You are on page 1of 88

20 26 60 68 69 74

Bonanza or Bust Samba, Slivovitch & Sasol What’s In a Name Small is Big Need for Speed Coshed in Klerksdorp



Zoom Zoom Growth and Development
ABR covers are not specifically chosen to match events, as we have a first come first serve policy with regard to allocations, but intriguingly our covers are starting to follow a trend, matching ABR’s inexorable march to relevance, pertinence, significance and importance. The four words I have just used are all similar in meaning, but with subtle differences, and this accurately describes the nuances that can be ascribed to our previous four covers.
he July 2009 issue had the David vs. Goliath theme, a cover story on the relevance of parts distributors in these changing times, and the relevant importance of size vs. agility. Similarly, ABR was starting to punch above its fighting weight, and becoming increasingly relevant in its publishing niche. The August 2009 issue highlighted the pertinence of new battery manufacturing technologies and the need to stay ahead of the game, and once again parallels could be drawn as to ABR’s pertinence in the automotive aftermarket publishing genre, and its phoenix like ability to rise above the challenges. September 2009 was a significant month, with the cover celebrating the first anniversary of the rebirth and re entry of an iconic brand to the South African car market. Ditto ABR, 12 months after its breech birth and its significant rise in the aftermarket conscience, and its appointment as the official mouthpiece of AAMA (Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturers Association). This month, we have the Mazda3 on the cover, a brand that had lost its way after its meteoric rise in the seventies, but is back with a bang, and becoming an increasingly important brand in the Ford stable. You can read about the dynamic new Mazda3 on page 12. Similarly, ABR is ratcheting up its importance with the assistance of AAMA’s Editorial Advisory Board, a recently constituted body, which will advise ABR’s editorial team on the direction it would like the magazine to take with regard to editorial policy and content, and to actively participate in identifying themes of mutual interest. ABR is indeed in the midst of zoom-zoom growth and development. It is with this introduction that ABR is thrilled to introduce to its readers the AAMA Editorial Advisory Board, which will have an increasingly important role to play in the coming years. A blend of youth, enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience, and all with one uniting feature; a passion for the automotive aftermarket and an understanding of the relevant, pertinent, significant and important role that each and every one of them plays in defining this market, and the responsibility to convert this denotation into action, via education, information and proseletysing. ABR shall add one important ingredient to the mix...WORDS IN ACTION.


The AAMA / ABR Editorial Advisory Board

Chris Hillier, Sales & Marketing Director, FederalMogul Aftermarket Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd

Megan Naicker, - Aftermarket Country Manager Southern Africa, Tenneco Inc

Corné Strydom, Divisional Manager Automotive, Powertech Batteries

Colin Murphy, CEO, Brake Hose & Component Supplies (Pty) Ltd

Derick Knight, Senior Product Manager for Bosch Diagnostic, Robert Bosch South Africa

w w w. a b r b u z z . c o . z a
October 2009





2 6 12 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38

The Phoenix What’s the Buzz Cover Story Personal Profile AutoTopical Frankly Speaking The Chery Story

Zoom Zoom Growth and Development

All New Mazda3 Interview with Dr. Casper Kruger DTI Obsession with Vehicle Prices Brands – Bonanza or Bust High-Speed BEV S18 Passes Collision Test

AIDC AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY CONFERENCE 2009 Tony’s Take Weighty Issues Managing the Risks Health Care Tyre Safety Intelli-Driving Customer C.A.R.E.
Samba, Slivovitch and Sasol Another Chinese Truck Heads for South Africa Keeping It Clean #2 An Update on Moto Health Care Tyres’ Contribution to Safety in Motoring RCAP Customer Relationship Management Trilogy Customer C.A.R.E. Programme

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.

Publishing Editor Graham Erasmus 083 709 8184 Commercial Vehicle Editor Alwyn Viljoen 082 458 9332

Intelli-Driving Editor Eugene Herbert 082 941 3785 Correspondents Beeton, Frank Borlz, Baron Claude Burford, Adrian

Gamble, Austin Hogg, Gilbert Keeg, Howard Macaskill, Richard McCleery, Roger Twine, Tony Wilde, Fingal

Published by: Trilogy Publishing Advertising Sales: Stanton Porter Marketing Tel: 012 654 2745 e-mail:






44 Robert Bosch 48 Capricorn Insights 51 e-CAR 52 Top Class Topics 54 Launch Technologies 56 Innoventions 60 62 64 66 68 69 70 72 74 78 80 82 83 Diamond Dialogues AIDC Quiz Life Goes On Burford on Brands Vehicle Launch Vehicle Evaluation Fast Software Tipping Point Partinform Corporate Conscience Hogg’s Wash Fast Wheels The Last Writes

Brake Assist Systems The Golden Triangle Playing the Game Bonding with the Community Free Permatex Samples China’s Launch Pad Super Vooma no Rumour New Generation Cylinder Head Gaskets What’s in a Name?

Electrifying AGM Leading Change in a Turbulent Period Heady Days for Hyundai Small is Big The Real Deal Need for Speed Eco-Friendly Cities Coshed in Klerksdorp Building a Brand on Positive Energy We Are the Champions Formula 1 Heading for Cracking Finish

Editorial Office: 81 Alma Road Wendywood Tel 27 11 656 2198 Fax 27 11 802 3979 e-mail: Website:
October 2009

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:

Design and Reproduction: j. Kraft Information Design cc Tel: 012 997 6946 Fax: 012 997 6987 e-mail:

Printing: Business Print Centre, Pretoria Official Mouthpiece of

5 5




Monroe / NAPA Sani Pass Challenge
The NAPA / PIA Monroe 4x4 excursions are becoming a thing of legend, and these challenges are built around Monroe’s dedicated and extensive range of off-road shock absorbers from the price competitive Gas-Magnums, through to the imported high pressure gas mono-tubes to the premium elite triple-tube, nine-way adjustable gas Ronchos. Customers are set Monroe sales targets over a five month period, and those achieving the best results are invited to participate in a fully paid five day 4x4 adventure to different parts of South Africa led by the experienced Alex Smit of Eco 4x4 Africa. Last year the intrepid Monroe Manne braved the Kalahari, and this year it was the Sani Pass Challenge, tackled from the 10th to the 15th September. It is reported that all got back in one piece, and before the snow could be brushed off the vehicles, the question already being asked is where to next year? ABR can neither confirm nor deny that it could be the toughest challenge of all – taking on the giant potholes of Sandton!

The fearless band of Monroe Warriors got their briefing at Midas head office, before heading off to Ficksburg, and then on to the Sani Pass and the Katse Dam.

Goaaaal! Ladumaaaaaa!
A Brazil Trade Mission to Africa 2009 took place in Sandton, Johannesburg from 1 to 3 September 2009. Some 50 Brazilian companies participated, meeting with trade groups from Africa and South Africa over two days to increase trade and knowledge exchange between the countries for mutual economic benefit. Apex-Brasil president, Alessandro Texeira, commented at a media briefing that, “Brazil has developed excellent technology in many sectors, in social and economic climates not unlike those in Africa. We are in a position to share these insights with South Africa and the rest of the continent and similarly, South African and African businesses have much to offer us. In order to capitalise on these opportunities, especially during these trying economic times, we need to first share information as to the prospects available and then look at how best to take advantage of them. Apex-Brasil is committed to strengthening trade relations between Brazil, South Africa and Africa.” Brazil’s economic growth is the definitive success story among developing countries and the country is now the fourth largest destination for Foreign Direct Investment among emerging markets, boasting a GDP of US$1.8-trillion in 2007. A look at the statistics and Brazil’s global rankings as both exporter and consumer provides sufficient testimony to its many economic and social triumphs over the past decade in particular. However, probably the most convincing evidence of its success lies in the tangible growth of its middle class, from 42% to 53% of its 190 million-strong population, between 2002 and the present day. Now, as the world reels from the biggest global downturn in recent memory, a study by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development has identified Brazil as one of the 34 major economies most likely to avoid recession in 2009.

Power GM Trio Briefs Media
General Motors International Operations President and parent company General Motors Vice-President Nick Reilly paid his first visit to Africa since the launch of the New General Motors Company in July. The visit incorporated tours of the company’s production operations in Port Elizabeth, the company’s new state-of-the-art vehicle conversion and distribution centre (at Aloes), and the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ), where construction has begun on the company’s R250-million Pan-African parts distribution centre. At a media function at the company’s Woodmead offices on 19th September, Edgar Lourencon, the successor to GM President of African Operations & GMSA Managing Director Steven Koch, was also introduced to the media, with a beaming Steve Koch in attendance. Lourencon takes up the reins officially in October 2009, and in a wide ranging discussion with the media, the power trio of Reilly, Koch and Lourencon gave an informative overview of General Motors, both domestically and globally, and ABR shall cover this in detail in the November 2009 issue.

Steve Koch, Nick Reilly and Edgar Lourencon at the media briefing at GMSA Woodmead. Reilly paid tribute to Koch’s herculean efforts the past two years during the industry crisis, and said that GMSA was well placed to take advantage of the upswing, whenever it comes.
October 2009





Mille Miglia Announce SA Participation
The tribute to the world's greatest road race officially took place in South Africa in 2010.
The Mille Miglia is to Italy what the Tour de France is to France. It is literally “the world's most beautiful road race” – as Enzo Ferrari called it - . Mille Miglia is a vintage car race which takes place every year in May on a route of 1000 miles (mille miglia) from Brescia to Rome and back. The Red Arrow (Freccia Rossa) is the most popular road race in the world. Mille Miglia has an 80 year history of impassioned, emotional and traditional vintage automobiles and drivers. The Italian Minister of Economic Development, Claudio Scajola, announced the Presentation of the Mille Miglia at the launch event that took place at the Sandton Sun Hotel on Sunday 30 August in Johannesburg. The Italian Delegation enjoyed a premier trip to South Africa, complete with a Cape Town experience earlier in the week. The delegation arrived in Johannesburg for the unveiling of the Mille Miglia on the Sunday and the event took the form of a formal presentation to announce a Mille Miglia tribute in South Africa in 2010. This was followed by a gala dinner which was enjoyed by Italian and South African guests. A stellar Opera Performance of the artists of the “Verona Arena” was the highlight, followed by a sumptuous Italian-inspired dinner. The Master of Ceremonies was South Africa’s gem: Gerry Rantseli. A host of South African Celebrities attended the event, including Naas Botha, Maki Mandela and her daughter, as well as Claudia Henkel. Also at the event were Alessandro Casali, President of Organising Committee of Mille Miglia, Amb. Umberto Vattani, the President of ICE (the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade), Amb. Elio Menzione, Italian Ambassador to South Africa.







In the 2000 movie of the same name, Mel Gibson had a fairly good understanding of “What Women Want”. Well now Darryl Jacobson, managing director of Burchmore’s, has revealed what used car buyers want. Burchmore’s sells thousands upon thousands of vehicles off its floor and on auction each year, and so it has a thorough understanding of the needs of used car buyers. According to Jacobson, the first requirement is a reasonable price tag. “Cars between R90 000 and R120 000 are in extremely high demand; we are seeing the most trading within this sector of the market,” he reveals. In this price sector specifically, brand is not necessarily a buying factor. “We are selling any brand within this price range, as it is the most popular price sector. When we receive stock in this price range, it generally sells within days. Buyers in this sector are concerned purely with price; the floor could be full of any brand and, if was priced in this range, it would sell,” says Jacobson. Buyers also have no specific preference in terms of type of vehicle. “The demand is widespread – buyers want sedans, hatches, 4x4s and mom’s taxis,” he comments. Within the R90 000 to R120 000 price range, some buyers are snapping up well spec’d cars at good prices. “For that price, you can buy an extremely good second-hand BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz, with every imaginable feature. The vehicle will be in great condition and represent good value for money.” Moving slightly upwards in terms of pricing, Jacobson says buyers with around R160 000 to spend are looking for the smaller Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo and BMW models. “But, what differentiates these buyers is that they generally want a vehicle with some sort of motorplan,” he comments. When it comes to buyers with over R200 000 to spend, the German luxury brands are still firm favourites. “However, we are also seeing massive demand for Jaguar products, Range Rovers and Volvo XC90s,” he notes.

Confidence in the brand wins the day
When major appliance distributor Whirlpool SA sought a new partner to manage warehousing and distribution of its two national brands, Whirlpool and KIC, earlier this year, the process was put out to tender. All the major national carriers took part in the gruelling and competitive bidding process, with the worthy winner being family-run Bakers Transport of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal. Bakers Transport won the tender and its excellent submission and professional approach to quality management played a major role. As Rolf Calitz, Logistics Director of Whirlpool SA puts it: “Bakers’ total footprint may not have been a 100% match, but their professionalism and dedication to quality, plus the excellent service they have rendered over the past 10 years to one of our major competitors, persuaded us that they were the firm to partner with. A site visit to Bakers Transport headquarters in Pietermaritzburg confirmed this belief.” While the decision as to whom to award the contract may have been complex, the choice of trucks and their source was a foregone conclusion. Bakers Transport, a 220-vehicle Mercedes-Benz fleet owner, turned to Garden City Commercials, its partner in trucking for over 20 years, to supply the additional 56 vehicles required. Shabeer Tayob, National Logistics and Marketing Director of Bakers Transport explains: “Mercedes Benz reliability and ready availability of parts country-wide means that downtime is kept to a minimum. Add to that, the fact that our own in-house workshops are Mercedes-Benz approved, with all warranty and maintenance work carried out on our own premises, makes for a winning combination.”

Official car sales figures released in September 2009 sent shockwaves through UK vehicle industry. Hyundai sold more cars to retail customers in August than any other brand, overtaking Ford and Vauxhall. The figures, which would have seemed inconceivable a few months ago, showed that Hyundai’s overall sales for the month rose 323% compared to August last year to 3,737. It gives Hyundai a record overall market share of 5.6%. The i10 city car has been the company’s biggest success, with 2,431 finding homes in August. This makes it Britain’s third best selling car, relegating the Vauxhall Corsa to fourth place. Remove fleet sales from the equation and the i10’s achievement is even more impressive. The city car is not only the most popular model bought by retail customers, but it outsold the second placed car by a factor of more than two to one! Hyundai’s managing director, Tony Whitehorn, said: “These are truly historic figures for Hyundai. There are now thousands of happy new Hyundai drivers, and these owners’ recommendations will become our best advertising. It will ensure that Hyundai’s success continues years to come.”

In a recent transaction Auto Pedigree, the country’s largest independent dealer in second-hand vehicles and part of the Imperial Group, acquired the license to AA Autobay – the progressive web-based facilitator of private-to-private sales. AA Autobay was acquired from the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA). “Whilst the two brands will operate independently, significant benefits are to be had in leveraging the two party’s infrastructures to the benefit of one another,” said Kobus Davidtz, CEO of Auto Pedigree. Over a period of time, all of the more than 65 Auto Pedigree branches countrywide will feature an AA Autobay private-to-private sales facility, making the service available to customers countrywide. “This process is already well under way all across the country,” said Davidtz. AA Autobay facilitates the entire sales process between a private seller and buyer in a secure and safe environment, including free listing of the vehicle, finance and insurance, with payment guaranteed. “The particular services that AA Autobay brings to the party are in line with Auto Pedigree’s strategic objectives of capturing a significant share of the fast growing private-to-private and web trading portions of the second-hand vehicle market,” Davidtz concluded. Auto Pedigree was formed back in 1981 and has since grown into the largest second hand car dealer network in the country, offering more than 3 000 vehicles.






n approaching the development of the all-new Mazda3, the design team was determined to push the Zoom-Zoom driving experience to its limit and build on the success of the original Mazda3. The redefined, reengineered, and restyled sport compact climbs atop its predecessor's tall shoulders to deliver enhanced appearance and performance, fresh features, and an unmatched level of refinement. Like all Mazda's, the new Mazda3 has the soul of a sports car, ensuring that driving enjoyment is a top priority. Offering two body styles, five trim levels, and four separate power train options, the new Mazda3 is expected to spread the Zoom-Zoom spirit far and wide. First introduced in 2004 the Mazda3 has grown in popularity over the years with owners and automotive experts recognising the driving pleasure and quality of the vehicle as well as its distinctive design. In South Africa Mazda has steadily increased its presence in the market place despite the current global economic pressures that are affecting the automotive industry. Mazda has increased its market share from 2.5% in 2007 to 3.5% in 2009. “Mazda has bucked the trend in the market and has grown market share in a declining market,” says Brendan Lyne, General Manager, Mazda. “This trend has been mirrored with the Mazda3, which has increased its presence in the C-segment from 6.1% in 2007 to 6.9% in 2008.” As Mazda continues to grow its footprint in the market place more and more customers are looking to the Mazda3 as a worthy contender in the ultra competitive C-segment. Studies have


shown that the Mazda3 has the highest penetration in the black market. “The Mazda3 is a popular choice among the emerging market,” explains Lyne. “We have also noted that the Mazda3 attracts the youngest buying power in the market and has an extremely high penetration among female buyers.” With the previous generation model having enjoyed increasing popularity among South African consumers the stage is set for the new generation Mazda3 to impress with its comprehensive abilities. “The all-new Mazda3 has been fully reengineered and redesigned to deliver an expressive design and exhilarating dynamic performance that will make you proud every time you look at it, touch it, or drive it,” continues Lyne. The renewal process began by identifying exactly what made the existing Mazda3 such a global overwhelming success. Since its release in 2004 the Mazda3 has won a total of 94 automobile awards globally. The Zoom-Zoom driving experience rose to the forefront as the cars standout attribute. With that in mind the design team set to work creating a new generation capable of delivering even more driving enjoyment. Instead of altering the size and general makeup, the focus was on implementing improvements throughout the body structure, power train, and chassis that would be immediately apparent to the driver and appreciated by every Mazda3 occupant.

unique value of the Mazda brand, even among the increasingly crowded assortment of C-segment rivals. “While still maintaining the dynamic and sporty signature of the original Mazda3, the keyword for designing the new model was ‘expressive’,” explains Lyne. “The idea was to create an even richer assertion and bold, striking look that represents an evolution of the Mazda3.” The new Mazda3 includes both the 4-door sedan and the 5door hatchback. The 4-door sedan is characterised by the flowing lines of its coupe silhouette and its air of greater sophistication, the 4-door sedan features a side view with a relatively short appearance and high rear deck that give the cabin a welltoned appearance, and a rear view with distinctive lines that converge to place focus on the car’s centre axis. The new 5door hatchback is characterized by its compact appearance and racy flair. The design’s most notable trait is its broad shoulders inherited from the first-generation Mazda3. All lines of the rear design help to emphasize a focus on the centre axis and create a rich, bold expression.

