no longer a matter of choice, but an absolute necessity. Businesses have to look for cost efficiencies, and simply cannot afford to be at the bottom of the feeding chain. ABR: Could you elaborate? RM: Take databases for example. To survive, a company needs to exploit many databases: customer information, supplier information, technical information. This is available from Capricorn, and we can also assist with proprietary technical information as with our Autodata alliance, and facilitate access to the latest diagnostic hardware and software for our members. ABR: Is this just not another cost burden? RM: All the more reason to manage your cash flow effectively. Collecting debts and paying suppliers on time must now become a business imperative. By so doing a company builds up a reputation of integrity, which stands it in good stead in tough times. ABR: The figures quoted for 30 day collection rates are 65% for South Africa, and an average of 98% for countries such as the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. This is a stunning indictment of our business ethics! RM: Unfortunately true. South Africa needs to raise the bar on this one. Our International reputation is at stake.

ABR: Capricorn Society is basically guaranteeing payment on all purchases made by Capricorn’s members. This must mean an incredibly strong balance sheet? RM: That is correct, but it also shows confidence in the commercial abilities of the majority of Capricorn’s members. The choice to become a Capricorn member is already an indication of the commercial skills of these companies. ABR: South African companies have a reputation for being perennially slow payers. What will change this mindset? RM: Unfortunately, many small businesses bear the brunt of larger companies and institutions not playing the game. Some of these organisations don’t pay for three months, and then they still expect the small business to carry on providing a service with the promise of payment a further 60 days down the line. This translates into a small business carrying a much larger business for 150 days and more. At today’s interest rates, this is well over 5% of the invoice value. It is an appalling and unfair situation and I

To join Capricorn Society Limited call Rob Mildenhall on 083 654 2094 or e-mail him at rob.mildenhall@capricorn.com.au or visit their website on www.capricorn.com.au
June 2009



“Braking” the Sound Barrier
What is green, synthetic and tacky? No, it is not Kermit the Frog. Nor is it an AWB leader’s underpants. It is actually something far more redeeming and useful. It is the Permatex® Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube, available from Top Class Automotive.

nyone who has suffered the assault on the ears that squealing brakes can inflict will find the Permatex® Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube a godsend, as the prevention of brake squeal alone is worth using the product, but this lubricant has many other qualities and benefits. It is an environmentally friendly, non-melting, pure synthetic lubricant, formulated to lubricate under the most adverse brake conditions, thus ensuring that critical caliper pins, sleeves, bushings and pistons remain lubricated throughout the brake pad’s life. With its water and corrosion resistant capabilities, this lubricant is excellent on rolling and sliding surfaces operating in wet or dry conditions from -40ºF to +400ºF (-45ºC to +230ºC), and is compatible with internal and external brake rubber and plastic hardware, including ethylene-propylene rubber.


Withstands temperatures from 45ºC to +230ºC Waterproof, protects against corrosion, will not attack most rubbers Non-silicone, non-petroleum based formula Pure, synthetic lubricant Environmentally safe

• •

• • Prevents disc brake squealing Prevents long bolt and sleeve seizing and galling Outperforms ordinary caliper grease and traditional disc brake anti-squeal methods

Applications for Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube:
Long and short bolts, sleeves, bushings, outboard pad backing plates, inboard pad backing plates, disc brake calipers, caliper pins and pistons. Available in accordion squeeze bottle, brush-top bottle, and blister card packets.




Valeo for life
In our everyday life, people are confronted with the reality of constant threats, but whether we want to or not, we just have to overcome them or face the consequences. But how would it influence our daily routines if it were possible to eliminate a large a part of those daily threats?
esearch shows that the majority of people spend almost a third of their lives in a car, whether that is behind the wheel or as an occupant. The responsibility is a massive burden on the driver’s shoulder and one needs to be on your guard at all times, which causing unnecessary stress, constraints and fatigue. Euroquip offers a range of various imported Valeo assistance systems, design to make regular driving tasks safer and more comfortable.


Beep & Park/Keeper
Parking in small spaces will reduce rear visibility, it’s uncomfortable and difficult. The Beep and Park/ Keeper is a front and/or rear parking assistance system with an anti bump alert to protect your vehicle against the all too often clumsy parking manoeuvres of other motorists.

Light/On & Off
If you don’t always notice visibility changes when driving, Valeo came up with a bright idea. Light/on & off is an automatic lighting system that switches on the headlights as soon as the light becomes poor and switches them off again when sufficient light is restored.

Beep & Park/Vision
Are you worried about hitting obstacles or pedestrians that you cannot see? Beep & Park/Vision is a rear parking detection system with sensors, coupled with a rear view camera to provide drivers with audible and visual information when reversing.

Changes in the speed limit means that you have to keep an eye on the speedometer, which could cause loss of control or reacting too late if there is an obstacle in the road. Speed/Visio displays the vehicle’s speed directly on the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight and sends out an alert when the vehicle exceeds the programmed speed.