In preparing to develop the all-new Mazda3, the design team first examined what aspects of driving dynamics would deliver the exhilarating and pleasing feeling that is the essence of Mazda’s ZoomZoom driving experience. “Engineers have strengthened the sense of oneness between the driver and car by providing an even higher level of agility and stability for an enhanced sense of control,” adds Lyne.

The design of the new Mazda3 aims to deliver a strong impact that further enhances the distinctive appeal and




To deliver just the right balance between light, responsive steering wheel operation, a feeling of system stiffness, and fuel economy, all configurations of the new Mazda3 are equipped with the ElectroHydraulic Power Assist Steering system (EHPAS) that earned high acclaim on the original Mazda3. The suspension system carries over the same basic layout as the first-generation Mazda3, with MacPherson struts in the front and multi-link suspension in the rear. But, in developing the new Mazda3, Mazda aimed to ensure even nimbler response to steering wheel operation, and also to improve roll control and provide a flatter ride by strengthening suspension damping. which it is subjected. The advanced driver seatbelt adopts a new double pretensioner, while both the driver and passenger seatbelts adopt a digressive load limiter retractor (LLR). To top it off, even pedestrian protection performance is improved.

The sporty, expressive countenance of the new Mazda3 takes your breath away at a single glance. Opening the door and sitting behind the wheel gets the heart pounding in anticipation of the driving pleasure that is about to ensue. Satisfying driving performance that fully adopts the environmentally responsible nature needed to welcome in a sustainable future is sure to bring pleasure to any customer. “I am fully confident that the new Mazda3 will once again exceed customer expectations, and that it is sure to earn even higher acclaim than the outgoing model enjoyed,” concludes Lyne. The Mazda3 offers 15 000km service intervals, an impressive four-year/120 000 km fully comprehensive manufacturer warranty, as well as the MazdaMotion five-year/90 000 km service plan. A three-year roadside assistance plan comes standard with the purchase of any Mazda vehicle.

Improving on the basic performance aspects of driving, cornering and braking, the new Mazda3 frees the driver to enjoy confidently controlling the car at will. It then adds a variety of active safety features to support a safe driving experience, including an Antilock Braking System (ABS), EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and BA (Brake Assist). Passive safety equipment also excels, including the Mazda Advanced Impact Distribution and Absorption System body and its rigid Triple H structure, as well as a complement of up to six airbags. A new front seat design incorporates active headrests. When triggered in the event of a rear impact, the active headrest prevents excess rearward angling of the neck, which greatly reduces the load to

Under the motto of “sustainable ZoomZoom”, Mazda is making every effort to raise the level of environmental and safety performance as engineers work to build cars that will let customers continue to enjoy a pleasant driving experience well into the future. “Concerns about global warming and other environmental issues grow increasingly stronger and automakers are under a great deal of pressure to respond quickly. In 2007 Mazda announced its long term vision aimed at achieving ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’. The announcement reinforced Mazda’s belief that the only path to achieving higher levels of Zoom-Zoom driving pleasure is to strive not only to improve on designs and driving performance, but also to work even harder at improving environmental performance as we work towards the development of a sustainable society,” says Lyne.

The all-new Mazda3 line-up consists of nine models compared to the previous generation line-up that consisted of 14 models. The smaller model range has allowed Mazda to package the content in such a way as to offer better value for money. The Mazda3 4-door is available with the choice of two engine options: a 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre petrol model. The 5-door hatch is available with either a 1.6-litre or 2.5-litre petrol power-plant.






outh Africa got its first taste of the Mazda3 MPS in July 2007. As one of the most powerful front-wheel drive hot hatches in the market the Mazda3 MPS has developed a loyal following. The Mazda3 MPS, now available in its second manifestation, continues the Zoom-Zoom philosophy that Mazda has become known for. The Mazda3 MPS blends the five-door functionality of the all-new Mazda3 Sport (5-door) with bolder, more aggressive styling and exhilarating performance to meet the needs of driving enthusiasts with active lifestyles. Carrying forward the award-winning MZR 2.3-litre DISI Turbo engine, the new Mazda3 MPS builds on the legendary performance of the original while adding a fresh new look and even better handling. “The Mazda3 MPS is the flagship of the Mazda3 range and pushes design and driving dynamics to an entirely new level of excitement and pleasure with its emotional design and exhilarating performance,” says Brendan Lyne, General Manager, Mazda.







by Roger McCleery



Another South African motor man going places swiftly in the local motor industry is Dr. Casper Kruger. At 42 years of age he is a man that has not only lectured on Marketing Management, but practices what he preaches as the head honcho of one of South Africa’s most successful and dedicated truck manufacturers, Hino.
Q: You just love the motor industry? A: I find it very much “Marketing in Action”. You can see the results of what you try to achieve quickly. It is very innovative so you have to rise quickly to meet the many daily challenges it presents. Q: After joining Hino in May 2009, successes have come your way? A: I came from a car and bakkie background but just love this new challenge with Hino and the truck people. In July we were Number One across the board thanks to a fantastic team of dealers, our own Hino people and customers who just keep coming back for more Hino’s and Dyna’s that are well supported and make money for them. Q: Hino is now a separate company from Toyota but still part of the family? A: Yes. We have the full range of vehicles from the Dyna 1½ ton up to the extra heavies with engines that produce 480 HP. Being separate from Toyota as a truck company allows us to concentrate solely on all our commercials apart from the Toyota Hilux. Truck people also talk a different language to car folk. Q: Where did you grow up? A: I was born in Virginia in the Free State Goldfields and went to school there. First of all at the Merriespruit Junior School where my grandfather was Principal and then the Hentie Cilliers High School. In fact my parents still live there. Q: What subjects did you major in at High School? A: My main interest always was Economics and Business Economics. Q: Did you carry on with this after school? A: Yes, I went to the University of the Free State in 1985 for five years and got my Bachelors, Honours and Masters Degrees in Marketing Management. My dissertation involved research around the motor industry. I also met my wife Hanneretha at varsity. Q: After that? A: A year in the army at Heidelberg and Voortrekkerhoogte where I learned the value of discipline, teamwork and comradeship. Q: Where was your first job? A: I got a bursary and worked in the Post Office in Pretoria for a year and went on to lecturing at Unisa. My wife was appointed a year before me and now heads up and is a Professor in the Department of Private Law. Q: It was time to put what you have learned into practice. A: Yes. In 1996 I joined Toyota in the Marketing Planning Department. Then I looked after Lexus, became National Sales Manager for Toyota passenger cars and LCV’s and moved into Marketing and product planning in 2005. Q: Is that where you have stayed? A: No. In 2007 I was offered a position at Ford as GM of the Ford brand. I found them a tremendous team to work with. Q: And joining Hino came when? A: In May this year I was offered the job of heading up Hino as Piet van Wyk de Vries was retiring. And that’s where I am now. Q: Did you have a mentor who influenced your life? A: José Taylor, my Physical Education Coach in junior school, and obviously my parents who taught me to believe in people and yourself and be disciplined, dedicated and carry things through to the end. Q: Sports at school? A: I played cricket and rugby until I injured my knee and was advised to play golf for exercise, which I now do regularly. Q: What is your handicap? A: 5. Q: Future plans? A: I am very happy where I am here at Hino. I wouldn’t mind sometime in the future maybe getting involved in the car and bakkie business again. Q: Do you travel a lot? A: I was fortunate to go to Japan for two Toyota Management Courses and have been over there fairly often and to a number of other places on business. In time I want to take the family to see Europe and the States in more detail and also Ireland and Scotland. Q: Plans for the family? A: We are a pretty close family unit. My eldest son, Janco, wants to go into Engineering. My daughter, Elisbe, has a liking for Biokinetics and loves animals, while my youngster, Herko at 8 years old, hasn’t given even a thought about his future. Q: What would you do if you retired now? A: Travel and play golf.
October 2009




by Tony Twine

Between the preceding copy deadline and the availability of this magazine in both hard copy and online formats, in the first days of September, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies delivered the set of industrial policy interventions designed to give some cyclical relief to the domestic motor sector. These included:
• • Bridging and Investment finance from the IDC to assist cash-flows. Case by case extensions of Import Rebate Credit Certificate validity periods Liaison with National Treasury for acceleration of investment support measures Deferment negotiations in respect of replacing ad-valorem duties with CO2 taxes. Moratorium on retrenchments by recipients of assistance No excessive executive bonuses or dividends to be paid during assistance period A further commitment has been made to an independent quarterly benchmarking of prices of major passenger and light commercial vehicles (both locally produced and imported) distributed in South Africa, relative to comparable developing countries, to provide transparency regarding vehicle affordability in the domestic market. Vehicle pricing has long been a bone of contention between the Government, particularly as represented by DTI, and the Industry. As nobody outside of the industry has a chance of understanding how prices are derived, there is a lasting obsession in trying to compare the prices of domestically available units against ostensibly equivalent units in the rest of the world. This is a major National sport, stretching from officialdom to occasional readers of foreign car magazines. It has never amounted to anything, usually because there are differences that escape the cursory inspection of even the most talented amateur in vehicle specifications in different markets. Not even the investigative powers of the Competition Commission, lifted word for word from the act which brought into being the former Directorate of Special Operations, the Scorpions, within the National Prosecuting Authority, could bring anything resembling proof of excessive pricing by the South African Suppliers. Part of the problem lies in the fact that prices are made in markets. Markets consist of structures which allow both the supply and demand sides to interact. The supply and demand sides of the market structure each have structures of their own. The bargaining power of suppliers, vehicle buyers is different from one side of town to the other, let alone across National boundaries. A vehicle transaction is made up of a multitude of prices, of which the price of the vehicle sold is only part of the deal. There are other important variations that come into play, including the primary discount, the value of any trade-in, the interest rate attached to the deal, any contractual residual value at the end of the finance period, the prices (if any) of extras used to sweeten the deal, service and extended warranty prices, and so on. But DTI remains obsessed with the vehicle price list, and the competition commission with the flexibility of discounts. Perhaps the DTI might like to keep control of cost drivers to supply side inputs and demand side financing costs, like the exchange rate of the Rand and the interest rate. But Tito Mboweni and Gill Markus may try to guard the Reserve Banks mandate against even the DTI.

• •

The first six of the seven items listed above were widely anticipated, and have been topics that have bounced around industry level discussions since interventions were first formally mooted, ahead of the Presidents first briefing on intervention strategy on 19th February. They were kept alive at his second briefing on 5th August, although without any detail. With the exception of the items covering executive bonuses and dividends and retrenchments, they all rest squarely on the activities of Government departments, rather than the industry itself. The last item may leave the local vehicle suppliers, both manufacturers and importers, in a bit of an awkward position, because their pricing does not come without baggage accumulated over years and decades.






by Frank Beeton

Brands -Bonanza or Bust
world-wide, irrespective of how many continents happened to be hosting Ford manufacturing operations. Then, in 1987, Ford bought in to sports car specialist Aston Martin, starting a process that would lead to the establishment of the Premier Automobile Group comprising Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln and Aston Martin, making the US company head of an international family of its own, at the start of the 21st Century. By 2007, however, the acquisition process started to unwind, and Ford sold off its majority shareholding in Aston Martin, followed by the disposal of Jaguar and Land Rover to emerging Indian manufacturer Tata the following year. Even the long-standing one-third controlling shareholding in Mazda was scaled down to just 13%. While Ford has avoided soliciting US government financial assistance, it has embarked on a comprehensive restructuring strategy to ensure future viability, of which the above disinvestments and, very possibly, the disposal of Volvo Cars, form significant components. The evidence suggests that the formation of large global automotive groups is not a guaranteed recipe for business success. The two preceding accounts are not unique, with other substantial groupings such as British Leyland, and the American Motors Corporation, having been lost in the sands of time. This raises an important question: why, in the midst of all this global confusion, does Volkswagen AG seem hell bent on creating its own version of the automotive űber-empire? What will make the combination of Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercials, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti, and possibly also the commercial vehicle interests of Scania, MAN, NeoMAN, MAN Force Trucks and MAN/Sinotruk, more successful than other macro-agglomerations? Intriguingly, there has been speculation that this grouping will become the new Auto Union, reviving the name of a 1930’s German consortium that was made up of Horch, Audi, Wanderer and DKW, and whose four-ringed badge is still used to embellish modern Audi products. Volkswagen has made clear its intention to be the world’s Number One vehicle manufacturer by 2018, an ambition that may even be realized earlier, given current rumours that Suzuki’s 2½ million unit annual volume may also be drawn in to this emerging powerhouse. Whatever the outcome of the speculation, the grouping together of the brands listed above is clearly an important component of Volkswagen’s world domination strategy.
October 2009

The recent global economic crisis, triggered by the tribulations of the US financial sector that became apparent around the middle of 2008, has had a particularly severe impact on the world’s vehicle markets, and the manufacturers that depend on them for their very existence. Clear evidence of this is readily available in the content of the two most recent columns in this series, which dealt with the bankruptcy, and financial rescue, of two of the largest vehicle manufacturers, and some discussion on their prospects for returning to unsupported viability.
ne of the most interesting manifestations during this period has been the deliberate dismantling of automotive groupings. Just before the failure of Lehman Brothers convinced the world that the US sub prime crisis was really going to hurt, I wrote accounts of the centenaries celebrated by both the Ford Model T and General Motors Corporation. The content revealed that GM, by grouping together several brands, had eventually broken Ford’s total domination of the global market in 1926. For some time after this, it seemed that gathering vehicle manufacturers together into families was to become the most appropriate strategy for ensuring market success. The General Motors “family” of products just grew and grew, mostly by acquisition, sometimes by minority shareholding, and sometimes by just creating a new brand. At its peak, it encompassed Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Oakland, Cadillac, Saturn, GMC, Hummer, Vauxhall, Bedford, Opel, Holden, Euclid, Terex, Frigidaire (!), AC Delco, EMD (diesel rail locomotives) Detroit Diesel, GM-Daewoo, Isuzu, Suzuki, Fuji/Subaru, Shanghai GM, Fiat (for a short while), Saab, and Ranger (don’t forget – South Africa’s own car!). The first signs of distress came in 1986, when the GM Heavy Truck Corporation was sold to Volvo, marking the start of a move away from the heavy truck business. This was followed by the scaling down of the previously hugely successful Bedford truck and bus operation in the UK into a van manufacturer, and the sale of the Detroit Diesel engine business to Roger Penske. Momentum picked up in 2005 when GM sold off its Fuji Heavy Industry shareholding, while in 2006 came the shock news that GM had ended its 35-year equity participation in Isuzu Motors. Two years later, GM sold the last vestiges of its Suzuki shareholding back to the Japanese manufacturer. Of the domestic American brands, Oakland was an early casualty, and Oldsmobile finally left the building in 2004, by which time Frigidaire, Terex and Euclid had all been sold off. The path followed by Ford after losing its global market lead to GM was entirely different. For many years it remained all True Blue Oval, with only a few Mazda sourced products on the side. Ford was much envied by its competitors for an uncomplicated identity, with the freedom to market its generic corporate image






Synovate global study reveals car buyer mindset, fears, attitudes, wants and needs in current economic situation
Anger, frustration, greed, lack of trust are a few of the many sentiments expressed by consumers and future car buyers globally, according to a new “Tipping Point” study by Synovate Motoresearch, the automotive division of leading global market research company Synovate. In an attempt to uncover and anticipate future car buyer wants and needs in the current recession, Synovate Motoresearch conducted a global qualitative study between March and April 2009 involving 120 dedicated focus groups across 16 countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the UAE, Turkey, Australia and South Africa. Respondents were asked about their views and opinions towards global corporations, brands and auto companies, and the study showed that consumers across different countries shared the same views, values, ideals and beliefs overall. However, consumers across the 16 countries fell into three distinct groups. The study revealed that future car buyers in the US, Germany, UK, Spain, Russia, France and South Africa will eventually develop a desire for change, adopting a balance in life while practicing greater self-control and responsibility when it comes to spending. Future car buyers across China, India and Thailand were quick to point out that they were less susceptible to the “greed and consumerism” they feel is practiced in the west but admitted that they too felt the influence of recession within their borders. Japanese, Australian, Brazilian, South Korean and car buyers from the UAE were also vocal and highly critical in the focus groups, directing their anger and frustrations towards the US, believing it is the main cause of the economic slump felt around the world. However, respondents in these countries expressed a greater degree of optimism for the future.