Is the visibility when reversing poor because the rear window is narrow and the back of your vehicle raised? Park/Vision is a parking assistance system comprising of a rear camera that projects images of the area behind the vehicle onto a colour screen in the cabin. For more information, please contact +27 (0) 12 661 6467 • Fax: +27 (0) 86 614 1378 Email: prakash@euroquip-sa.co.za • Cell 082 870 7809

If you often make long journeys and are worried about falling asleep at the wheel, why not take your very own co-pilot with? Guideo is a camera module that permanently scans the road and supervises all four driving assistance functions.




18 Months Warranty



Life Goes On
During the early part of May 2009, I attended two interesting and indeed illuminating functions, with the highlight of each event being a presentation by the chief executive, each in a different space, but both By Austin Gamble in arguably the most difficult jobs at the moment in the South African automotive industry. Upon reflection, it is during these tough times when the men are sorted out from the boys, and you begin to realise why these gentlemen were appointed in the first place. The qualities of men like Hal Feder and Steven Koch are not readily apparent in the good times, but when the chips are down, their Michigan DNA kicks in, as investors and customers alike need to be desensitised and reassured. Spin doctoring and soothing balm need to be applied in equal measure. These guys are good. So good, in fact, that even a cynical old codger like me left the presentations with a lighter step and a song in my heart. Not a classic like “Bohemian Rhapsody”; more like “Baa baa black sheep”, but still a song.


irst up to the plate was Hal Feder, President and CEO of Ford South Africa, at the Ford media breakfast on Tuesday 5 May 2009. The April vehicle sales had just been announced, and in the midst of the doom and gloom of one of the worst months in recent history, Hal stood up and started listing the global and regional positives from Ford’s perspective; annual savings of US$500 million in the States through concessions by the UAW; debt obligations of US$10,1 billion restructured; customer satisfaction levels up; the Focus RS the fastest ever production model; the Fiesta taking first place in March in Europe; the Fusion Hybrid voted most fuel efficient midsize sedan in America; the Mustang’s 45th birthday; the EcoBoost engine in production in Cleveland, etc, etc. All positive and all good news for the future, but Hal really did his Houdini act when he disclosed that Ford globally ONLY had a loss of US$2 billion in the first quarter of 2009. This is good news? Yes, because it is a distinct improvement on the loss of US$3,6 billion in the last quarter of 2008. It’s all about trends, you see. And the real magic is in the cash flow. Ford’s cash flow actually increased in the first quarter of 2009, as they dipped into funds previously arranged by the prescient Alan Mulally, Ford’s CEO. With a war chest of US$21,3 billion, and the resizing pain mostly over, Ford is in relatively good space and is ready to roll with the punches. “We are waiting for the volume to come back”, said Feder. And with South African car sales looking to go below 350 000 units in 2009, the sooner the better! But, as Jacques Brent, Vice President of Marketing & Sales pointed out at the breakfast, Ford is gaining market share locally during this downturn with fresh and attractive Fords and Mazdas, so domestically the blow has been softened. After Hal Feder’s home run, next up to the plate was Steven Koch, GM President of African Operations & GMSA Managing Director, when GMSA hosted a media briefing session at their Woodmead offices on Friday 8 May 2009. Steve opted for a FDR type “fireside chat”, sitting on a high stool, and regaling the assembled journalists with a homily about his history with GM, and the regional dynamics involving the interdependence but also the independence of GM’s global operations. Thus, what happens in Europe does not necessarily directly affect the South African operations, and so forth. In America, GM has introduced a new wage structure under agreement with the UAW, and even though Chapter 11 is an option, GM is definitely in it for the

Steven Koch, GM President of African Operations & GMSA Managing Director

Hal Feder, President and CEO of Ford South Africa

long haul, and with 17 of the 18 vehicles currently under development scheduled to deliver fuel economy of under 7l/100km, they are moving in the right direction. Domestically, South Africa gets its product from GM’s Global Design Centres, and as GMSA is debt free and not reliant on the USA, Steve says that GMSA will not just survive, but thrive. As Koch said, “We’re in a good position to ride this thing out”. At the GMSA presentation, we were also treated to a very interesting analysis and statistical overview of the habits of the South African motorist, by Brian Olson, GMSA General Manager – Marketing, and a sign of the times was the introduction of GMSA’S new programme called “GM Total Confidence”. The GM Total Confidence program includes three components: • vehicle warranty extension to 5 years / 120 000 km
June 2009


• vehicle payment protection (insurance that covers up to nine months of the consumers’ vehicle finance payments if they are retrenched) for vehicles purchased between May 4, 2009 and July 31, 2009 extension of a new, industry-leading roadside assistance program to 5 years / 120 000 km


All Chevrolet, Opel, Isuzu LCVs, Hummer, and Cadillac vehicles are included in the plan, which was introduced by Malcolm Gauld, GMSA Vice President of Vehicle Sales & Marketing. There you have it, there is a Ford in your Future, and as the latest GMSA advertising campaign says, “There’s never been a better time to buy a car”, and I doubt that it will ever be called a Chevroletti.