KenKen 4 x 4
How to Play: Like Sudoku, even though difficulty may vary from puzzle to puzzle, the rules for playing KenKen are fairly simple: For a 4 x 4 puzzle, fill in with the numbers 1-4.
• 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 81 October 2009


A series of articles on the rise of the Chery automobile

Chery’s First High-Speed BEV S18 Passes National Collision Test
Recently, Chery’s first independently developed high-speed BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) S18 has successfully passed the national collision test of China, fully confirming the structural safety of Chery S18. After the test, no obvious eversion was found in fender flares. It kept appearance integrity, with column A being as solid as original and all airbags being activated. Besides, there is no damage to batteries and interiors as well. With high scores, S18 proved to customers the reliable safety performance of new-energy vehicles. As a matter of fact, except for the advantage of safety, the more profound meaning for launch of S18 is that, Chery has gained sustainable advantage in the three core technologies of electric vehicles, including battery, electrical control system and power management, all of which indicates that Chery is at the same level with world renowned auto companies in the field of new-energy cars.


oing off-line in February this year in Wuhu, China, this model of S18 is a high-speed EBV developed based on S platform of Chery. Chery S18, with a 336V, 40kw electric driving system and 40Ah lithium iron phosphate battery, achieves zero emission and zero pollution. It only takes four to six hours to charge the battery completely by a 220V civil power supply or thirty minutes to charge 80% of the battery under a quick charging mode. Top speed set at 120 Km/h, S18 travels as far as 120 Km-150 Km once fully charged. S18 is expected to be put into mass production next year, followed by Tiggo3 EV, M1-EV; hybrid Chery A5 BSG, A3-ISG; and Fengyun2 BSG. Different from the previous new-energy cars which are considered to be concept, Chery intends to make all these new-energy models into mass production as soon as possible, so as to realise the goal of environmental protection, safety, and practicality of new-energy cars.

2009 Shanghai Auto Show. A series of new models brought forth by Chery indicates its bright future in the field of new energy. Presently, Chery possesses the largest and most advanced research and development capability in the filed of new energy in China and it carries 17 scientific research projects, among which 15 are national projects. Within 2-3 years, the current R&D center for research and development of new-energy vehicles will turn into a department, which is forecasted to form an independent sales company of its own within 5 years to exploit new distribution channels and establish new distribution network for new-energy vehicles. Meanwhile, Chinese government offers subsidy to promote application of new energy technologies and encourage Chinese independent car makers, represented by Chery, to increase their efforts in research and development of new energy. Since 2006, Chery has achieved more than

As early as the company was established, Chery has long stuck to the principle of “Safety, Energy Saving, Environment Friendliness” and devoted itself to the research and development of environmentfriendly products. Since 2001, based in Wuhu, China, Chery started its research and development work worldwidely in the field of new energy. In 2009, the first hybrid A5 BSG was launched in Wuhu, which makes a start for civil use of newenergy technology in China. After that, Chery’s first independently developed BEV S18 ran offline in February. In April, another four models of new-energy vehicles, including Tiggo3 EV, M1 EV, A3 ISG, and Fengyun2 BSG, were debuted at

30 technology breakthroughs in the field of hybrid, fuel cell, flex fuel, and energy-saving and environment-friendly technologies for traditional petrol engines, forming a full technology research and development system of new energy. Currently Chery has been awarded more than one hundred intellectual property rights and 1600 authorized patents, making it the auto company with the most patents in China and the only one who has got the first prize of National Advancement of Science and Technology, the most authoritative prize in the field of advancement of science and technology. As we all see, Chinese independent auto makers, represented by Chery, have explored sufficient experiences and gained successful outcomes along the way of industrialisation of fundamental research, technology breakthrough, technology development and advanced achievements. All the original car makers are transforming into manufacturers of auto products and auto technologies.
October 2009


AIDC Automotive Industry Conference 2009

SA Automotive Week & AIDC Automotive Industry Conference 2009 Has Arrived
The October 2009 issue of ABR will hit our readers desks just a matter of days, if not hours, before the commencement of SAAW on 7th October 2009. To whet the appetite of those fortunate enough to be able to attend both SAAW and the AIDC Automotive Industry Conference 2009, we dangle some teaesrs...

We may never arrive at the automotive supply chain of the future if we follow conventional wisdom of simply cutting overheads and stretching existing processes, resources and systems to their maximum. In fact, these may be as dangerous as doing nothing at all. We can run the risk of “saving” our selves to death, according to Matthew Quinn, Product Manager at CHEP SA. Quinn will discuss the automotive supply chain of the future at the AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009. Supply Chain Management is under the spotlight as much of the cost reduction effort in the industry has involved automakers passing more responsibility down the chain to lower-tier suppliers, who often have neither the experience nor the capability to perform the tasks they are being assigned. As a consequence, instances of supply chain failure are rising. Whilst the first day of the conference takes the form of a plenary session, the second day sees delegates focus on specific areas of interest: Supply Chain Development, Supplier Development and Skills Development & Training.

The growing focus on climate change, pollution and renewable energy sources indicates that the world can no longer rely solely on fossil fuels. With more than half the population on earth living in cities, urban transport remains a major factor in the ongoing global warming debate in that urban transport arguably plays a major role in energy wastage and climate changing pollution. Cleaner, renewable alternatives need to be found. Enter South Africa's first electric motor vehicle, the Joule, developed in South Africa by Cape Town-based Optimal Energy. The Joule is a five-seater lithium-ion battery EV with a top speed of a 135 km/h, and a range of 300 km. It will be on display at the AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009 on 7 and 8 October 2009. Entrepreneur Kobus Meiring is CEO of Optimal Energy, which specialises in optimal solutions for urban transport. He has always had an interest in sustainable energy - particularly electricity, which he feels is the most versatile form of energy available. With the tremendous advances in battery technology made over that past decade, coupled with the steady rise in the oil price, he believes that electric cars have now become a viable option for urban transport. Meiring will be presenting on the subject of breakthrough automotive greening technology on the first day of the conference, which takes the form of a plenary session with plenty of opportunity for discussion and debate. The second day sees delegates focus on specific areas of interest: Supply Chain Development, Supplier Development and Skills Development & Training.

rers and manufactu tomotive novation uld au become in What sho sing on to out South be focu unique ab ? suppliers anything e industry there automotiv leaders? Is will be on in the n novati innovatio African in proach to Koot Preez and African ap k du A South dustry fessors Nie In by Pro tomotive discussed nt is IDC’s Au evelopme at the A lier D Pieterse e indus09. Supp tiv ce 20 e automo Conferen n that cess of th to the suc r this reaso it is fo crucial rand f the confe th Africa, ond day o try in Sou takes the of the sec e cus conferenc it is the fo nt and day of the governme The first n, with ence. ssio ision plenary se whether V form of a debating ts r the eavyweigh as whethe industry h ty, as well ali t. The ntasy or re s a bailou 2020 is fa ry deserve st areas otive indu on specific SA autom nt, ates focus g evelopme y sees dele Chain D second da ly ment st: Supp ls Develop of intere t and Skil n evelopme Supplier D g. & Trainin
October 2009



As job losses in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry for the first half of 2009 reach a staggering TRADE A 12,9% of the workforce, it is important to reflect on the first year of the economic crisis if the sector is ND INDU STRY to plan prudently for the future. NAAMSA President Dave Powels is presenting this topic as the keynote MINISTE R TO HELP SH address at the AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009. He will so do against the backdrop of APE AUT OMO TIVE SEC NAAMSA’s recently released quarterly review of business conditions for the vehicle manufacturing indusTOR GOIN G try. The review showed that industry capacity utilisation levels reflect cut-backs in production and are curFORWAR D rently at historically low levels. Unsurprisingly, all performance indicators confirmed that the South African automotive industry is in the middle of a severe recession. Powels will also participate in a panel Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davie discussion along with other industry heavyweights titled Vision 2020 – is it a fantasy or reality? s has been clear that whilst Go vernment supports interventio ns in indu strial sectors where severe job losses are being exp erienced, business should not have the im pression that things can simply continue as before. "There wil l be an expectation to see chan ges in behaviour leading to more sustainable dev elopment o f sectors and firms th at may rece ive support," Dav ies said rece ntly. He also indicat ed that it w as important to pre serve the ca pacity of related bu siness, incl uding the engineering and steel in dustry, which sup plied the au tomotive industry.

Rub shoulders with industry and government leaders

eTV news anchor and seasoned journalist Jeremy Maggs will facilitate debates with both industry and government heavyweights in the automotive industry. With his reputation for persistence and overreaching arrogance, Maggs is sure to ignite explosive discussions at the AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009. The AIDC has secured the participation of Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, as Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Firoz Cachalia and Eastern Cape MEC for Economic Affairs and Tourism Mcebisi Jonas. Key stakeholders in the South African economic and political landscape invited to participate include Secretary General of the ANC Gwede Mantashe and NUMSA national secretary Irvin Jim. Along with the MECs, they will debate whether the South African automotive industry deserves a bailout. In keeping with the AIDC’s philosophy of a conference that is for industry, by industry, the conference programme is spiced with industry heavyweights as well. The keynote address will be delivered by Dave Powels, NAAMSA president and VWSA MD, and participation has been confirmed from Brand Pretorius (Mc Carthy Holdings CEO), Dr Johan van Zyl (President & CEO of Toyota Motors SA) and Stewart Jennings (NAACAM President and PG Group CEO).

After his keynote address at the AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009 at a plenary session, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies will address a focused discussion on the APDP and how it will impact on skills in the automotive industry. It will be followed by an interactive Q&A session. If you operate in the automotive industry and are concerned about skills, you cannot afford to miss this opportunity to interact directly with the Minister. The AIDC’s Automotive Industry Conference 2009, which is being held in Port Elizabeth on 7 and 8 October as part of the South African Automotive Week. The conference programme is packed with government and industry heavyweights, who will focus on the theme of Navigating the Storm: a roadmap to vision 2020.
October 2009




Brazil possesses several large off-shore oil fields, at least one of which holding reserves that would challenge those of Saudi Arabia by Tony Twine, prior to day one of production in that middle-east Kingdom. But the Senior Economist, Brazilian authorities are even prouder of the progress that they have Director – made with renewable energy sources. It is a large country, lying just Econometrix (Pty) south of the equator, around the water catchment area of the Worlds Ltd mightiest river, the Amazon. Another hugely significant catchment basin, that of the Orinoco system in the North of the country, would do almost any resource map very proud, but almost fades into insignificance when compared to the Amazon. These river systems have obvious positive implications for the production of hydro-electric power. This natural resource is obviously a good start, but the last 35 years of so have seen the Brazilians persist with a strategy that has probably left the rest of the world standing in terms of renewable fuels – rich equatorial and tropical climates give a huge impetus to sugar production, and sugar is an obvious feedstock for ethyl alcohol production which we call ethanol fuel.


etween these two renewable primary energy resources, Brazil is able to boast 50% of its primary energy requirements as being renewable, as long as the sun shines and the rain falls in the right proportions. The country began the commercial exploitation of ethanol fuels back in the early days of the first phases of the realisation that global oil supplies were finite, exhaustible and manipulable during the first half of the 1970’s. A year ago, the North Americans professed a brighter shade of greenness with the increased popularity of E75, a 75% blend of ethanol and normal gasoline. The Brazilians had been there decades ago, and are at much higher proportions of ethanol, ranging up to 100%.

profitable fuel production, and the domestic market was unable to absorb anything remotely resembling these proportions of alcohol. As an export destination Brazil obviously loomed large, as it already had the distribution network and consumer acceptance levels for the fuel. Sasol continued to export its surplus ethanol production to Brazil until 1998, by when the demand in Brazil had been over taken by their domestically sourced sugar based level of production. Brazil cancelled its arrangement with Sasol. Confronted with this changed scenario, Sasol applied to the South African Government to have the maximum permissible alcohol additive in gasoline raised to 12% of the underlying gasoline volume. This made significant inroads into the previously excessive supply. We must remember that South African petrol demand had grown by 107% between 1979 and 2000, implying that the increased ethanol proportion was applied to a much bigger volume base than when the Secunda plants began production. This fact begs the question as to why the proportion of ethanol in South African fuels is controlled at all? Why not go down the Brazilian route and simply enrich the ethanol blend within our

gasoline mix? The problem is that ethyl alcohol has an unnerving affinity for attracting water vapour, which it holds in suspension in whatever fuel the ethanol is part. This can have nasty side effects for the fuel systems of cars, starting with rust in the petrol tank and ending with damage to carburetors, fuel injectors and other parts of the fuel inlet system. The Brazilians have clearly found ways to counter this, but the method would add complexity to the still dominant crude oil refining process that provides 60% of South Africa’s petrol and diesel. The Brazilians have certainly stolen a march on the rest of the World in terms of bio-fuels, having gone the easily incremental route of ethanol substitution for normal gasoline power engines. For the rest of the world to follow them poses a pair of significant problems, however. The first is related to the output energy mix – ethanol displacing petrol would result in reductions of crude oil runs through refineries, with a resulting loss of diesel production, and the automotive fuel balance would be thrown out of kilter. Then there is the macro-political question of using food resources for thermal energy production and this is a long way from being settled.
October 2009

Ethanol as an automotive fuel has an interesting South African connection, relating right back to the Brazilians love affair with the fuel. Pre-dating even the 1970’s, were special pumps, particularly at coastal petrol stations, dispensing ethyl alcohol called Union Spirit. It was used to boost octane levels in gasoline produced in South Africa. When Sasol 2 and 3 were constructed at Secunda on each side of 1980, significant volumes of ethyl alcohol became available as a by-product of more




by Frank Beeton


The announcement, on August 18th, that Amalgamated Automobile Distributors are holding discussions with Foton Motor Group of China, over the possible introduction of Foton heavy duty trucks into the South African market, would have raised eyebrows in the local road transport fraternity for two good reasons. Firstly, the initials “AAD” may have been confused with Cape Town-based Associated Automotive Distributors, the successors to the Leyland interests in South Africa, who now operate retail motor dealerships in that city. Secondly, the “new” AAD is a joint venture between McCarthy’s and Imperial Motor Holdings formed to distribute Chery and Foton products in the local market. Imperial’s intended return to the heavy truck distribution arena so soon after terminating its earlier arrangements with Navistar International, DAF and Renault Trucks, was a surprise. While it still remains active in the retail truck environment, Imperial faces a considerably more challenging task, this time around, in setting up a “green field” marketing, distribution and product support operation for a brand that is a completely unknown quantity in the local truck market.
hat selfsame market is littered with the good intentions of many aspirant participants who have found the going too tough, or not worth the effort required to sustain a presence. Even established players such as the Japanese brands Toyota/Hino, Nissan Diesel and Isuzu endured long periods of momentum gathering, starting back in the NineteenSixties, before they could celebrate positions of market leadership, and of these, only Nissan Diesel can currently claim truly competitive participation in the premium Extra Heavy segment. The more recent experience of Tata is another case worth examining. Following an extremely circumspect market entry in 1998 with a limited product range making effective support a relatively easy task, the Indian manufacturer subsequently made huge strides up the market ranking with a plethora of lowpriced new product, to the extent that it contested the runners-up position with Toyota in 2006. Unfortunately, the support infrastructure was found wanting under the strain of this success, and the rapid decline of Tata to place eighth in the most recently completed quarter should be cause enough to focus the attention of any aspirant participant in this market. The problems with the South African truck market are that it is a) numerically small (in global terms), b) highly competitive and c)


very conservative. Being so small, bad news gets around awfully fast, and if the ownership experience of a certain brand or model is less than exemplary, the results will soon be reflected in falling sales and market share. There is also considerable pressure on the availability of good people to sell and service trucks. Having been obliged to train key dealer personnel, the established franchises use every means at their disposal to retain their services, making it extremely difficult for new market entrants to become established. Market-leading brands have also gathered much experience of local operating conditions during their years in the market, and this inevitably reflects in the performance and reliability of the products they bring in to the country. The success level of Chinese trucks in the South African market has, so far, been extremely difficult to judge. In the absence of NAAMSA sales reporting by the likes of Asia Wing, FAW and Warrior (Dong Feng), the only reliable indicator is provided by the PowerStar BeiBen and Shaanxi products sold by Super Group Industrial Products. After a promising start, financial and management issues within that company have probably influenced the NAAMSA returns to a greater extent than the true sales potential of the trucks. Observations made out on the roads suggest that, in a generic sense, Chinese trucks are definitely here, but their sales volumes are not yet causing any sleep loss to the established

market players. This does not imply, however, that the status quo will remain indefinitely. Perhaps the most significant point in the Foton announcement is the relationship between the Chinese manufacturer and global market leader Daimler Trucks. Early in January, 2009, it was revealed that the two companies were to set up a 50/50 truck joint venture named Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive. This operation is due to start diesel engine production in 2011, and will commence truck manufacture, at an annual rate of 100 000 units, the following year. Beiqi Foton currently produces its own range of heavy-duty trucks, named Auman, and is expected to continue to offer this product alongside new JV-developed models incorporating Mercedes-Benz designs and technology. The Auman-branded products would still be aimed at the mainstream Chinese truck market, while the JV models are targeted at the high-end and export markets. With their total domestic commercial vehicle market still running at more than one million units per annum, Chinese manufacturers have been mainly concentrating on satisfying home demand. However, the current sales rate is about 6% off where it was a year ago, hence the elevated level of interest in setting up export channels. The trick will be in finding the right combination of source plant commitment and effective local representation to establish the required levels of market credibility.
October 2009





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.

Keeping it Clean #2
Séan Jackson

In the September 2009 issue of ABR, we discussed the UDF diesel fuel filter, and the dramatic effect it has on the power, emissions, fuel consumption, and engine life – all to the positive. We promised to look at the technical aspects in this issue.
3. At the spray holes (7) fluid erosion wears open the holes resulting in over fuelling and eventually incomplete combustion Fluid erosion caused by millions of very small particles blasting through the injector spray holes causes these holes to wear open. A small increase in diameter gives a large increase in x-sectional area. Thus the volume of fuel injected per unit of time is greatly increased and over fuelling occurs. A 10% increase in flow requires less than a 5% increase in hole diameter and tip replacement. With Ultrafine depth filtration, you get: • Stable injector flows • Complete combustion of fuel inside the chamber • Less gear changes • Injectors last much longer • Oil stays cleaner • Reduced emissions • Reduced wear and tear • Equipment lasts longer and is replaced less often • Reduced operating costs and therefore more profit It’s the dirt that is the problem – with UDF your fuel is at least 20 times cleaner.

Firstly, let us look at what happens in a modern diesel engine with standard filtration: • • • • • • • • • • Injector flows increase Fuel is lost out of exhaust with incomplete combustion Wide throttle openings More gear changes Frequent injector repairs Oil sludging High emissions High wear and tear High equipment replacement costs High operating costs

Fuel that is 20 times cleaner Eliminates 90% of carbon build up Reduces fuel dilution Reduces exhaust gas temperature Reduces CO2 emissions – 6% on older engines, and up to 60% on new engines 6. Reduces sulphur emissions – approximately 50% on older engines and 70% on new engines 7. Eliminates exhaust gas temperature related turbo failures 8. Greater than threefold increase in injector life 9. Fuel savings: approximately 3% with old injectors and up to 10% with new injectors 10. Extended oil drain intervals are possible 11. Greater transmission life through less gear shifts 12. Quieter and smoother engine operation
October 2009

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. Between the needle (3) and the body (2), dirt jams the smooth operation and causes suction 2. Between the needle (2) and the seat (at the bottom of the body), dirt is trapped between the two parts and stops complete closure of the injector causing weeping and/or dribbling




An update on Moto Health Care
The latest buzz words in the medical schemes industry are “National Health Insurance (NHI)”. When the African National Congress came to power in 1994, it had as part of its agenda its National Health Plan, the tenets of which would guide the implementation of a health care system that would ensure access by all citizens of our country to quality health care. So the announcement some 15 years later that the ruling party was determined to roll out the National Health Insurance solicited somewhat of a reaction from the entire health care industry.


t is not surprising, therefore, that the hot topic at the recently held Board of Health Care Funders’ conference at Sun City was the announced National Health Insurance. Murida Khan and Terry Greeff represented Moto Health Care at the conference and this is what Murida had to say upon her return from the conference, “Nothing in the history of our industry has evoked such a level of discussion, and robust debates were heard all over the majestic kingdom. For once the eagerly anticipated Medikredit party was not the main point of discussion, not that those who needed some serious de-stressing after the first round of NHI discussions turned down the invitation to the gala function. By the close of the conference I can confirm with confidence that many delegates were more baffled than before, but everyone agreed that: • All legal citizens of South Africa need access to quality health care services. Not all our citizens have access to private healthcare because for most it is unaffordable. There will always be a demand for private healthcare. The current health care system, both public and private, is unsustainable unless meaningful solutions are found to the challenges facing it. Barry Canning, Chairman Board of Trustees - MOTO Health Care Medical Scheme Administrators on 17 September, 2009, at which the NHI would be the main agenda item. Further discussion and analysis of the NHI was bound to deliver up answers I was seeking.”

Considering that press reports have revealed that not all senior members of the ANC have the same view of the NHI and its implementation it is no wonder that one could be left baffled by it all. Statements by some are at odds with statements by others, thus sowing confusion as to the manner of its implementation, its funding model, and the future role of medical schemes. The opening address at the MMSA Medical Schemes forum mentioned above by Murida was delivered by Dr S Dhlomo, the Kwazulu Natal MEC for Health. Thankfully for the delegates attending the forum, Dr Dhlomo, in 45 minutes, was able to explain more about the NHI than all the speakers at the BHF conference. This is understandable given the fact that Dr Dhlomo is to play a pivotal role in the introduction of NHI, albeit at a provincial level. Contrary to the impression given by some within the ANC that NHI would be introduced with a bang, he explained that President Zuma, when announcing the introduction of the NHI, chose his words carefully in stating that the NHI “would be introduced to the nation and implemented in a phased and incremental manner”. Dr Dhlomo went on to outline what could be described as a blueprint for the rolling out of the NHI. Two significant points that could be drawn from Dr Dhlomo’s talk were that medical schemes would, for the foreseeable future, continue to play their traditional roles in health care, and that they, in the new dispensation, would be significant participants in an integrated solution for health care in South Africa. So for Moto Health Care it is business as usual.

Upon my return to office after the conference and facing a further workshop on Moto Health Care’s benefit design for 2010 I realised that there were a number of unanswered questions relating to the NHI that could have an impact. I, therefore, looked forward to a Medical Scheme forum to be hosted by Momentum




by Marcus Haw


and Their Contribution to Safety in Motoring

Next month we start another look at the tyres on fleet cars, the new technologies,

Now “next month” is this month so let’s get going with the above promise which we made last issue.
and new problems and fixes in these hard times...
imes change and technology moves on. During the past few decades technology has moved at an unprecedented pace in many areas, not least of all in the motor industry. As mentioned before, tyre technology has to progress at the same rate as the rest of the motor industry or even be slightly ahead in some cases. For the average fleet owner/manager, some of the new technology tyres sometimes pose a bit of a headache. Obviously the cost, and returns on outlay play a big part in the choice of tyre for a fleet. When buying tyres for one’s own car, this is less important. Although price will always be a factor, personal preferences such as appearance, brand and old instilled beliefs win in many instances. The fleet buyer has to concentrate on performance versus returns on investment over all else. In days gone by, this was far simpler than with today’s high tech tyres. And the reasons can be more complex than one thinks. Let’s look at some of these. In all matters a tyre is a compromise of design features to accommodate market needs. For example, a high mileage tyre commonly has less grip, while a tyre with plenty of grip will give far less mileage. Equally a tyre with good ride comfort usually will be less direct in it’s handling responses, while a tyre with super responsive handling will have a less forgiving ride. These factors are true in all aspects of tyre design and manufacture. You just can’t make a tyre which is all things at all times. These are also the factors which are making the lives of fleet decision makers more difficult as the technology of motor vehicles moves forward. The reasons; the cars designed for today’s requirements need super responsive tyres to cope with their phenomenal


capabilities. Because of this the tyres fitted to today’s cars as O.E. (original equipment) are low profile high performance type tyres. By design, these are not tyres with long life and high mileage as priorities. The technology and modern materials in these tyres make them expensive when representatively compared against those of the past. And the mileage returns are going to be low when similar comparisons are made. So where does this leave the fleet buyer, and what should he be basing his choices on? Well it leaves him in a bit of a spot since his choices are very limited. He should base his choices on safety, manufacturer’s back-up and ease of replacement. This means settling on well known imports and locally manufactured products and keeping away from unknown cheap and nasty imports. It is also good practice to standardise as far as practically possible. This ensures good backup from the tyre supplier and manufacturer, and opens the possibility to swop around between vehicles when desperate. It can pay off over time to have a company policy which is conservative in both the types of vehicles purchased as well as the tyres. Resisting all attempts by the vehicle users to fit aftermarket rims and cosmetically appealing tyres, should also be company policy. Giving in to user desires has cost many companies hundreds of thousands of rands in the long term. It has also caused safety issues in many cases. Because purchasing choices are limited, finding other of ways of saving and managing costs becomes an ever more important consideration. Let’s look at some possibilities in this area.




Starting with tyre rotation, a relatively controversial subject, a strictly adhered to tyre rotation program can be very effective. Not only can it save tyre running costs, and improve overall mileage, but safety can be improved as well. By regular and correct rotation, even wear of all four tyres can be achieved. This results in even grip at all four corners of the car, maintaining the highest possible safety levels until the end of the tyre’s lives. Good tyre management all round then. Correct pressure maintenance is an obvious, but very difficult to achieve cost saving method. While this shouldn’t be difficult, it is extremely so because of a number of reasons. The most common of these are also the simplest to understand. One is the pure apathy of company car users to care about the tyres they drive on. They don’t understand anything about tyres, they don’t pay for them and they have no motivation to either care or find out why they should. As with the general motoring public, they consider tyres to be a necessary, but not very important consumable. They place no safety importance on tyres at all. Two is that the very few who do check their tyre pressures do so at the local service station. The gauges at these are probably the most abused and neglected pieces of equipment on the planet. And the most inaccurate! But who is going to convince the average company car user to invest in, use regularly, and maintain, his/her own personal pressure gauge? Three is that tyre pressures should only ever be checked and corrected when the tyres are cold. With today’s time constraints, I have yet to see anyone check their tyres in the morning on the way to work. The few that do, do so at a time which interferes least with their daily schedules. Usually this practice results in underinflated tyres. This happens because when hot tyres are checked the pressures are inflated by the heated air having expanded. They are generally then deflated to the “recommend-

ed” pressure. What people don’t realise is that recommend pressures are given for cold tyres, with the knowledge that the correct running pressure will be reached at the correct running temperature. These are a very few of the factors facing the fleet operator who would like to get more out of the tyres in his fleet. But by watching these few factors, running costs can be significantly reduced, and both safety and efficiency can be improved. So as petty as it may seem, introducing measures which control the type of tyres purchased, putting in place a rotational program for all vehicles and controls for monitoring the pressures are extremely important. Simple measures which are easily controllable and able to be policed can save a fortune. To do this one needs to get back to a subject we mentioned in earlier issues; the building and keeping of accurate tyre records. A history of previous tyre use and achieved performance/life will guide one in the needs of current tyres in use. By controlling these factors, the reduced buying choice can be largely off-set in the long term, and various other factors such as fuel consumption can be improved as well. It just boils down to managing resources well and looking after one’s business. The real problem is that tyres seldom get thought as a resource to be managed, and this is an industry problem that needs to be taken more




by Eugene Herbert

Due to the volume of traffic on our roads, concentration is the key to defensive driving. You should avoid driving if you are feeling unwell, upset or annoyed or suffering from any kind of stress. You should never let your passengers distract you from the task at hand, make phone calls (even hands free phones can be quite distracting), eat or drink, read road maps or even tune your radio whilst on the move. Avoiding just the few of the things mentioned above will help to improve your concentration immensely. Anticipation in defensive driving is the art of planning well ahead. Recognising hazards well before they develop and taking the most appropriate action to deal the developing hazards. In defensive driving, if you plan ahead and anticipate the actions of other road users, you can avoid being taken by surprise, take evasive action and be in control of the developing situation. Be patience of other road users, especially the more vulnerable like young children, the elderly and people with young children or animals. With defensive driving you will show patience’s by avoiding hostile or aggressive behaviour, making obscene gestures or abusive language. If you are the recipient of such behaviour, you should try and ignore it, never retaliate, keep calm and concentrate on your driving. Even though it can be very hard but you are more likely to make a mistake if you lose your cool or get upset and this can have very dangerous consequences.

o, this is not about the Taxi Recap program but it does by extension encompass some of the challenges we are facing in sharing the road with Taxi’s and other road users. We of course can wax lyrically about the woes visited on us by other irresponsible road users but the fact of the matter is that a significant level of responsibility rests with us – you and I. So what is there that we should focus on - RCAP Responsibility, concentration, anticipation, patience and confidence are the qualities that contribute towards driver attitude and it is the driver's attitude which influence's his behaviour on the road and what the outcome is. In defensive driving, a responsible driver is always concerned with the safety of his vehicle and the safety of all other road users around him. A defensive driver is always tolerant of the mistakes of other road users and is aware that everyone is entitled to use the road as much as him – yes I know we can condemn the taxi that cuts in front of or who tailgates us but no amount of “bad attitude” will change them. Try what I do – let them in or allow them to pass, that way I feel less relieved and ironically enough less aggrieved. Better still come the time – through some or other inadvertent error on my behalf – I have to ask permission to enter the traffic I do so with a Taxi. He, better than anyone else, understands my dilemma and inevitably accedes to my request.


Facts and Figures
It is estimated that between 25% and 33% of road traffic collisions involve somebody who was using the road for work purposes. This means that in Great Britain between 800 and 1,056 people were killed, and between 7,238 and 9,554 were seriously injured, in work-related road collisions in 2005.

The Business Case – for Driver Training
aking action to prevent ‘at work’ vehicle accidents means committing some additional resources but the potential financial savings can be very significant indeed. The true costs of road accidents to organisations are nearly always significantly higher than the resulting insurance claims. HSE research into workplace accidents generally (The Costs of Accidents - HSG96) suggests that, for every £1 recovered through insurance, between £8 and £36 may be lost via uninsured costs. While organisations may be able to recover vehicle damage costs through insurance, many other costs may not be recoverable. These include: lost time in wages and salaries; lost orders and output; administrative costs, legal fees; and costs due to other kinds of business interruption. These costs come straight off the organisation's bottom line, reducing its profits or surplus. Many of the resources required to put a management system in place to manage work related road risks should already be available to enable the organisation to meet its normal occupational health and safety obligations. While some extra costs may be incurred, (for example, in training managers and drivers, in setting policies and implementing new standards, higher specification vehicles and their maintenance, or in adjusting route specifications and work schedules for safety purposes), these are likely to be offset by benefits such as reduced accident losses, less lost staff time, lower insurance premiums and improvement in business efficiency generally, as well as better staff morale and ‘company image’. Source: Occupational Road Safety Alliance – UK








Virtual reality: Computer worlds inspire design concept created by BMW Group DesignworksUSA for the latest high-end Thermaltake gaming tower showpiece
The gaming industry – a sector that can deservedly adorn itself with attributes such as visionary creativity, innovation and progressiveness. However, who inspires the gaming industry and how does one set trends in a sector that is in itself the embodiment of progressive thinking and imaginativeness? One answer to that question is currently being given by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, with the presentation of a design concept for a high-end gaming tower prototype that was inspired by the gaming world itself. BMW Group DesignworksUSA, a 100% subsidiary of the BMW Group, has for many years shaped the global design landscape working for a multitude of industries. In addition to creating yachts, trains, aircraft, lifestyle and IT products, the three studios in Munich, California and Singapore are also engaged with design concepts aimed at transforming visions into reality. One of these concepts is named “Level 10” for Thermaltake, a manufacturer of computer housings and components for individually configurable high-end computers.

India’s role as an important player in the future of Ford Motor Company’s international strategy was underscored on 23rd September when the company’s President and CEO, Alan Mulally, unveiled an allnew car targeting the heart of the Indian car market – the new Ford Figo. The Ford Figo, a new nameplate and a fresh face on the Indian market, signals Ford’s intention to compete in India’s largest and most important small car market segment. Ford Figo is the result of a significant Ford investment commitment to expand its plant near Chennai for volume production as a small-car centre of excellence regionally. Ford’s $500 million investment has doubled the plant’s production capacity to 200,000 units per year and introduces major advances in high-quality automation and innovative, eco-friendly production techniques. “Our exciting new Ford Figo shows how serious we are about India,” Mulally said. “It reflects our commitment to compete with great products in all segments of this car market. We are confident the Ford Figo will be a product that Indian consumers really want and value.” Ford Figo is designed and engineered to compete in India’s small car segment, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the new vehicle market. It leverages Ford’s small-car platform architecture, sharing underlying technology with the Ford Fiesta, already familiar to Indian drivers.

Castrol Toyota Development Kart Team Mercedes-Benz buses transports persons with disabilities
Three Mercedes-Benz buses specifically custom built to provide ease of access and secure seating for persons with disabilities have been handed over to Durban's Ethekwini Municipality to enable them ease of travel arrangements. The buses were presented to Durban Mayor Obed Mlaba who said they were part of a drive by the municipality to assist the disabled to move around more freely. "We are looking to improve things for commuters with disabilities on buses, in our trains and on our taxis. The idea is to make it easier for these folk to get to work and to help ensure that a lack of suitable transport does not hinder them finding employment," said Mlaba. The buses have a hoist inside the main entrance to the bus and the disabled are able to manoeuvre their wheelchairs onto the platform and the hoist lifts them to the top of stairs. Inside there is special seat-belted provision for wheelchairs and their occupants.




Theo Calitz has been working in or involved in 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 nine years.


Customer Relationship Management

– it’s NOT a system!
need to believe your data. To have an up to date database in order for you to trust the process is sometimes a bigger challenge than you would think and I have been amazed how bad or absent some of my client’s customer databases are! They might have some data but it is scattered across systems and no one is sure which is the correct version, what to do with conflicting data or what to do if new data is received. A good, accurate database is the core of your CRM programme. All the planned CRM activities should point to the database. E.g., if you have a call centre, every interaction with the customer should allow you to add information about your customer or update their details (although this process can be tedious and irritating to your customer – be careful!). Doing outbound activities using this data is a logical step to take and, true to form, you will find a higher conversion rate (more sales) using this data than other forms of marketing and selling. It is just important not to over ‘mine’ this data but to keep growing the database and carefully monitor the customer response to your activities. Best not to reach the point where you irritate them. CRM strategies have really evolved over the years and tend to incorporate elements of quality measurements like CSI (Customer Satisfaction Indexing), Customer Care (via Call Centres as well as websites like and market research. A new trend happening now is the interaction with social network sites like Facebook and the use of blogs and twitter. This seems like the obvious next step since it allows all the elements of CRM to be addressed but it is quite involved and not 100% understood and also quite time consuming. I think it is safe to say that CRM is here to stay and is going to affect our lives in more ways than one – hopefully mostly for good reasons!