The Chevrolet Cruze will be coming to our shores shortly

The Ford Fiesta was pipped at the post for South Africa’s 2008 Car of the Year

GMSA has also started a Chevrolet Brand campaign reminiscent of the Braaivleis, Rugby, Sunny Skies and Chevrolet campaign of the seventies, with a modern platform of wherewillchevrolettakeyou.com
June 2009




Bosch Service National Convention 2009
In a vibrant and upbeat atmosphere, Robert Bosch held their Bosch Service National Convention 2009 at the Birchwood Conference Centre, Boksburg on 23rd May 2009, and some stimulating and enlightening presentations kept the delegates enthralled.
he underlying theme of the conThe underlying theme of the conference, as espoused by Ewald Faulstich, Director Automotive Aftermarket Division, Robert Bosch (Pty) Limited, was that the battle for the hearts and minds, and most importantly, the pockets of the South African motorist seeking reliable and honest after sales service, has begun with earnest endeavour. Facing each other will be too big armies, nm. OES (OEM aftermarket activities) and IAM (independent aftermarket activities), and behind the IAM lines will be skirmishes between franchised workshops, such as Bosch Service, e-CAR, ACD, Motolek, Autopro, etc., and the independents. The two key driving forces behind the moves by the OEMs to make a foray onto the playing turf of the independent aftermarket are the aging and growing car parc, and the simple arithmetic around the revenues and profits at OEM dealership level.


and honest service. When the times were good, the OEM dealerships were quite happy to focus on new car sales, whilst looking after their “captive” market of vehicles under warranty and maintenance schemes, and they made little or no effort to entice customers with older cars. But the times they are a changing. Secondly, the simple arithmetic and the dynamics around revenue and profits at departmental level has come to the notice of the holders of the purse strings. South African statistics are not readily available, but these 2006 stats extracted from the McKinsey CARE study in Germany on the contribution by department at OEM dealerships make for compelling reading: Revenue 45,1% Profit 14,4% 54,4% 0,8% 27,2% 3,2%

Vehicle Sales

Aftermarket Sales 22,5% Used Vehicle Sales 19,1% Insurance, etc 11,3% 2,0%

Despite the slow down in new vehicle sales over the past two years, the car parc is growing, and naturally it’s getting older. The car parc at the end of 2008 was bigger than the car parc at the end of 2007, and the car parc at the end of 2009 is expected to be 2,5% larger than that at the end of 2008, simply because of the uncomplicated fact that whilst people are not replacing their cars at the rate they used to, they are keeping their cars for longer. The South African car parc, broken down into age, is as follows: • • • • • 1 – 3 years 4 – 7 years 8 – 12 years 22% 22% 21%


13 – 20 years 28% 21 – 25 years 7%

South Africa will not be much different, and it does not take a rocket scientist to see where the profits are to be made, and in these times, the less glamorous side of service and parts sales can mean the difference between life and death for a vehicle dealership. Therefore the expected thrust into traditional aftermarket areas, and the resultant blurring of the sales channels. This trend has already started in Europe, and South Africa will not be far behind. The OEMs have extended their warranty and maintenance periods, they are putting an emphasis on used car sales (to create potential workshop customers), and consider to introduce their own workshop concepts for the independent aftermarket to focus on this “middle aged” vehicle parc The solution from the Bosch perspective is to provide bumper to bumper service, and to provide this service with panache and competence. Quite a number of independent aftermarket workshop concepts have come and gone these past few years, not

because the time is not ripe for franchised workshops in the independent aftermarket, but because they have not stuck to the basics whilst also adding something special. The Bosch Service concept is a holistic concept, offering a powerful Brand, a distinctive and eye-catching Corporate Design, a wide range of a technical services and marketing support portfolio and a Code of Practise, outlining appropriate workshop practices and procedures, ensuring a highest possible level of customer satisfaction. But it is in the Bosch Service “Genetic Code” Concept, where Bosch’s DNA or fingerprint plays a massive role, providing uniqueness, exclusivity, and an excellent utilisation of synergies. Bosch defines this as Bosch Service brand performance. When Bosch talks about brand performance, it is wise to sit up and take notice. Bosch has lasted for 123 years, and is the world’s biggest automotive supplier, so as Ewald says’ “Bosch must be doing something right!”. A company that spends 7,8% of their turnover or R 190 million per working day on research and development intends to stick around for another 123 years. And even more astonishing is the Automotive Division of Bosch, which allocates 12% of their turnover to R&D. No wonder that they’re number one. Coming back to “brand performance”, which is a result of three specific areas of brand excellence and brand performance and closely linked to the 14 specific areas of the Genetic Code: • Corporate Standards Design and Visual

The rich vein to be mined lies in the 4 to 12 year age bracket, some 43% of the car parc. The majority of these cars are out of warranty and maintenance periods, whilst they are still new enough for the owners to be motivated to keep these cars in relatively pristine condition, and to seek first-rate

Corporate Competence, i.e. providing highest possible technical competence, products and services at competitive prices with minimum waiting times for customers or just doing the job properly, each and every day Corporate “Behaviour”, i.e. outstanding customer relationships and customer care management striving to keep existing customers and to attract potential new customers.
June 2009


The aim is the recognition of excellence and the linking of this excellence to the Bosch Service brand and the imprinting of this in the customer’s mind. Get this right, and service starts taking priority over price, and it can be done.