I did a search on Google the other day about CRM and it is noticeable how many software solutions are presented immediately. Most people seem to associate CRM with a computer programme or system. This is however not the case.
es, CRM does benefit and need things like a database with database management. It is also important to keep track of interactions and/or events and this is all done very well by a computer. CRM however is a combination of people, processes and technology and if it all interacts seamlessly, it works best. A holistic approach where all these elements are applied and where planning is done about what the desired outcomes are, seems to be the most effective. With most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This is also true for CRM. A well set up programme with loyalty elements, a Customer Contact Programme and so on will result in amazing results. This is simply because the effort is benefitting the right customers about the right products at the right time. Most of my customers (which are from the automotive industry) realises increasingly the importance of CRM but I find it interesting how they have responded to the current financial crises. Some companies has responded by focusing more on CRM elements because it is cheaper than traditional marketing elements like advertising and others have shut down departments that focuses on CRM. Many times CRM staff form part of the Sales & Marketing team and they are different in the sense that they tend to have a multi year strategy and they can also measure the impact of their activities which is not the case with traditional marketing activities. Unfortunately, most companies requires departments to submit budgets every year that has to be approved and this can be quite disruptive of a CRM strategy that needs years to fully develop. How do you go about implementing CRM in your organisation? Well it is good to start by identifying what is that you want from it but I have learned that you can never go wrong by creating a good database of your customers. Knowing more about your customer is great and interesting but, more importantly, you

Y T 0861 TRM TRM F 086 686 8382




Customer C.A.R.E. Programme
– sponsored by Federal-Mogul

I ended module four with what may appear to be quite a rude and dismissive statement. I said that we would be addressing the visionaries who really understand intellectually and emotionally that C.A.R.E. stands for CUSTOMERS ARE REALLY EVERYTHING, and that I would not be addressing those who did not understand.
ow could I say such a rude thing? What has got into me? I’ll tell you what has got into me ...... I become an angry young (sic) man when I see corporations, and particularly the top management of these corporations, pay lip service to the concept of customer care. If you are going to make statements on behalf of your company, about the wonderful things that you do for your customers, and how you care for your customers, make damn sure that you are going to do these wonderful things. If you are not pretty sure that you are able to deliver, then it is far wiser NOT to make these statements. The South African consumer terrain is a wasteland of unfulfilled promises, pledges, platitudes and whatever. The scorched earth policy of the British forces in the 2nd Anglo-Boer War pales into insignificance when compared to the behaviour of South African companies when dealing with their customers, and their commitment to their promises of exceptional service. I would need a book far bigger than the Bible, if I were to relate in detail all of the crimes in this regard, visited upon the long suffering consumers of South Africa. Therefore, because we need to seriously and urgently start addressing the remedies to this malady, I shall be brief, and only discuss one such example. The example is that of a leading daily newspaper in Johannesburg. It publishes an eminently satisfactory sheet, which compares favourably to most international newspapers. From a journalistic point of view, there is little to carp about. But its marketing! Or more specifically, its cus-


tomer care!!! With its renewal notice that I received a few years ago, these 5 statements were prominently displayed, under a bold banner, stating why one should subscribe: 1. IT’S YOUR WINDOW TO THE WORLD 2. WE STRIVE FOR SERVICE EXCELLENCE 3. CONVENIENT PAYMENT 4. SUSPEND DELIVERY WHILE YOU’RE AWAY 5. GUARANTEED DELIVERY I cannot argue with point no. 1, and I am not surprised with point no. 3 - companies are always on the ball when it comes to relieving you of your money. I did not test point no. 4, but as a result of my experiences which I am about to relate, I doubt it very much. Let’s look at point no. 5. I had the misfortune to subscribe to this newspaper, and I can assure you that this promise was so far from the truth, that it was eligible for submission to the human rights commission. I can personally vouch that no matter what methods of cajoling that I used (and I came up with some innovative techniques), for a matter of months their delivery performance never exceeded 60%. In addition, the phone no. given for complaints, euphemistically called a “hot-line”, was an invitation to hell. After incredibly long periods of listening to a canned voice telling you to hang on, and that they really care about you, you eventually reach a live voice who promptly transfers you into ......... nothing. And when you eventually get through

to someone, they promise to come back to you ........ a promise that is never kept. Do I really need to discuss point no. 2, WE STRIVE FOR SERVICE EXCELLENCE. Someone please pass me the razor blades. I hear you laughing, and I see you nodding your head in wry agreement. But do you want to know something ...... I will bet everything I own that your company is just as guilty. Not in exactly the same way, but just as guilty in many other ways. Become a customer of your company, and you will see what I mean. What cardinal crime of customer care did this leading newspaper commit, and what cardinal crime is your company committing? They are, and you are, committing the cardinal crime of OVER PROMISING, and UNDER DELIVERING. And management is committing an even bigger crime, that of LIP SERVICE. When these promises were first discussed, then formulated, then printed, then unleashed on the poor consumer, there must have been many opportunities for wise counsel to prevail, and many opportunities to call a halt to such blatant misrepresentation. Management must have been aware that these promises were not going to be fulfilled. My personal experience with this company made it quite clear to me that no-one had been briefed on these promises, and that no steps had been taken to ensure that these promises were to be kept. When questioned, the staff were not aware of these promises, and it was also quite clear that the resources needed to keep these promises, were patently not there I should say pathetically not there.




Customer C.A.R.E. Programme
And yet these promises were made. Why are marketing departments allowed to make such patently false claims? Does the chief executive not know of these blatant lies? If he/she does know, then early retirement is the only answer. If he/she does not know, then the answer remains the same. The buck must stop there! They are definitely being paid enough for it. I do have an answer to all this, but you’ll have to read on, to explore the first steps of creating a customer care culture in your company, and how to avoid the dreaded trap of LIP SERVICE.

1. Discuss the ethical considerations of promising something, and not delivering. 2. Complete the saying, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but .................“, and under the heading of customer service, put this into context. 3. To guarantee something and to deliver, takes courage and commitment. To guarantee something and not to deliver, takes courage and arrogance. Critically analyse these statements. 4. To make it next to impossible for a customer to lodge a complaint, has its merits. But what do you think are the long term prospects of such a company in a competitive environment? 5. Express your opinion on the disturbing fact that companies which provide atrocious service, still manage to survive for so long.




Volvo drives straight into mobile phones
Volvo Cars' international mobile site was launched on March 6 this year. It has now spread to 20 markets, the most recent additions being Germany and Britain. Volvo Car South Africa launched its own mobile site at on 8 June 2009. "Our goal is to be leading in the auto industry in terms of mobile information and communication", says Sofia Heddson Fransén, acting Interactive Marketing Manager at Volvo Cars. Information to and communication with customers via the Internet are natural ingredients for all companies today. Volvo Cars currently has 90 websites in 36 different languages on 70 markets. With the rapid technological development of mobile phones and the increase in mobile surfing, it is becoming increasingly important to adapt traditional site content to be mobile friendly. Surfing via the mobile phone requires that graphics, texts, videos and other content be tailored for mobile users – to a different format when compared to traditional websites. "A mobile site is a compressed website. It has less information and must be even easier to navigate," says Sofia Heddson Fransén.

Avis leads the Carbon Neutral drive in Car Rental
Avis Rent a Car – SA has announced that it has achieved CarbonNeutral® accreditation for the offset of its internal fuel and energy usage CO2 emissions. Avis is well-known for its already strong heritage of CSI initiatives, transformation and investment. This prestigious accolade is another step towards its continued commitment and responsibility to its people, environment and community. Wayne Duvenage, Avis Chief Executive, explains, “For Avis South Africa, becoming Carbon Neutral is an important step not only for our business, but for the industry as a whole. By committing to reduce its measured internal business CO2 emissions of 11,000t to net zero, Avis has set the benchmark within the industry, and this we hope will encourage more businesses and also our customers to start taking action for their own carbon footprint.“ From 1st October 2007, Avis South Africa began its programme which firstly involved measuring its own internal CO2 emissions from the areas with the greatest environmental impact; business fuel use in non-customer vehicles and electricity consumption from all sites. Avis South Africa worked with The CarbonNeutral® Company, one of the world's leading carbon offset and carbon management businesses, to cut emissions to net zero through carbon offsetting. This means that every tonne of CO2 that Avis South Africa produces is counter balanced with a tonne, saved by a validated emission reduction project, which has met international standards.

Link to the international mobile site: or or locally at
October 2009




Brake assist systems significantly shorten braking distance
In the September 2009 issue of ABR, we promised to look at the technical aspects of ESP®. However, we have come across a bulletin from Bosch, dated March 2008, that sheds even more light on brake assist systems, and it highlights the safety aspect from the pedestrian point of view. We therefore give our readers additional information before we get into the technical aspects of ESP®, which we shall cover in the November issue of ABR.

f a driver wants to come to a stop as quickly as possible in a critical situation, he usually steps on the brake quickly, but often not firmly enough – and therefore wastes valuable braking distance. A brake assist system provides support here. During emergency braking, it builds up the maximum braking force within fractions of a second, so that the vehicle stops sooner. According to the EU Commission, if all vehicles were equipped with these kinds of systems, up to 1,100 fatal accidents involving pedestrians could be avoided in the EU every year. It has therefore recommended mandating the installation of brake assist systems in all passenger cars registered in the EU from 2009 on. Bosch offers automakers various technical solutions that allow this function to be integrated cost-effectively. Evaluations of the accidents stored in the GIDAS (German in Depth Accident Study) database show that drivers failed to brake with sufficient force in just under half of all accidents. According to studies, a brake assist allows an average driver travelling at a speed of 100 kph (about 60 mph) to reduce braking distance by an average of 7.6 meters (24.9 feet). If he is travelling at 50 kph (30 mph), braking distance can be reduced by a further 0.7 meters (2.3 feet). In other words, where a vehicle equipped with a brake assist function has already stopped, a car without this safety system is still travelling at a speed of 45 kph and 10 kph (28 mph and 6 mph) respectively. If a driver brakes more timidly than the average, the gain in safety can even be considerably greater. What this ultimately means is shown by an evaluation of official accident statistics: on the basis of a representative random analysis of the German Federal Statistics


Office’s accident figures, Mercedes-Benz calculated the share of serious collisions with pedestrians for every 10,000 newly registered vehicles. The analysis showed that if the brake assistant were standard equipment, the number of serious pedestrian accidents could be reduced by 13 percent. If a vehicle is equipped with the Electronic Stability Program, the brake assist does not require any additional components. Emergency braking is detected through the very fast actuation of the brake. The hydraulic pump of the ESP® unit then builds up the maximum brake pressure as quickly as possible. With a corresponding software adjustment, this socalled hydraulic braking assistant (HBA) can also be individually adapted to the actual driving situation, i.e. it becomes intelligent. For example, the triggering threshold of the brake assist can be lowered if radar data tell the ACC system to classify the situation ahead the vehicle as potentially critical. "Vehicles with ESP® therefore offer twice the safety,” says Werner Struth, president of Bosch Chassis Systems Control. "On the one hand, ESP® supports the driver in all critical situations and, on the other hand, the integrated brake assist considerably reduces the danger to pedestrians.” For vehicles without ESP®, Bosch offers a mechanical solution integrated in the brake booster. If the speed at which the brake pedal is pressed exceeds a certain value, an inertia-controlled valve of the so called Emergency Valve Assist (EVA) opens immediately, allowing ambient air to enter the working chamber of the brake booster. This instantly boosts the braking force until the ABS kicks in. If the driver lifts his foot from the brake pedal, the additional boost is immediately cancelled again.
October 2009


A series of articles on the versatile FSA 720/740/754 series

The Golden Triangle – KTS, ESI[tronic], and FSA
Last month we discussed the charming way Carlo du Plessis of Cencar described how becoming a Bosch Service franchise put him on a successful business path, and his contention that it was “the best thing that I could have done. I will stick with Bosch for life!” Stirring words, but what is the substance behind this declaration? To examine this, we need to evaluate the golden triangle of the KTS Compact Control Unit Diagnostic tester, the ESI[tronic] service information system, and the FSA engine management system, the three products that Carlo relies on to solve any problem that is thrown at him.
efore we get into the details, we need to take cognisance of the stress that Carlo puts on the fourth element, the importance of which cannot be over emphasised. This fourth element encompasses the Bosch training regime, which makes the Bosch Systems Technician the equivalent of a modern day Sherlock Holmes, approaching each job with the systematic approach equal to and many times superior to Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation. Using the KTS, the ESI[tronic] and the FSA intelligently and systematically, the Bosch Systems Technician combines this technological assistance with his knowledge, experience and training, to become the king of automotive repairers and to rule the diagnostic roost. Thus, when Ewald Faulstich, Director of the Automotive Aftermarket Division at Robert Bosch South Africa, says that “Bosch and Bosch Service is a name that is known by most consumers and is recognised as a credible partner’, this is no idle boast, and no one is going to argue with Ewald’s contention that technical competence, quality, customer service and the brand are key to the ongoing success of franchised aftermarket workshops. Back to the specifics. Carlo says that the biggest challenge for an automotive technician is to know how to work with the trouble codes and how that system of that vehicle is working, and he reiterates that this is where training and experience play a key role. He gives us a recent example of a customer coming into Cencar with a five year old BMW 535i (e39), complaining of hard starting and no power. Carlo got to work, systematically, knowing that the system is (and in the knowledge that most of the systems that he would be checking on this vehicle were developed and) manufactured by Bosch, so who better than Bosch to provide the equipment to troubleshoot and repair this system, and he says emphatically, “that’s the reason why I want Bosch equipment”. But first things first, and that is to test the power supply, (from) the battery itself, and then the power supply to the ECU box for you want to make sure there is no volt drop to the main computer box when testing. If the battery is pushing out less than 10 volts to the ECU, it would be elementary, my dear Watson, and all that might be needed would be needed is a new battery or a recharge. Testing the alternator charging power could resolve your problem too. If the battery is pushing out enough juice (from source), then you need to check whether the ECU is receiving enough volts/juice for the sensors to work. The sensors on the modern vehicle are sensitive to power variables, so the battery or alternator could be the culprit, and thus Carlo needs to know where he stands with the power supply. The KTS does. There are eight tests on a battery, to start with the Bosch (and the test procedure) BAT121 tool which gives a print-out that you can give to your customer which is a status report on the battery and charging system,(utilising the
October 2009


ESI[tronic] software to explain what it all means). With this information, it now needs a judgement call whether to do more tests, and this is where experience makes the difference. However, since Carlo does a free check on the battery for all his customers (the battery is often the culprit in three to five year old cars), this preliminary work is done at no cost to the customer. If the battery is not the problem, and there is a volt drop on the wires, the KTS will pick this up, but you also have the option of using the FSA multi-meter to do a resistance test on the positive and negative supply wires to the ECU. This is the intriguing thing about the golden triangle – you can check various things with either the KTS or the FSA, it all depends on what equipment you have and what you feel more comfortable with. Using the information and wiring diagrams on the ESI[tronic] software surely will make life easier. With this particular case, everything checks out fine, so Carlo has to go to the next step, which we will review in the next issue of ABR. Watch this space, folks.

Carlo du Plessis holds the very important ancillary to the golden triangle – the certificate signifying his technical training; a vital aspect in the diagnostic challenge.





Parts Incorporated Africa and Midas Stores now stock the Quick Brake product range


arts Incorporated Africa (PIA) branches and Midas Stores around Southern Africa now carry a comprehensive range of Quick Brake fitment kits.

Quick Brake are a world leader in the manufacturing of brake components for pads, drums, shoes and calipers, all of which are vital to ensuring that the brake system operates correctly. Brake pad manufactures and their compounds are often unfairly blamed for squealing, graunching and low pad life when the fault really lies with the fitment clips and springs. These components have been designed by the caliper manufacturers to wear but are not always replaced during a pad change - often because the fitter finds they are difficult to source. Brake springs, clips and formed mounting plates lose 50% of their tension while operating due to the excessive heat created by the friction material on the disc. This is aggravated by the fact that OEMs currently design the calipers to be lighter and smaller, which requires complicated spring and clip pad tensioners. Herein lies the root cause of many of your brake fitment come-backs! The universal squeal damping shim supplied by Quick Brake is easy to apply to the back- plate of the pad and this will dampen the vibration coming from the caliper, which is what causes much of the noise. Use of this product means fitters do not have to resort to the use of Coppaslip on the brake pad to try to reduce squealing. In fact, Coppaslip should not be anywhere near the brake system. Quick Brake manufacture a full range of accessories for calipers, including guide bolts, bolt rubber boots and bleeder screws. Looking at brake drum accessories, Quick Brake do a comprehensive range of springs and clips that fit around the shoes. Function and hold-down springs are included with washers and clips required for a shoe change. Drum brakes are often neglected on South African vehicles, resulting poor brake performance of the complete system. This is especially the case when it comes to light commercial bakkies.

PIA and Midas have taken the decision to add this niche but vital product range to their brake offering to ensure that their customers along the distribution chain are able to supply the fitters of brakes timeously with components that are often otherwise difficult to find. Because these brake accessories are difficult to source: 1. Time is wasted during fitment trying to panel beat and straighten old, damaged clips or springs in order to make them fit. 2. Brake installations are not done correctly, leading to costly comebacks at the workshop level. This results in measurable expenses through having to repair / rectify the vehicle and secondly, in having an unhappy customer.