Co-incidence or not, the message from Motivational Speaker Gavin Sharples at the Gala Dinner was that relationships at home and at work are both based on the same principles. Build Your Product and Brand. Get Involved when they need you. It is all about Relationship Marketing!

Dave Stalker, Technical Services Manager at Robert Bosch, with Jeff Osborne, CEO of the RMI

Dereck Knight, Senior Product Manager, with Christoph Wagner from Robert Bosch Germany

Ewald Faulstich, Director Automotive Aftermarket Division, Robert Bosch kept the delegates enthralled with a wide-ranging presentation
June 2009

Grant Palliser, Marketing Manager; and Lilian Hansen, Senior Product Manager; gave insightful presentations at the conference




South Africans are not just good at rugby
Robert Bosch Germany has appointed independent auditors to conduct Quality Audits at Bosch Service outlets all over the world. The 2008 results show South Africa in a particularly good light. The South African outlets audited achieved an average rating of 91,3%, second only to Germany which achieved 91,7%. Considering that the average achieved in North America was 79,4% and Asia/Pacific was 70,5%, the enormity of this achievement can be put into perspective. And in the mystery shopper rating, which focused more on customer care issues, South Africa once again came second to Germany. We’re a great nation!

Gala Dinner

2008 Award Winners:
“Bosch Car Service “ of the Year 2008 – TPS Auto Electrical, Witbank

“Bosch Car Service / Diesel Centre” of the Year 2008 – Diesel Works, Pietermaritzburg

“Bosch Diesel Service” of the Year 2008 Mafika Engineering, Johannesburg

“Top Performer” of the Year 2008 Diesel Works, Pietermaritzburg






Champions of the Industry
After a successful stint as Sales Director for Specialised Markets, Chris Hillier has taken on a new challenge at Federal-Mogul Aftermarket Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd., as Sales & Marketing Director, effective 1 May 2009. ABR took the opportunity to talk to Chris about his move.
ver the past seven years Chris has been very busy breaking bread with African customers. Initially it was the establishment of a beachhead for FederalMogul’s brands north of the Limpopo, but now it is a significant footprint in 38 African countries. Having achieved huge growth over the past couple of years in these markets, Chris moves onto a new challenge, taking the full sales function under his wing, and adding the marketing portfolio, all part of a strategic realignment at Federal-Mogul. This consolidation means that the sales strategies are now under one roof, both domestic and export, with marketing added to the mix. The marketing portfolio was previously handled by Malcolm Perrie, Managing Director, and this reorganisation frees Malcolm up to focus on strategic issues and stakeholder relations. However, Chris foresees an extremely close working relationship when it comes to marketing matters, as he plans to lean heavily on Malcolm’s expertise and knowledge as the duo tackles key operational concerns, to provide a platform for exciting initiatives. Chris brings two decades of Federal-Mogul nous to the job, having had two stints at the company in its various guises, and being an interested observer and participant in its mergers and acquisitions, including Asseng Automotive, T&N, and now under its current form as Federal-Mogul Aftermarket. Federal-Mogul is a global giant, and Chris sees his key role in the next few months and years in the alignment of sales and marketing objectives with Federal-Mogul’s strengths. Lean manufacturing, technical knowhow, great brands, customer confidence are all attributes that can provide leverage. Chris says, “I want to align our customer message and our customer approach on a national level. This will require a moving away from a regional focus to a key account focus, to allow us to be consistent in our approach to the customer, and critically, our message to the customer”. To achieve this, Chris intends to synchronise the internal and external sales staff with these goals, to present “One Face, One Message”, and a strong emphasis on improved service levels. Federal-Mogul’s great strength is its global brand philosophy. Any part sold anywhere in the world has to have Federal-Mogul’s global approval, which translates into a cast iron assurance to the customer that they are getting only the very best. Add to this Chris’ desire to provide great service levels, and you have a potent formula which has to lead to success. The irony in all this is that because of Federal-Mogul’s success with its global brand approach, the counterfeiters have been busy. The strength of the brands has attracted the attention of the copycats and the fraudsters, who attempt to pass off inferior product as the real thing. Chris is passionate about fighting this scourge, as he has seen its detrimental affects in Africa, and does not want this to take hold in South Africa (Ed’s comment “It unfortunately already has!”). Federal-Mogul is part of the fight against coun-