Contact your nearest Midas Store, PIA Branch or Brake Hose & Component Supplies for more information.
October 2009



Playing the Game and Doing the Right Thing
The past 12 to 18 months have been tough for the automotive industry worldwide, and it is in times like these that the wheat is separated from the chaff, both from a business and an ethical point of view. A shining example of this was when in February of this year Trent Bartlett, Chief Executive Officer of Capricorn Society Limited, published an open letter to Capricorn suppliers, committing Capricorn to doing the right thing and guaranteeing its members debt, a true vindication of Capricorn’s reputation of “an organisation that you can rely on”.
BR reported in its June 2009 issue that whilst 30 day collection rates are only 65% for South Africa, the average for counties such as the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand is 98%. This damning fact means that institutions that are committed to doing the right thing are exposing themselves to inordinately high risks in our neck of the woods, unless everyone starts to play the game to international norms. This was the rationale behind Capricorn introducing its Capricorn Secure model in South Africa. This model basically follows the template as practiced by commercial banks – we’ll lend you the money, but we do need security. Rob Mildenhall, Capricorn’s South African Business Development Manager, recently told ABR that he was pleased by the reaction to the introduction of Capricorn Secure. Most of the members welcomed the move, and Rob believes this is because they saw it as a good move in that it was ultimately protecting their interests. ABR tested this theory by interviewing four members in the Gauteng area. Hennie Louw, Henlo Service Centre, Isando, says that it is a very good thing. He elaborates, “There are a lot of chancers out there. The Capricorn system guarantees payment to the suppliers, so this helps the loyal group. The Capricorn Secure system is also very fair. It’s like an overdraft facility. If I look after my cash flow, I don’t need it anyway, but it’s good to have just in case. My Capricorn membership is very convenient, so I want to belong, and the points that I am earning every business day are building up, so I’m securing my pension.” Ingrid Cilliers and Andre Hattingh, IJ Hattingh Motors, Centurion, are equally understanding, “We’re right behind this. We understand the dilemma. We have no problem with our debtors, as our system is working, and our cash flow is fine, so why become a problem debtor? Discipline applies to both sides. We cannot expect discipline from our customers if we are not prepared to show discipline to our suppliers. There are unfortunately dishonest people, so companies have to secure their positions. As we frequently say ‘no pain, no gain’. And in our five years of Capricorn membership we have worked up our rebate to over R100 000. This is valuable to us, and we may need it for a rainy day. We’re in it for the long haul!” Vic Naidoo, Motolek Lenasia, concurs, “Initially I regarded it as a bit of an inconvenience, as I had been trading for a year and my account was well managed. But after thinking about it, I realised that it was the bad boys who were spoiling it for the good guys, so I’m now right behind it. Capricorn is important to me, and they have given me a great network of suppliers and it is good for my business.”


Connie and Joe Silva, Speed Auto, Booysens Reserve, Johannesburg, hardly even noticed the issue, “We’ve got no problems with this. We understand the scenario. Capricorn is very important to us, and we treat them as a normal creditor. We are also extremely happy with the returns we are getting from the relationship, and intend to continue reaping the benefits. Our accumulated rebates even helped us to purchase a truck recently. What problem?”

To join Capricorn Society Limited call Rob Mildenhall on 083 654 2094 or e-mail him at or visit their website on
October 2009

Bonding with the Community
The company that goes under the apt name of Bonding is a family business, and was established in 1958 by Fred Senekal to service the booming mining industry in the KOSH area of the then Western Transvaal. KOSH is the acronym for Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein and Hartbeesfontein, a complex of towns that form a perfect triangle, with Klerksdorp sitting prominently in the middle.
onding fast developed a reputation for being able to handle any fabrication or engineering project that the mining and automotive industry could throw at them, specialising in friction materials. After Fred Senekal retired, his son-in-law Kevin Hengst took over the reigns, and Kevin soon built up an even more formidable name as Mr. Fix-it in this pioneering region. Slowly but surely Bonding became the place to visit for the surrounding community, expanding its reach beyond the KOSH towns, to Potchefstroom in the east, Ventersdorp in the north, Wolmaransstad in the west, and Viljoenskroon and Bothaville to the south. Kevin’s son Warren was introduced to the business at an early age, and he soon developed a passion for tinkering with all things mechanical, and worked his way through every facet of the business, from the wash bay to the owner’s office. Warren describes this hands-on experience as the best way to learn a business, as his staff know that with any situation, he has been there before. With Bonding’s all round ability, including the manufacture of in-house automotive cabling and OE brake piping, and the


inconsistent service offered by other workshops in the area, customers were starting to bring their vehicles in for complete brake overhauls, as well as minor and major services. This got Warren thinking, and he approached e-CAR late in 2008, as he wanted to belong to “a national marketing company with a nationwide service network, and a real-time networking system”, and his research showed that an e-CAR was needed in Klerksdorp. The requirements to join e-CAR had to be met, so Warren got to work, acquiring the necessary Bosch diagnostic equipment and ensuring that his staffing levels were up to scratch, and in August 2009 the North West Province welcomed its newest e-CAR outlet. Warren is very excited at being part of such a well known and highly regarded workshop network, and he is looking forward to growing apace with the knowledge that he has the necessary accreditations and backing of venerable institutions and brands such as Bosch, Diesel-Electric, the Automobile Associa-tion and the RMI. He is also eagerly awaiting his roadside signage to attract the passing trade looking for a reputable company to service their vehicles.

The apple does not fall far from the tree …. Warren Hengst with father Kevin, who is now semi-retired

Warren Hengst with his reliable front line staff, Jackie Stoltz and Charlotte Jonker

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)







Free Permatex Samples
Calling all workshops and professional technicians. Are you using any of the Permatex chemical tools in your workshop? If not, you could be missing a few tricks, and your customers could be losing out.

To introduce you to the incredible range of Permatex workshop products, Top Class Automotive will be happy to deliver to you free of charge four free samples. All you have to do is to contact Top Class Automotive at tel. 011 974 1444 or fax 011 974 1377, to begin your Permatex Starter Kit, consisting of four incredibly useful products:

Permatex® Anaerobic Gasket Maker
OEM specified. Noncorrosive gasketing material designed primarily for use on aluminum, iron, and steel flanged mating surfaces. Ideal for on-the-spot and emergency repairs, or when a conventional gasket is unavailable. Fills gaps up to .015º and cures to a solvent-resistant seal that will not tear or decay during service. Parts disassemble easily even after extended service and old gasket material can be removed in minutes with a simple putty knife. Suggested Applications: Water pumps, thermostat housings, transmission pans, transmission case covers, transaxle casings, o-ring replacement

Permatex® PermaPoxy™ 5 Minute General Purpose Epoxy
Versatile, easy-to-use, general purpose epoxy adhesive is two-part adhesive and filler system that eliminates the need for welding or brazing. Sets in five minutes, no clamping needed. Clear appearance. Fills gaps and will not shrink. Resistant to water and solvents. Temperature range -60°F to 180°F (-51°C to 82°C). Permanent strength up to 3400 PSI. Suggested Applications: Ideal for complex, multi-piece assemblies. Bonds rigid materials including, ceramic, chrome, fabric, fiberglass, glass, hard plastic, metal and rubber.

Permatex® Stripped Thread Repair
Makes reliable thread repairs without drills, taps, tools or inserts. Restores worn, stripped or damaged threads and eliminates future corrosion, galling, seizing and rust. Effective up to 128 ft. lbs. of torque and between -65°F to 300°F (-54°C to 149°C). Repairs most metal-to-metal fasteners up to SAE grade 5 English and 8.8 metric (coarse and fine). Suggested Applications: Intake manifold bracket fastener threads, timing chain cover bolt threads, valve cover bolt threads, water pump bolt threads

Permatex®Water Pump & Thermostat RTV Silicone Gasket
A noncorrosive, sensor-safe RTV silicone gasket material formulated specifically for water pumps and thermostat housings. Highest water-glycol resistance available in an RTV silicone. Temperature range of -65°F to 500°F (-54°C to 260°C) intermittent. Suggested Applications: Water pump and thermostat housings

Stock is limited, so don’t delay, and phone or fax today.
October 2009

A series of articles on Launch Technologies SA (Pty) Ltd

China’s Launch Pad
The automotive industry was late in blooming in China, but boy, no time has been wasted in playing catch up. In the past couple of years, China has gone beyond catch up, as it has zoomed past Germany, Japan and the USA to take number one spot in vehicle production in a phenomenally short space of time.


he transformation started with Deng Xiaoping, who in 1978 after his personal political rehabilitation, decided that China’s time had come, and with a mixture of capitalism and state control, pulled the levers to begin China’s makeover from an agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse. Deng chose Guangdong Province for his pilot study. Guangdong Province was an inspired choice, as this was the home province of Sun Yat-sen, the founder of modern China, and Guangdong (previously known as Canton Province) also had strong links to overseas Chinese, as well as neighbouring Hong Kong, thus serving as a commercial gateway for entrepreneurs from near and far. Deng’s farsighted vision bore fruit, with Guangdong Province going from a relatively backwater state into an industrial powerhouse in a very short space of time, and this experiment served as a template to be repeated again and again, throughout China. The most stunning metamorphosis, and the biggest beneficiary of Deng’s dream, was Shenzhen, previously a small fishing village some 30 kilometres along the coast from Hong Kong. Shenzhen is now a modern city of some 10 million citizens, the vast majority entrepreneurial migrants drawn to the flame of growth like peripatetic moths. These migrants have made this hi-tech city the Silicone Valley of the East, with thousands of pioneering companies having put down their innovative roots the past three decades, and employing hundreds of thousands of engineers, technicians, artisans, high powered executives, and anyone seeking their fortune, all creating a vibrant buzz of creativity and inventiveness, and generating an enormous commercial and trading base which makes Shenzhen the fastest growing city in the world.

arena of ECUs and automotive diagnostics. Launch Tech Co was established in 1992 and has since grown into the leading Chinese company in automotive diagnostics and a global supplier to the automotive aftermarket, represented by 15 companies supporting more than 400 distributors in 60 countries. Launch also saw the bright future for the Chinese automotive industry, and as early as its inception in 1992 Launch Tech Co had begun its annual auto electronic colloquium in Shenzhen, inviting the Chinese OEM industry to discuss the future of engine management systems and diagnostic support. The vision of Launch has paid off, with Launch now being the specified diagnostic equipment for over 90% of Chinese OEMs. Launch also began to look outside China in 1997, as it realised that to be an international player it had to support all the OEM brands in both China and overseas. Thus the Carlink 5000 was introduced to the world in 1997, to be followed by the ADC 2000 in 1999, which was both a code reader and oscilloscope. With the strong international acceptance of both the Carlink 5000 and the ADC 2000, it was realised that for further growth the company would have to become a public company, and so in 2002 Launch Tech Co Ltd was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and its future was secured, and further development was accelerated by the establishment of an industrial park in Shenzhen and an R&D facility in Beijing, to concentrate on vehicle management systems. More on Launch, and particularly Launch Technology South Africa, in following issues of ABR. Launch Tech Co Ltd employs over 300 qualified research and development engineers at its Headquarters in Shenzhen, in an industrial park consisting of seven identical nine floor buildings, with a total floor area of 189 000 m². Here is one of these buildings.

Shenzhen was the launch pad for China’s rocket like growth, and it was here in 1987 that a small company named Launch began manufacturing personal computers, developing both the hardware and software for these machines. Five years later, in 1992, with the Chinese automotive industry starting to stir, Launch used this computer DNA to become the first Chinese company to dabble in the nascent





Super Vooma’s benefits are no rumour
By Richard Macaskill

Oftentimes one hears of ‘miracle’ engine additives that have no negative effects. They clean your engine, improve performance and at the same time improve fuel efficiency. Now there’s a new product on the market promising the same thing. In fact, it’s not new; it was developed over 30 years ago, and has been continually improved since, and now it has come to South Africa. This product, which goes by a variety of names all over the world, will be branded as Super Vooma on our shores.

uper Vooma is marketed in a different way to most engine additives though, and with good reason. It is actually not an additive – it is an engine treatment. Application at 60 000 km and every 20 000 km thereafter will yield the promised benefits of the product, as opposed to additives that need to be added on a regular basis in order to yield results. Super Vooma is designed to soften the carbon deposits that build up in an engine during its working life and remove any impurities that hamper a vehicle’s performance. Super Vooma promises to clean “from inlet to exhaust”, and is also said not to be abrasive, corrosive or even flammable. However, it is important to bear in mind that this is a treatment and not an additive, and is therefore something that may be able to keep these promises. The product also claims to clean and remove impurities from all turbo and superchargers, further improving a vehicle’s performance. The removal of carbon deposits allows an engine’s pistons to move more smoothly, meaning less friction, less wear and tear and a longer lifespan. This also allows for maximum rotational force to be transferred to the crank shaft, in turn maximising the engine’s torque output. Carbon deposits will also be removed from the


valve seating so that valves will close tightly, decreasing the loss of fuel and air through improperly-closed valves and optimising fuel efficiency. In fact, the savings achieved through the use of Super Vooma can be quite substantial. Dyno testing has indicated that along with a 20% performance improvement, fuel consumption can be lowered by up to 15%. Take a vehicle that covers 20 000 km in a given period. At R8/l and 12.5 km/l, this would cost the owner R20 000. Assume a conservative 10% fuel saving from Super Vooma and this translates to an extra R2 000 in the owner’s pocket. With only one R150 can of Super Vooma required during this time, the ultimate saving is R1 850. This makes financial sense for fleet owners and managers, as obviously, the more one travels, the greater the savings would be. On top of this, environmental benefits are offered through this lower fuel consumption, giving a company that coveted smaller carbon footprint. Although Super Vooma claims to be a reliable treatment and not a miracle cure – well, maybe it actually is one… To get hold of this revolutionary product, you may contact: Lubemax: Steve Swart - Cell: 082 929 8971 or log onto
October 2009



Efficient production and top quality:

Cylinder-head gaskets for the new HDEP engine generation
n 2007, the worldwide production of heavy commercial vehicles increased by 6 percent to almost three million units. With 840.000 medium and heavy-duty trucks, China increased its leading position – production figures that are higher than those of East and West Europe together. And an end of the worldwide truck boom is nowhere in sight. With its Detroit Diesel DD 15, Daimler AG introduced the first version of a new range of commercial vehicle engines. The Heavy Duty Engine Platform (HDEP) is one of the most important developments in the growing heavy-truck segments. The six-cylinder inline engines have been designed for exceptionally good fuel efficiency and very high peak pressures. In order to implement these demands, Daimler Trucks relies on the Victor Reinz® gaskets from Dana – the leading manufacturer of gasket systems and cylinder head gaskets. In the forefront are technical advances: all HDEP engines must fulfill present and future emission regulations. A new pressure-intensified common-rail injection system and combustion pressures of up to 230 bar mean that the cylinder-head gasket must withstand enormous pressures. What's more, the high-performance gasket must guarantee the specified endurance for engine mileages of one million miles (1.5 million kilometers). During the pilot phase, development engineers of the Heavy Duty Engine Platform subjected the special head gasket design to grueling tests. 3.5 million miles (5.6 million kilometers) on the road and on testing stands bore convincing results: Victor Reinz head gaskets exceeded the rigorous standards for the Detroit Diesel DD 15. Gasket specialist at Dana also developed selected components for various medium-duty engine generations.


used are corrosion-resistant stainless steel and high-grade fluoropolymers, which remain flexible at temperatures at minus 25° C. Arranged topographically around the combustion chamber, the multiple beads provide multiple pressure lines with uniform pressure distribution. In combination with the elastic behavior of the liners, the plastic behavior of these beads ensures an optimal seal of the combustion chamber. Sealing of the oil and coolant channels is achieved by means of cured-on elastomers, which are injection molded onto metal insert sheets as sealing lips.

Best manufacturing conditions
With its globally networked Truck Team, Dana offers developers and manufacturers of commercial vehicles engines a holistic systems competence that covers the entire development and production process. With global access to comprehensive consultation, development, production, and logistics services, this network is based in development centers in Germany, Japan, and the United States – as well as locations in every important automotive center in

Cylinder-head gaskets for the new HDEP engine generation.

Space saving innovative Sealing Technology.

Efficient gasket design
The one-piece head gasket for the Detroit Diesel DD 15 – Daimler AG's first sixcylinder in-line engine with a mid- and bottom-stop liner concept – is a two-layer metal/elastomer gasket with a stopper design and multiple beads. The materials

By means of a special laser welding method, these metal sheets are welded directly to the gasket's core. In particular, the advantages of this insert technology become apparent for gaskets with a large number of passages. Highly innovative rubber injection methods permit Dana to manufacture its Victor Reinz gaskets with practically no elastomer waste.

the world. Truck gasket manufacturing is focused particularly on new developments in the field of medium- and heavy-duty engines. Multi-layer steel and metal/elastomer head gaskets with lengths of up to 1.5 meters are manufactured on the latest machines. For high flexibility in gasket design, the presses and laser-welding machines are equipped to handle singlecylinder solutions, as well as combinable
October 2009


concepts with four to six cylinders. As a result, combustion chamber diameters of 100 to more than 200 millimeters can be produced. Presses with more than 1,000 tons of stamping force allow the production of components with previously unattainable precision and very high stiffness. Scalable manufacturing concepts permit batch sizes of just a few hundred to several hundred thousand units. The Victor Reinz head gasket for the HDEP Detroit Diesel DD 15 is the largest metal/elastomer gasket that has ever been produced by Dana’s innovative truck gasket department. new materials will determine future head gasket developments, while global engine platforms and identical parts promise long-term cost reductions. By using Victor Reinz gasket expertise, commercial-vehicle engine makers will ensure a decisive leading edge in terms of technology and costs – today and in the future.

Dana Sealing Products Group
Under the brand name Victor Reinz, the Dana Sealing Products Group – a century-old leading manufacturer of sealing systems – develops and produces highperformance sealing, shielding, and valve cover systems for engine and drive concepts. The group is part of the globally positioned Dana Holding Corporation with 35.000 employees in 26 countries, and headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, USA. Dana acts as a global partner for all major automakers, and is a leading supplier to the automotive industry for drivetrain, structural, thermal, and sealing technologies.

Trucks and trends
Globally increasing transportation activities present new challenges for the entire logistics industry. The present situation is characterized by an enormous demand for powerful but fuel-efficient medium and heavy-duty trucks. As a leading supplier of gasket systems, Dana anticipated this trend and has made the necessary investments. Variable gasket designs, constructional elements, and

State-of-the-art – Manufacturing Facilities for the Truck Production



Eastern Cape heavily reliant on the automotive industry
Over 30% of manufacturing jobs in the Eastern Cape are provided for by the automotive industry. This stark reality emphasises the importance of the South African Automotive Week, which will be held in Port Elizabeth from the 7th to the 10th October 2009. This vulnerability will be explored at the AIDC conference to be held at the Moffet on Main Lifestyle Centre on the 7th and 8th, and in attendance shall be the big hitters from the Eastern Cape Development Centre and the Eastern Cape Economic Development and Environmental Affairs, to brief delegates on this question, as well as the excellent progress on the automotive park at Coega.