Chris Hillier, newly appointed Sales & Marketing Director, FederalMogul Aftermarket, stands in the engine room of Federal-Mogul’s aftermarket operations in City West, Johannesburg terfeiting, and is implementing anti-counterfeiting technologies in both product and packaging, to make it difficult for those who put money before conscience. To put counterfeiting in perspective, Chris quotes some alarming statistics; “Six to nine percent of world trade is in counterfeit product. Interpol estimates that some US$600 billion per annum is in counterfeit goods, and the automotive aftermarket is one of the major victims”. He adds, “It is more profitable and less risky than the drug trade, mainly because the penalties are less severe. Stronger action is necessary. FederalMogul will always be part of this fight “. ABR will bring you more about anti-counterfeiting initiatives from Chris Hillier in future issues.




Springs has Sprung
It may have been a chilly May evening, but for the attendees of the Partinform Automotive Trade Show held at the Springs Civic Centre, it was a hot August night and springs had sprung. The depressing economic news was put aside as the participants indulged in the usual Partinform fare of education, information, technical know-how, brand awareness, and valuable networking with the trade. Automotive Business Review, South Africa’s most influential automotive aftermarket publication; was naturally there to take in the action.

The Partinform brand ambassadors ready to roll, revved up by the Ferrari 360 Challenge Car, which is used in the Ferrari Track Experience

Some influential big hitters seen at the RMI stand

Robert Bosch used the opportunity to remind the market that the Bosch brand is not just about kitchen appliances, power tools, electrical and electronic product, and diagnostic equipment. Robert Bosch is also about braking, and Bosch offers an extensive range of brake pads, both imported and locally assembled, using a German developed formulation compound. A little known fact is that Robert Bosch is the biggest brake system manufacturer in the world, having made significant inroads into the Japanese brands at OEM level, offering the full package of calipers, pads, hoses, and electronics. Locally, the Bosch range of brake pads is fully supported by the Robert Bosch organisation, offering a 35 000 km no quibble warranty. Here, Christopher Roberts, senior product manager, Automotive Aftermarket Division, proudly displays the Bosch pads.
June 2009


The vibe at the stands was first-rate
Federal-Mogul used the opportunity to show their well known “Fix it with Fred and Manny” series.

Ian Fleming would be inspired to write a James Bond novel “The Man with the Golden Caliper” if he stopped at the Ate stand, and saw this four pot caliper. The full inspiring story behind this product will be unveiled exclusively by ABR in the July 2009 issue. Bracket this in your diary and watch this space.

GUD metal free filters are ecological & environmentally friendly. These filters are used in a housing which is attached to the engine and does not need to be replaced. These products have no metal content and new media technology is used to cater for the extended service intervals of the modern cars. More on this in forthcoming issues of ABR.
June 2009


Springs has Sprung!
Colin Murphy, chairman of Partinform, and master of ceremonies Duane Rockwell, kept the event moving crisply and encouraged the crowd to enjoy the event

Attending the event were the guys from Emergency Spares, Daveyton. L to r: Thushan Pillay, Colin Naidoo, Randir Maharaj, Daylin Poonsamy.




The Winners

The runners-up, who nevertheless walked away with some stunning prizes, were Sharma Moonsamy, Amelia Steyn, and Nicolaas Nel
Stefanus Nel of Mining Industrial Repair Centre was the big winner of the evening, and he will be attending the Forza Racing Ferrari Track Experience on Friday 19th November 2009, together with the other lucky winners. You too can win this stunning prize; all you need to do is attend one of the forthcoming shows.

And that’s not all. Winners of the lucky draw prizes (an i-Pod and a Garmin GPS sponsored by Willard and Sabat batteries) were Koos Koekemoer and Daylin Poonsamy

Competition Corner

The balance of the 2009 schedu le is as follows: Bloemfontein Wednesday 17 Durban th June 2009 Tuesday 21st Klerksdorp July 2009 Tuesday 8th Se Port Elizabeth ptember 2009 Tuesday 13th White River October 2009 Tuesday 10th November 2009

And if you are a reader of ABR, not only are you highly intelligent, you also have a chance to win a Forza Racing Track Experience. Four lucky winners will be drawn out of the hat at the South African Automotive Conference to be held in early October 2009, and will be advised via e-mail or telephone by the middle of October 2009, and the winners shall also be announced in the November 2009 issue of ABR. Don’t delay. The entries from the previous editions of ABR are already streaming in, so get out your thinking cap and answer these three questions: 1. Which vehicle is used in the Forza Ferrari Driving Experience?

2. Who was the winner of the Forza Driving Experience at the Springs Partinform?

3. Who was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening?

Send your answers to fax 086 6579 289 or e-mail bigheart@iafrica.com with the following details:
Name and Surname: __________________________________________________________________________________ Company: ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Position: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Postal Address:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Contact Tel. no’s:_____________________________________________________________________________________ e-mail address:________________________________________________________________________________________
June 2009


by Roger McCleery

Roger McCleery asks the questions
See how many of these 20 Questions you can answer.
1. Why are manhole covers welded down on a Formula 1 Grand Prix street circuit? 2. Who was the second man to walk on the moon? 3. When did the last man walk on the moon? 4. How long on average does it take to change all four wheels on a Formula 1 GP car? 5. How many years was the Model T Ford in production? 6. At top speed how many times does the wheel of a Grand Prix car rotate per second? 7. What is the first name of the founder of the Honda Motor Company? 8. Who owns the Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria? 9. What bakkie has replaced the Nissan 1400? 10. Name the best selling bakkie in South Africa for 26 years. 11. When did the Corsa Lite cease production in South Africa? 12. Name the motoring programme on Summit TV? 13. Who lies second in the Formula 1 GP Championship after five rounds? 14. What car does he drive? 15. Which make of car sold bigger numbers on 2008 – Opel or Chev? 16. Who lost more money in the first quarter of 2009 – GM or Toyota? 17. The Honda Accord station wagon is called a what? 18. What is the cheapest new car in South Africa? 19. What is the most expensive car that is quoted? (not P.O.A.) 20. Who owns Lamborghini?

Answers on page 75
June 2009

AIDC Automotive Industry Conference 2009

Navigating the storm requires firm action
Both domestic sales and automotive exports have been hard hit by the global credit crunch resulting in low sales figures and mounting job losses. To navigate the storm requires firm action. This must be focused on putting the automotive industry on a sound long-term footing. The AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009 has been designed to help stakeholders focus on collective actions and to achieve improved synergy in overcoming the many challenges we face, says Barlow Manilal, CEO of the Automotive Industry Development Centre.
he new Cabinet will bring fresh ideas and newly appointed Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies plans to give new impetus to the government’s muchtalked-about industrial policy, which will become the central pillar of economic policy. Says Barlow: “The AIDC is looking forward to playing a constructive role in enhancing the scale of industrial policy with regard to the automotive industry through its work in the fields of skills development and training, supplier development and supply chain development. We welcome the Minister’s emphasis on developing local industrial capacity. Since our establishment, we have worked towards making the automotive industry globally more competitive in ways that will meaningfully create and sustain decent work.” Manilal says that the challenges faced by the automotive industry are complex and require a shared vision on how to move forward. “This will better enable the various stakeholders to take the actions they are mandated to perform in the spirit of contributing towards a collective solution.” The AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009 has as its theme “NAVIGATING THE STORM: A ROADMAP TO VISION 2020.” It will be hosted at the SA Automotive Week in Port Elizabeth on 7-8 October 2009. Key automotive industry leader, Dr Brand Pretorius, has confirmed his participation. Additional value is on offer to delegates at the Automotive Industry Conference 2009 as part of South African Automotive Week, which includes the only Naacam endorsed International nly by achieving the vision of producing a million cars a year will the South African auto industry be able to create and sustain more jobs, says National Association of Automobile and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) executive director Roger Pitot. This was one of the main reasons that Naacam was supporting the second South African Automotive Week (SAAW), an industry show-case and think-tank that is being held in Port Elizabeth in October this year. SAAW is the only industry event supported by both Naacam and the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), together with the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC). According to Pitot, it would not be possible to meet an industry target of 70 per cent local content without much higher production volumes. Hitting the million vehicle a year mark would increase employment levels in the auto industry by “50 to 60 per cent”, according to Pitot. SAAW chairperson Alfred da Costa, who has interests in component manufacturing, says SAAW 2009 will be


Trade Show in South Africa. The Trade Show is focused on Component Manufacturing, is for trade only and attracts buyers and suppliers from throughout South Africa and around the globe. Site tours to the Coega IDZ, an OEM and FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup Stadium are among key networking opportunities which also include golf and the famous Gala Networking Dinner on Port Elizabeth’s blue flag beach attended by the who’s who of the automotive sector. "The AIDC Automotive Industry Conference will address an industry in crisis. Industry role players are seeing this as a platform to ensure that the industry is equipped with the credible information, resources, direction and sentiment that will allow automotive businesses to make the right strategic decisions for their businesses," says Lance Schultz, Project Manager at the AIDC. Diarise the dates now! Conference fees for the two day conference are R4,069.00 excluding VAT per delegate. The early bird conference fee presents a saving of over 15% if registration is completed by 31 July 2009. Early bird fees are R3,176.00 excluding VAT. There are also a limited number of lucrative sponsorship packages available, allowing companies to market and establish vital business networks. For further information, please contact Lance Schultz at lschultz@aidc.co.za or call him on 041 393 2104 or visit www.aidc.co.za. For more information about opportunities at SA Automotive Week please contact Alastair Stead at alastair@inkanyezi.co.za or call him on 041 363 0310 or visit www.saaw.co.za. a mix of a four-day industry expo, a “Navigating the Storm: A roadmap to Vision 2020” conference and networking opportunities. International interest from manufacturers in China, India, Taiwan and Holland showed that the African market was seen as being a potential growth area by the world’s auto industry, he said. He urged local component manufacturers to turn this to their advantage by entering into licence agreements with foreign suppliers wanting to enter the African and local South African markets. Over the next two years, the component industry would be characterised by mergers, take-overs and a consolidation of suppliers by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The pressure was therefore intense for suppliers to beef up through partnerships. – the potential of which existed through SAAW. The local companies already have the skills, facilities and infrastructure in place, and would benefit from technology. “Original equipment manufacturers demand that local suppliers have international licensing agreements in place. Therefore, having international links in place is not a choice but a necessity.”
June 2009