Josef Neumeier and Noludwe Ncokazi of the Eastern Cape Development Centre, with Phumla Ndaba from the Eastern Cape Economic Development and Environmental Affairs Dept.

NAACAM’s Roger Pitot sure to speak out
Robust debate will be the order of the day at the AIDC Conference at the South African Automotive week to be held in Port Elizabeth early in October 2009. And at the forefront will be Roger Pitot, Executive Director of NAACAM. At a pre-conference media briefing in late September 2009 Roger said that South Africa’s economic policy is fundamentally flawed, as there was insufficient focus on manufacturing, and we do not leverage off our natural resources. Roger bemoaned the fact that 80% of our platinum is exported, and surmised that chrome ore being sent to China for beneficiation was not in the country’s interests. Roger also stated that the Rand was overvalued, and that the component industry needed a Rand/Dollar exchange rate of 8,5 to 9,0 to be competitive. Will he be applauded or attacked on these comments. Come to the AIDC conference to find out.
October 2009


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.

In our April and May 2009 issues, Giel Steyn discussed the words quality, “original, genuine, and pirate”, in the context of automotive parts. He bemoaned the fact that the word “pirate” is used and abused with gay abandon by the automotive fraternity, and by so doing they are damaging the reputation of perfectly decent companies and brands, such as Bosch.

What’s in a Name?

This is the original Elvis, and the genuine article

This is a counterfeit Elvis, and not the genuine article

This is a real pirate. Someone who likes his drink strong and his women even stronger. [editor’s note: I remember in the 1980’s when McCarthy took control of Midas, and Rolf Güdegast making a strong point at a Midas convention, by presenting a pirate suit to the late Brian McCarthy] manufacture, and abhor being referred to as pirates. Giel says “inferior quality parts” should be called exactly that, or parts that are passed off as the real thing, should be called “counterfeit”. The definition of counterfeit is “made in imitation of something genuine, with the intent to deceive or defraud”. To fully appreciate this definition, we need to understand that the definition of original is “of or relating to an origin or beginning”, and genuine is “not fake or counterfeit; original, real, authentic”. Please folks; let us make Giel Steyn happy and do the whole industry a favour by banning the word “pirate”, unless we are referring to Blackbeard or Somali maritime interlopers. And let us also put to bed the lie perpetrated by Shakespeare 400 years ago, by saying that there is much in a name. Names such as Grandmark International, a company that follows the Diamond Dialogue template to the letter. For those who prefer visual stimulation, the above pictures may get the message across.
October 2009

iel Steyn would like to see the word pirate banned from all discourse, as it is used entirely inappropriately, and subsequently high quality parts are being tarred with a particularly unworthy brush. Take, for example, the expression “gay abandon” which was used in the introduction. 50 years ago the word gay meant something entirely different to what it means today. Similarly, terms such as spanner assistant, grease monkey, panel beater, and anti-freeze are no longer in vogue, as these terms are either derogatory or misleading, being replaced with the more descriptive, correct and preferred automotive technician, collision repair outlet, repair shop assistant and coolant conditioner. Giel appeals for “pirate part” to go the same route and to be consigned to history. This will solve the problem once and for all, since most aftermarket parts are manufactured by the same manufacturers who make parts for OEMs, their P&A divisions and the quality aftermarket. These manufacturers are proud of the technology, quality, safety and value for money that is inherent in the product that they




by Roger McCleery

Roger McCleery asks the questions
See how many of these 20 Questions you can answer.
1. Name the Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyundai South Africa. 2. What company is the fourth biggest motor manufacturer in the world? 3. What tyre company supplies the most OE tyres in Europe? 4. What was the first make of car in South Africa? 5. The British Marcos sports car took its name from two Brits. Who? 6. Who won the Swedish Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1976 in a 6-wheel Tyrrell? 7. What American 3 litre all alloy V8 engine was used in the Rebco Brabham for two World Championships? 8. What is the largest one-day sports event in the world? 9. GSM Dart was the first car made in South Africa. What does GSM stand for? 10. Who ran the first Alfa Romeo Grand Prix Team? 11. Who designed the Porsche 356? 12. What Nationality was Louis Chevrolet? 13. Who is the only man to have won world championships on 2 and 4 wheels? 14. Name two drivers in line to win the 2009 South African Rally title. 15. Who founded NASCAR Racing in the States? 16. What is the name of the South African who heads up the Hendriks NASCAR team in America? 17. What is the name of the Volkswagen Beetle featured in the film “The Love Bug”? 18. The first four cars to be exported from America were sent to what country? 19. What is the maximum time for a Formula 1 GP? 20. The Porsche 924 was originally designed by what company?

Answers on page 78
October 2009




Tshepo Montana (CEO PRASA) [left] and Thomas Hemmerich (CEO MTB South Africa, right).

MAN Truck & Bus South Africa delivers 110 intercity buses for FIFA World Cup 2010
About nine months before the FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge is further expanding its presence on the nation's market. The regional sales company MAN Truck & Bus South Africa received an order for 110 Lion’s Explorer intercity buses from the Public Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The vehicles are initially to be operated as general spectator buses by subsidiary Autopax, and later in urban public transport in various large South African cities and surroundings. The order also includes a service level and maintenance agreement through the MAN service network. Intensive training of more than 220 Autopax drivers will be conducted before the World Cup, including the MAN ProfiDrive program, to ensure a maximum of reliability and safety once the buses go onto the road. At the signing of the Bus Procurement agreement in September 2009, Thomas Hemmerich, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus South Africa, said: "We are proud of the fact that we have secured this major order in conjunction with the soccer World Cup. The vehicles boast excellent chassis that are made in Germany and first-class bodies tailored to suit the needs of the market and produced locally at our plant in Olifantsfontein. Through our extensive service network we'll devote all our efforts to ensuring high availability of the vehicles." Tshepo Montana, Group CEO of the transport agency PRASA, said the order marked a "major innovation in local transport in South Africa, satisfying the requirements of the FIFA World Cup and subsequently the need for urban public transport renewal in the country."

Pretoria to host first exhibition for heavy vehicle industry in 2010
The first national exhibition dedicated to the latest products, services and concepts in the heavy vehicle industry will be staged at the Tshwane Events Centre in Soutter Street, Pretoria West from March 23 to 26 next year (2010). The HeavyWeight Expo, which enjoys the endorsement of the RMI, will also incorporate industry related conferences and workshops, and will be the gathering place for the major players in the industry, from bulk transport to passenger transport and materials handling, construction plant and equipment, agricultural applications and special vehicles. There will be categories for heavy commercial vehicles, buses, trailers, mobile cranes and lifting equipment, forklifts, earthmoving plant and equipment, mining equipment, road construction and maintenance equipment, agricultural vehicles and special vehicles (like dumpers, tippers, mixers, tankers, emergency vehicles and security vehicles). Tshwane Events Centre’s Fanie Fourie is the moving force behind this unique exhibition and brings a wealth of exhibition and transport experience to its staging. This includes the establishment of the very successful 2008 Johannesburg International Motor Show. “It is time for an expo which showcases the heavy vehicle industry,” said Fourie. “It is a sizeable and influential sector of the transport business and of particular significance in today’s environment of major infrastructural development and construction throughout the country. “The HeavyWeight Expo will provide a unique platform for the leading manufacturers, suppliers and service providers to display their products and do business with existing and new customers, all in one place. We also expect to attract fleet management companies, vehicle finance houses, logistics providers and software and equipment suppliers, heavy industry driver training institutions and specialists such as consulting engineers, project managers and civil engineering contractors. “It will be the ultimate heavy vehicle shopping experience,” added Fourie.

The Lamborghini Reventón Roadster is a sports car of breathtaking fascination, menacing power and uncompromising performance. The 6.5 litre 12 cylinder generates 493 kW, catapulting the Roadster from 0 to 100 km/h in 3,4 seconds, with a top speed of 330 km/h. Fast and exclusive, Lamborghini has limited the series.
October 2009





Electrifying AGM
by Austin Gamble

Annual General Meetings are normally boring and staid affairs. Not so the AGM of the Intelligent Transport Systems South Africa (ITSSA) held on 27th August 2009 at the appropriately named Innovation Hub in Pretoria. The atmosphere was literally electrifying, all because of the keynote speaker.
• • • • • • Global Warming Pollution – and the internal combustion engine is one of the big culprits Energy Security – oil reserves are finite Urbanisation – 50% of global population is already urbanised, and the trend is accelerating Global vehicle market – now standing at 800 million units, and projected at 1,5 billion by 2030 Advances in battery technology – lithium ion batteries have come down in weight, from 1300 kg to 300 kg, and now have a lifetime of 10 years and more (200 000km), the price is decreasing, and they are still in their infancy! Imagine when the chicken and egg scenario is over, and volume production begins!

fter the formalities (gratefully short and sweet, thanks to the efficient approach of Dr. Paul Vorster, the CEO of ITSSA), in which it was clear that despite the gloomy times for the automotive industry, life indeed goes on for ITS practitioners, centre stage was taken by Kobus Meiring, CEO of Optimal Energy and the public face of the Joule, South Africa’s much hyped electric car. Not having previously been privy to all the ins and outs of the Joule, I was all ears, not least because of their slogan, “imagineering mobility”, which is a great play on words, and which would surely get the seal of approval from our publishing editor, who insists on “words in action”. And I was not disappointed, because 45 minutes later I had been converted to the electric car brigade, as if even half of what Kobus Meiring said comes about, the Joule will be playing a significant role in the global romancing of the electric car. Space constraints preclude a comprehensive overview of Kobus’ presentation, but I believe the highlights will provide fascinating fodder for ABR’s readers, and I promise to revisit the Joule story many times in the future. We all know that electric cars are greener than the current batch of internal combustion engines and hybrids, but did you know that the Joule can be Eskom’s salvation? Ironically, it was indeed an appropriate presentation on the same day that Eskom announced a R9,7 billion loss! Kobus Meiring explained that South Africa’s biggest energy problem is basically its off peak wastage between the hours of 11pm to 6am. This wastage is equivalent to charging 8 million electric cars during that seven hour period, and enough juice to drive each car for 20 000 km pa. Even if only 10% of the government fleet went electric, it would meet government’s energy savings targets for 2013. If that does not convince the sceptics, how about these convergence of factors:


There’s much, much more, but I’m keeping my powder dry for future articles, because it seems that the era of electric vehicles is about to begin. At last year’s Geneva Show only three electric cars were on display, then about 30 made their appearance at the Paris show, and 60 are expected at this year’s Frankfurt Show. It is exploding, and South Africa could be at the forefront of the explosion. Watch this space. Mthembeni Mkhize, President of ITSSA, outlined in his President’s address the challenges for the new year: • FIFA World Cup transport challenges • Dealing with the skills shortage • Ensuring that the stakeholders understand the requirements for sustainable transport systems, CAPEX for the short term, OPEX for the long term • Capacitating institutions in the appropriate and integrated use of transport systems

Kobus Meiring, CEO of Optimal Energy

The ITSSA Brains Trust for the coming year
October 2009




Leading Change in a Turbulent Period
Finlay Events hosts regular breakfasts under the banner of “Meet the CEOs”, inviting leading businessmen to share their secrets of success and to pass on motivational titbits to a full house of those in search of the Holy Grail of Business, the proceeds going to the commendable charity NOAH (Nurturing Orphans of AIDS for Humanity). On 8th September 2009 it was the turn of Clive Thompson, CEO of Barloworld.


arloworld went through a massive restructuring and repositioning exercise in 2007, and Clive Thompson could have been forgiven for expecting an easier ride than what Barloworld has experienced these past 12 months, but this is what comes with the territory, and he ruefully admits that he does get nervous when he hears someone utter the ominous words “Lehman Brothers”, the guys who started all the trouble last September. Clive likes to quote Thomas Edison, whose pointed and precise observation that “vision without execution is hallucination” could have been twisted to “hallucination without vision is execution” during the dark times in 2009. But the guys at Barloworld are made of sterner stuff, and this 100 year old company and its CEO was perfectly placed to address the topic “Leading Change in a Turbulent Period”. Clive Thompson defines the tension between memory and vision as the creation of a burning platform for change, with the proviso that it must be based on the template of past successes, and the philosophy that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Thus the commitment to lead in empowerment and transformation, the need to manage long term relationships, and the requirement of an ability to develop and grow business in multiple geographies (even Siberia!). This presages the need to leverage core competencies, systems and best practices. All of this required a recalibration of Barloworld’s vision and strategy, which came out as “To be a recognised global market leader in the provision of integrated solutions in distribution, rental, fleet management, product support and logistics to customers in our chosen business segments”. This required the unbundling or selling off of Barloworld’s manufacturing businesses, and the renewed focus on the core business of distribution in equipment, automotive, handling and logistics. So what is Barloworld’s leadership philosophy? Clive spelt it out succinctly and clearly: • Focus on long term sustainability Servant leadership – the removal of obstacles for the guys chosen to do the job Nurture talent and cultivate succession Develop and empower people Embrace and harness diversity Lead by example Inculcate Barloworld’s culture and value systems Clear communication – refer previous points

Products to Solutions – a reduced emphasis on physical properties, and a shift to a higher order value proposition, i.e. focus on selling solutions Growth – particularly in emerging markets, which includes shivering in Siberia Solutions for the energy crisis – innovation and inspiration Empowerment and transformation – BEE is now a given, so the need to go beyond what is expected Leading change – through the worst financial crisis since 1929 Focus on capital preservation and sustained cash flow – the importance of this pillar cannot be overemphasised

• • • • •

Add to this the need to read the signs in advance and to take action early; to remain alert to acquisition and organic growth opportunities; and to position the company to be strong for the upturn which is coming, the only question is when. There you have it. Life goes on, and it’s good to know that there are companies like Barloworld who are prepared to lead change through turbulent periods.

• • • • • • •

The other critical part of the mix is Barloworld’s 10 pillars of sustainability. ABR looks at some of these, which are all premised on the fact that the customer and all stakeholders are key: • Leveraging brands – from Audi to Subaru to VW in the automotive context

Lynette Finlay and Clive Thompson at the Finlay Events breakfast. Lynette estimates that there are 2 million AIDS orphans in South Africa, and she adds the scary statistic that one in four South Africans are orphaned by the age of 15.






by Adrian Burford

Heady Days for Hyundai

When the first Hyundais arrived in South Africa in the early 1990s thanks to the now long-defunct (and distinctly shady) Wheels of Africa group, we had a good chuckle and it was nice to have something to knock in print again, seeing that the Japanese brands had long-since proved their worth. And some of those early Hyundais were a bit dodgy, though maybe never as bad as was made out and anyway, their low price was adequate compensation. They rapidly became known for offering tremendous bang for the buck (they were ostensibly built in Botswana from 1996, thereby sidestepping South African import duties because the factory was in the same customs community) and even today the first Accent and smoothly-sculptured second-generation Elantra still have an enviable reputation in the marketplace.
nd as the twilight of the first decade of 21st century approaches, Hyundai (and for the sake of accuracy it must be pointed out that the umbrella company includes Kia Motors, which they purchased 51 percent of in 1998 though now own some 38 percent) is now the fourth largest car manufacturer in the world by volume, sneaking past Ford after sales figures for the first half of this year were announced. The Reuters news agency researched the industry and recorded 2,153 million units for the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, just ahead of Ford, with 2,145-million. Of the 10 leading brands in the survey, Hyundai’s decline in sales (two percent) compared to the same period last year was far lower than all its rivals. Ford was down by a third, and Toyota – the largest seller of vehicles – declined by just over a quarter. The global market was down by 15 percent year on year and Hyundai’s figure meant it outsold Renault by a figure of two to one... This strong performance came on the back of sales of over 250 000 units in China, 56 percent up from a year earlier. Africa has also become an important market and sales recently passed the one million mark, of which Hyundai Automotive South Africa has contributed 20 percent. While the first half-million took 29 years,


it took just another four years to double that number. Hyundai Motor Company was founded in December 1967 and soon entered into a contract with Ford to assemble the Cortina and Granada for the South Korean market. Towards the mid-70s the brand set out to make its own cars, using ItalDesign for styling and design and Mitsubishi for most of the mechanicals. The result was the Pony, production of which began in 1975. Through the 1970s and 1980s Hyundai continued to make use of Ford and Mitsubishi technology but by the early 1990s was making its own engine, signaling the start of an era of genuine independence. Wheels of Africa was liquidated at the end of 1999, briefly leaving local Hyundai owners wondering what would happen as far as warranties, servicing, and parts availability were concerned. But by April 2000 Hyundai Automotive South Africa had been formed after Associated Motor Holdings, a division of Imperial Holdings, announced an agreement with Hyundai Motor Company for the importation and distribution of Hyundai vehicles and parts. There was a collective sigh of relief that a large, established group had picked up the pieces, and today there are over 90 Hyundai dealers in Southern Africa.