No Passing F1 is Back
by Roger McCleery

With four wins in the five races that started the Formula 1 GP season this year, Jensen Button has proved one thing. Give the right car with the right team to any one of the twenty drivers in Formula 1 and probably lots more in some of the other single seater formulae, and they will win a GP.
What a start for a team with dedicated and knowledgeable men who know their Grand Prix racing. What is nice about GP racing this year and I don’t think we are going to see passing on the track on the scale we even see in other formula or in South Africa for that matter, is the new or young smiling faces that have come to the fore. Button, 21 year old Sebastian Vettel tipped as the next Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, the Swiss Sebastian Buemi – are all giving it their everything and loving being part of the scene. They enjoy their racing despite all the politics around them. The last three GPs in China, Bahrain, and Barcelona have been different. China, run in monsoon rains, saw Red Bull with Vettel and Mark Weber without the advantages of the so-called illegal diffusers, used by the uncatchable “gang of three” (Brawn, Toyota and Williams) as described by Renault Chief Flavio Briatore, came home 1 / 2 to take it away from the Brawn duo. Bahrain, a little bit closer to home, saw odd bits and pieces being fitted to try and improve the performance of the cars. Bahrain in the desert saw Button, Vettel and Trulli stand on the podium with - surprise, surprise - World Champion Lewis Hamilton, fourth. Comes Barcelona – the first European GP of ten in a row saw the cars all square with lots of aerodynamics and other goodies fitted. Results? A procession of note with all of us having to get excited about fueling tactics and the amount of gas carried in the car and whether it would last to the end. Martin Brundel, the commentator, was back to saying “The stewards are sure to look at that” when one car tried a daring passing move. At least we won’t have any of that in Monaco where there is no passing anyway. Yawn yawn. So the racing up to Round 4 in Bahrain was fairly dramatic and good to watch and had a new exciting look with lots of new faces and new cars starting to show. Behind the scenes the usual political drama continued. Max Moseley who unfortunately has lost his 39 year-old son, had his cost reduction methods being queried by the boss of Fiat and Ferrari, who said he will withdraw from Formula 1 Racing if this happens. According to reports Max said – “Go. Formula 1 can survive without you..” You think? I reckon if Ferrari withdraws it could start a snowball effect with Renault, Toyota and BMW leaving the scene. Boardroom members not close to the Formula 1 racing, who finance these teams, just need an excuse to pull out and save huge amounts of money. See what happened to our own Production Cars and Touring Cars in South Africa without manufacturers. Sure, the racing will go on but it won’t be quite the same. Then the CE of Williams, was said to have questioned the legality of Ferrari’s title winning cars in the days of MS. He claimed afterwards that he never said that about Ferrari or Renault for that matter. Nice boys. Sounds like our politicians, who have been misquoted. Formula 1 has the habit of keeping the intrigue and in-fighting going with huge coverage between races. It comes generally with someone paying big amounts of money particularly when they are asked to appear in FIA Court. Roll on Monaco. It is the pearl in the crown with all the beautiful people in attendance and normally providing a sting in the tail as drivers and cars start to get super tired. (No sting in the tail, I’m afraid – editor’s comment – after the race)


ensen Button was written off over the last few years as a “over the hill hasbeen” with only one GP win in his entire career. So was Rubens Barricello for that matter. Truth is that the cars they were driving were not up to scratch in the handling or engine performance departments. The trouble with Formula GP racing is that if you as a driver aren’t in a top well-financed team, Formula 1 will make a fool of you. Every one of the competitors in Formula 1 today has got there as a champion of one sort or another. Either World Karting (and that is a super competitive sport), National Championships, GP2, Formula 3000 American Championships, Formula Ford – or whatever. They certainly wouldn’t be driving million-rand racing cars if they weren’t top of their game with a reputation for success.

We have seen the skill of these drivers and the competitiveness of their teams when it is damp or raining. That’s when the weather neutralises everything – drivers, cars and teams - and makes for great GPs. Most of the dry GPs these days are still processions. In the wet races we have seen Adrian Sutil, the young German in Force India, up there with the front runners. Kazuki Nakajima in the Williams has done the same. The world beating McLarens and Ferraris and their drivers have looked average despite having the biggest budgets and world champions at the wheel. Bottom line? Every one of these super stars who race in Formula 1 today can win under the right circumstances. At the first race in Melbourne along comes the new Brawn Grand Prix Team with two non-performing drivers. The team was only formed about a month before the first race. They promptly cleaned up with a 1 / 2 finish.

1. 2. 3. To prevent the down force on the cars lifting them up Buzz Aldrin December 1972 4. 5. 6. 7. Three seconds Eighteen years + Fifty times per second Soichiro – means ‘First Son’ 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Peter du Toit NP200 Toyota Hi-Lux November 2008 Ignition

From page 72
13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Rubens Barrichello Brawn Chev Toyota Tourer 18.Chery QQ.8 TE at R69 000 19. Porsche GT 2 at R2.65m 20. Volkswagen






An Ideal Becoming a Reality
Patrick Latouche is on a mission. Sceptics may say that it is mission impossible, but Patrick is not fazed. He has an ideal which he believes can become a reality, and his overriding philosophy in everything he does is to shoot for the stars.
s general manager of Sparepro, Patrick is striving to create a supply chain that not only feeds off itself, it strengthens in the process, from A to Z, whilst encouraging co-operation from everyone in the chain in meeting common goals. In essence, a winwin situation. In this idealistic scenario, strong and synerginistic relationships are critical. Patrick’s ideal is to create business focused relationships with both the inward freight companies and the outward freight companies, thus providing an excellent logistics base from start to finish, to enable excellent delivery service to the ultimate customer, i.e. the wholesalers, the spares shops, the workshops, and the DIY enthusiasts. With a strong and reliable logistics base, Sparepro can leverage off this “cocoon of certainty” and introduce clear policies and house rules around credit limits, return for credits, and to communicate this with confidence to the clients. This cocoon of certainty thus allows management to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of the business, i.e. good product, right price, and efficient service. Thus, no matter the size of the customer, each and every customer can be treated with the necessary


respect, with no smoke and mirrors; with the true intention of building relationships to such an extent that each customer can truly say “Sparepro is Different”. Patrick says that the sales team plays a key role in making this ideal become a reality. Each salesperson becomes part of the solution, and part of the future, and he or she delivers to such an extent that Sparepro

becomes the supplier of choice, even if the price is not as good as the competitors’. Patrick says that in getting to this ideal there must be no comfort zone. The team must never rest, and the focus has to be improve, improve, improve. Sounds like a tall order, but Patrick is adamant that his ideal must become a reality, and that this is a process of constant reinforcement and adaptation, and that it is a journey that never ends, as in reality the goalposts will always move higher and higher, so you never reach the destination. Patrick says it is all about respecting yourself and self improvement. “Everything is an opportunity, and there is always a potential for growth. Our foundation is that we are the best we can be, and that we will always use a professional approach.” Inspiring words, and may this dream become reality.




Eish, very appropriate just after the elections:
While walking down the street one day a Member of Parliament' is tragically hit by a truck (Probably a municipal one, I think!) and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. 'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.' 'No problem, just let me in,' says the man. 'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.' 'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the MP. 'I'm sorry, but we have our rules..' And with



by Baron Claude Borlz

My readers have once again not let me down
that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. 'Now it's time to visit heaven.' So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realises it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns. 'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.' The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.' So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. 'I don't understand,' stammers the MP. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?' The devil looks at him, smiles and says, 'Yesterday we were campaigning.. ..Today you voted.'

New Employment Rules
SICKDAYS We will no longer accept a doctor's certificate as proof of sickness. If you are able to get to the doctor, you are able to come into work. SURGERY Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider having anything removed. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment. HOLIDAYS Each employee will receive 104 holidays per year. They are called Saturday and Sunday. BEREAVEMENT LEAVE This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends or relatives. Every effort should be made to have non-employees to attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled for the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch-hour and subsequently leave one hour early, provided your share of the work is done. ABSENT FOR YOUR OWN DEATH This will be accepted as an excuse. However, we require at least two weeks notice to allow time for you to train your own replacement. TOILET USE Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilets. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order. For instance: All employees whose names begin with 'A' will go from 8.00 to 8.20, employees whose names begin with 'B' will go from 8.20 to 8.40 and so on. If you are unable to go at your allotted time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again. In extreme emergencies employees may swap their time with a co-worker. Both workers' supervisors must approve this exchange in writing. In addition, there is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the toilets. At the end of 3 minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper will retract, and the door will open.. LUNCH BREAK Skinny people get an hour for lunch as they need to eat more so they can look healthy, normal size people get 30 minutes for lunch to maintain their average figure.
June 2009

Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch because that's all the time needed to drink a Slimfast and take a diet pill. DRESS CODE It is advised that you must come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing designer clothing we will assume that you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a pay rise. Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternations or input should be directed elsewhere. Have a nice day The Management.

It’s a fine mess you’ve gotten us into now that you’ve got rid of our meal ticket...

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