It is represented in most segments of the market, including recently venturing into the van and light bus sectors with the H-1, a model which has had very positive reviews. Hyundai is keen to highlight its environmental credentials and at the recent Frankfurt Show, it created a special ‘Blue Drive Zone’ on its stand where it showcased a wide array of its new ecofriendly technologies and products. Centre stage went to the world debut of the ix-Metro, a new Hybrid Electric European sub-B segment which promises CO2 emissions of just 80g/km. The other world debut for Hyundai was the i10 Electric, a production-ready zero emissions vehicle which is set to go on sale in Korea in the second half of 2010. Powered by a 49kW motor and a 16kWh battery, the i10 Electric promises a driving range of 160 km and top speed of 130 km/h. While the plug-in version may be a long way from being relevant in South Africa, its internal combustion namesake is establishing a solid reputation for itself, as is the larger i20. They’re playing a vital role in shifting the brand into a new space in the marketplace where high value is its main calling card and where it is taken very seriously indeed. Laughter is only notable for its absence.
October 2009




by Howard Keeg


Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa (Pty) Ltd is on a mission, and this mission is to build the Fiat brand in South Africa, and in the process to position itself as a provider of European styled vehicles and to offer an unequalled value proposition. The launch of the Fiat Linea is an important building block of this strategy. And it was clear at the launch that Fiat, even though it was unsaid, is anxiously hoping that South Africans would be more like the Europeans, and accept that small is big.

he Fiat Linea is not a small car, but in relative terms its engine is small. It sits comfortably in the segment C sedan class, and in the words of Oscar Rivoli, Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa, the essence of the Linea is “bang for buck on the style, space and gadget scale, you don’t get any better than the Linea.” The Indians and indeed the Europeans agree, with the Linea scooping both the 2009 Indian Car of the Year title (Autocar India) and the Autobest 2008 award (representing 15 European countries), successfully fending off contenders like the Hyundai i20, Kia Cee’d, Mazda 2, Skoda Fabia and Toyota Corolla. Styled in Italy, built in India, and sold across many continents, the Linea is a world car by most measures, and if international trends are anything to go by, then it should do well in South Africa. The big question is whether the average South African family will accept a classy sedan, with all the bells and whistles, but with a smallish 1400 engine pushing out 66kW? The engine does the job, but not without judicious use of the gears, and that is why I predict that Fiat will soon cover their bases with additional engine options in the not too distant future. Not that I am personally against smaller engines, and despite the motoring media having passed premature judgement on this matter, it is maybe time for South Africans to be more European. Maybe they are already on this path, and companies like Fiat are accelerating the process? No matter, with


this engine, which incidentally is built entirely by robots, the Fiat Linea has a top speed of 165 km/h, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 16.62 seconds. Consumption is among the best in its class: 10 l/100 km in the urban cycle, 6.6 l/100 km out of town and 7.8 l/100 km in the combined cycle. It is in the category of interior appointments that the Linea really excels, with standard equipment that normally only comes with much more expensive cars. This is the trade off that Fiat is hoping that the consumer will buy into, and in the words once again of Oscar Rivoli, going for “substance and function, aspirational, more for less, i.e. the intelligent choice”, or my translation, the European choice. Of particular interest is Fiat’s unique Blue&Me®* telematics system, which is state of the art and the benchmark in communication, information and entertainment. The launch price of the Fiat Linea 1.4i Emotion is R175 000 (incl. VAT), with 20 000 km service intervals and a three-year 100 000 km Warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as a standard three-year 60 000 km service plan, and AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for 12 months. How well will the Fiat Linea do? Only time will tell, and time is what is needed for the South African motorist to become more European.





by Howard Keeg

The Real Deal

It has been some time since I had a German car for a week long test, and within five minutes of getting into the Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Highline, I started to realise what I had been missing. Superb build quality, a solid feel, precise gear changes, rocket like performance, and top class ergonomics; an all round package that is difficult to fault – in short, the real deal.

A built in satellite navigation system is very convenient, but R28 290 for this convenience is simply outrageous, considering the cost of a regular Garmin. hat definitely helped were the options that this wonderful Golf came with. Electric sunroof, leather seats, a multifunction steering wheel, and an oh so convenient satellite navigation system, with an oh so different fraulein voice compared to my regular GPS. It made the car complete, and I could easily visualise myself walking into the nearest VW showroom and parting with, let’s have a look, WHAT! Oh dear, with all these options, the price sticker is at a wallet searing R320 040. Eina. Even without the options, the standard price is R272 900, a little steep for a 1400 hatch, albeit an engine from heaven. It is amazing what the modern gurus can get out of small engines these days. This perfectly balanced baby delivers 118kW@5800rpm and 240Nm@15004500rpm, with the help of turbos and compressors, making it a thoroughly marvellous mill. But maybe, when it comes to price tags, the problem lies with me. You must realise that my first car, a humble Beetle, purchased in 1972, was well under R2 000, and it was a 1600. Years later, as I
October 2009


slowly progressed up the corporate ladder, in 1981, I took possession of a spanking new Audi 100 5, a 1900cc 5 cylinder large sedan, for R10 000. I stayed with Audis for another ten years, and I recall that my last Audi, a 1991 500SE, set me back R104 000. Inflation was starting to take its toll, so maybe new car prices in 2009 are just a reflection of a steadily weakening rand. To get some perspective, let’s look at house prices. My first house, purchased in 1978, set me back R19 500. The last time I purchased a house, in 1991, it was R275 000. This self same house would now fetch over R2 million, even in these depressed times, so maybe I am the one living in the past. It looks like a decent vehicle, equivalent to the 1991 Audi 500SE, should be roughly one third of a decent three bedroom home. A third of R2 million equals roughly R650 000. Let’s look at the price of the top of the range Audi A4 sedan. R378 500. Aha, so the price of cars is not bad at all. Better than what it was 20 years ago, relatively speaking. The R272 900 for the standard Golf 1.4 TSI Highline is looking better and better, but just don’t expect me to fork out R28 290 for the gps option, even if it has a sexy voice.




Need for Speed shifting into a higher gear
By Richard Macaskill

Need for Speed is an institution in the gaming world. The very first game of the series, The Need for Speed, was released in 1994, and EA’s Need for Speed brand has grown exponentially since then. One of the brand’s most successful instalments came in 2003, with Need for Speed: Underground. Almost too successful, some might say, as Underground was followed by a number of sequels that continued to follow the illegal street-racing theme.
ubsequent Need for Speed titles included Underground 2, Most Wanted, Carbon, ProStreet and Undercover, all games focused on illegal street racing, modifying and tuning ones cars. Most of these games were hugely successful, there is no denying that; but the fact of the matter is that these street-oriented games were growing more and more tiresome with each instalment. However, it seems that EA has finally brought back a ‘real’ racing game, not one in line with the successful street theme, but one that uses real race cars, real race tracks and offers realistic performance. Enter Need for Speed: Shift. Pegged on the idea of offering a real driving experience, Shift is a game that does not limit the player/driver to one city. The games predecessors focused on the player building up an illegal reputation and evading police throughout an intricate and involved story, almost losing track of the real racing experience in the process. However, Shift makes use of tracks from all over the world, including arguably the two most iconic racetracks in the world, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Nurburgring in Germany. Shift rather focuses on a more realistic element: still building up one’s reputation and career, but as a legitimate racing driver. This means being able to race on tracks from all over the world, as well as partaking in legitimate and organised street races in some of the world’s most notable locations, including a race along the Thames River in London. What is more impressive than the Need for Speed franchise’s step away from the illegal scene though, is the fact that, as Shift has proposed, this game offers one of the best driving experiences that one could get from a game today. Diverse options mean that this game is ideally suited for both absolute beginner and consummate veteran. These diverse options mean that, if set correctly, the performance, reactions and experience of being in control of these race cars comes as close to real as could be expected. One of the most notable areas in which you get the true driving experience is in the handling of the vehicles. Although some might say the handling is extremely difficult to deal with, it is certainly much more realistic than Shift’s predecessors, and this applies to every car. Furthermore, the settings can be dialled down until one becomes accustomed to the handling and controls. With an array of cars ranging from old Nissan Skylines to the GT-R and from the Toyota Corolla to the Pagani Zonda, Shift offers the player the opportunity to experience myriad vehicles, and to do so in a game where the differences of front, rear and all-wheel drive make a tangible difference on the racetrack. Accurately-modelled vehicles, accurately-modelled racetracks and city locations and a fresh idea from EA mean that Shift is definitely the game to take the franchise further. While it may have been risky to step away from the street scene, the sheer impressiveness of the game ensures that not only will Shift carry the brand’s mantle successfully until the next instalment, but move it forward as well.
October 2009


Speedster Bryan Habana was trundled out for the occasion

Sean Vollmar, Track Modeller, shows some intrigued kibitzers how to out Schumi Schumi




A series of articles based on interviews with Klaus G. Langer, an independent supply chain consultant and self confessed environmentalist who proudly sees himself as a “Cultural Creative”, which is an influential group of new progressives who are disenchanted with materialism and hedonism, and who are at the forefront of prodding mankind to move from conventional to rational and responsible thinking, and to encourage participation in an ethical expansion, focusing on “balanced rather than negative reciprocity”

Klaus Langer

Eco-Friendly Cities

In the previous Tipping Point article in the July 2009 issue of ABR, we analysed the race for environmentally friendly vehicles, driven by the need to arrest and reverse global warming, dwindling fossil fuel resources, and the realisation by humanity that we simply cannot continue with our wasteful ways. Klaus Langer predicts the demise of the internal combustion engine within 15 years and he anticipates a wave of new engines and new technologies to emerge in a much shorter space of time than we currently anticipate. But it not just the automotive industry that has to get its act together. In this Tipping Point article, we take an intriguing look at eco-friendly cities.
bu Dhabi is at the forefront of change and is building a city that will run entirely on solar power, recycled waste, and other new age power, and it will not allow cars in this city. The premise is that fossil fuels belongs to the previous century, and that the city of the future will be zero-carbon and zero-waste, and that the main power source will be the sun, a natural resource that mankind has been ignoring for centuries, but is available 12 hours a day, free of charge. It is true that the initial costs of Masdar (the name for this city) will be higher than a traditional city, but once built it will comprise 1 500 businesses, 50 000 residents, and 40 000 commuters, and these corporate and private citizens will consume 75% less electricity and 60% less water than older and badly planned cities. Masdar means “source” in Arabic, which in years to come will prove to be entirely prescient, as this city will be the source of inspiration and the pioneering source for the environmentally friendly cities of the future. The city will not be just a showpiece; it will be home to a green-tech research institute, and the city will also serve as a laboratory to test carbonfree products and alternative energy ideas. The one question that is still to be answered is whether smoking will be allowed within the city limits?


Sun Power can be mined in many innovative ways:
• Solar thermal farms concentrate the sun’s heat with mirrors to create power, and this may be the way for Eskom to boost its electricity reserves without burning any more of that dirty sulphur leaden coal (the sun does not play favourites – it gives all of humanity its warmth and potential power!) Photovoltaic plants use silicone cells to turn sunlight directly into electricity, and this is a technology that still has a long way to go, and when it becomes ubiquitous it can provide the world with carbon-free power Solar-powered desalination plants can be used to provide potable water for all the sea facing cities around the world




Howard Keeg follows the action

Coshed in Klerksdorp

artinform is fun. Partinform is a must to attend, and Partinform is a great forum to network in a relaxed informal environment, with munchy food and nourishing drink to wash it down and a chance to win some really useful prizes. Partinform is also serious, and for those in the aftermarket who tend not to look at the aspects of safety, quality, technology and value for money, and their responsibility to their customers, Partinform can be a reality check. Thus, it would not be remiss to say that for those dabbling in low priced poor quality product in the KOSH (Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein, Hartbeesfontein) area, a visit to Partinform would have been the equivalence of running into a firmly held cosh. Klerksdorp is the biggest town in the gold mining area of KOSH, and it is named after the first landdrost in the area, one


Jacob de Clerq. This area serves the needs of a large slice of North West motorists, and thus was deemed important enough for a visit by Partinform, the information arm of AAMA (Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturers Association). Partinform promotes local brands and disseminates the vital message of quality, safety and value for money to all corners of the country through its tried and tested mini-trade show format, by getting face to face with the resellers and end users in the rural areas and emerging markets. The focus is on educating the industry on the different quality levels of the automotive parts that are available in this country, and the ancillary aspect of warranty and technical support, which with the introduction of the Consumer Protection Bill in 2010, assumes a huge role for the future. ABR gives its readers a montage indicating the good vibe at the show:




The name is Murphy, Colin Murphy.

Colin Murphy, Chairman of Partinform, reminded the audience of the importance of the Consumer Protection Bill, and the additional responsibility of parts resellers and fitters to meet the needs of the modern motorist in times of recession, and to keep their vehicles in pristine condition. People are holding on to their cars for longer, and they have demonstrated their commitment to maintaining their cars, and the onus rests on the shoulders of the aftermarket industry to provide superior levels of service to these motorists – and a critical aspect of this service is to provide branded, quality product with the concomitant support in technical back up and warranty support.

A new face at Partinform was that of Jayaprakash (JP) Divakaran, Business Manager South Africa & Southern & East Africa, Adhesive Technologies, Henkel South Africa (Pty) Ltd. JP, a 20 year veteran at Henkel, told ABR that he comes to South Africa after eight years in Dubai handling a similar portfolio for Henkel’s Middle East and North Africa area, encompassing 13 countries. Henkel achieved 400% growth in the Middle East over the past five years, and JP is hoping to make analogous progress in South Africa. The Teroson brand, a market leader for Henkel worldwide, will play a major role in these plans, and JP is holding a can of Teroson brake & clutch cleaner, which has some great properties. More on this in future issues of ABR.
October 2009


Jackie Wiid of KCC Engine Rebuilders was the happy winner of the Forza Racing Ferrari Track Experience, which will take place at the Zwartkops Race Track on Friday 19th November 2009. Four other lucky winners will be drawn at the Port Elizabeth Partinform on the 13th October 2009. These winners will truly deserve this prize, as they will have been part of the readers who responded to ABR’s Competition Corner since the beginning of the year. A big thank you for the impressive response, and well done in advance to the fortunate four, and bad luck to the hundreds who did not have the luck of the draw. Better luck next year.

There were hordes of photographers at the event.






Building a Brand on Positive Energy
Recently, the Pretoria chapter of the YPO* hosted Judge Mervyn King, to allow him to dispense his words of wisdom on corporate governance. It was the astute observations by the learned judge that gave Patrick Latouche, C.E.O of Sparepro, pause to reflect on how Sparepro measures up against other companies, big and small.


orporate governance encompasses many things which would require many tomes of dry prose to fully explore, so for the sake of brevity Patrick Latouche distils its essence into the fact that in today’s enlightened times business is no longer just about making money, or getting the best possible return on investment in the short term. The financial aspect is still vital for the sustainability of a business, but nowadays two additional pillars of probity are seen as equally important. The second pillar is that of a social conscience, which Andrew Carnegie recognised a century ago, but only became mainstream less than fifty years back. The third pillar of environmental awareness and proactive behaviour is extremely broad but has come frighteningly onto the radar in the past two decades, and who knows where this aspect will eventually end up in the big scheme of things. On this premise, Patrick asked himself a single question, “Where does Sparepro fit into this dynamic?”

Using examples quoted by Judge King, Patrick cites two large multinationals who exemplify the modern approach, and examples of their reaction to regional or behavioural problems, and the conversion of these challenges into opportunities, and transforming a negative into a positive. Coca-Cola, a brand builder of note for the past 100 years, had a bottling plant in India that was denuding the immediate environment of its potable and irrigation water,

and this was generating negative publicity over and above the impact on the local population. Rather than close the plant down, which would have been the easy way out, Coca-Cola redesigned the plant to use recycled water, and now is lauded for contributing to the regional economy and continuing to employ the locals whilst not negatively impacting the environment – and good for business. The second example is that of Proctor and Gamble developing a bio-degradable disposable nappy, which shall be shortly on the shelves, and thus allowing young mothers to continue their throw away lifestyle whilst at the same time solving the serious waste problems that were arising from millions upon millions of non-disposable nappies accumulating on dump sites. Sparepro may not be as big as these giants, but it is a microcosm of what business is all about, and its report card is first class. From a financial perspective, 2009 has been a good year by any measurement, be it margins, stock turn, debtors ageing, liquidity position, transparency, you name it. But what really excites Patrick is that in the area of social conscience, Sparepro is ahead of the game, and that the change came from within. Sparepro’s social initiatives revolve around handicapped children, disadvantaged women and the elderly, and these sterling activities have been well documented in previous issues of ABR. On the environmental front, Sparepro has begun to beautify its surroundings, and has many plans in the

pipeline. The Sparepro building is going to get a facelift in the coming year, and unutilised land will be cleared to allow for the planting of fruit and vegetables, with each patch and each tree the responsibility of individuals and departments. This is all designed to wake up the consciousness, and to encourage a commitment to an individual’s environment, be it business, family, friends, community, etc. The bottom line is to support the Sparepro/Toni brand with positive energy. Sparepro wants its customers to buy the Toni brand not because of price only, not because of quality only, but because of the perception of overall value. Value throughout the supply chain, value through relationships, value through a corporate and social commitment. Patrick strongly believes that the customer of tomorrow will buy on perception, not price, and will support a business on the basis of a set of values, and the package that the business and its brands represent. In other words, the customer will support a business with heart and soul. Patrick gets immense satisfaction in the fact that he sees on a daily basis the change in the people in the organisation, and he is driven to up the game, and to take Sparepro even further along the corporate conscience curve. * YPO is the acronym for the Young Presidents’ Organisation, a group of some 20 000 leaders across 100 countries, a fraternity of achievers sharing, growing and giving back. Price Govender, the founder of Sparepro, is a member of this exclusive organisation.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Stanley Anderson Hyundai Continental Benz Velo Jem Marsh and Frank Costin of Cosworth Jody Scheckter Buick Indianapolis Glassport Motors Enzo Ferrari 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

From page 62
Ferry Porsche (son of Ferdinand) Swiss John Surtees Hergen Fekken and Johnny Gemmel Bill France Ken Howe Herbie South Africa (in 1904) Two hours Audi October 2009





The Road Safety Foundation has excitedly and proudly announced that Clare Vale, South Africa’s only female driving in the Wesbank V8 Supercar Series, has accepted the invitation to become a Road Safety Ambassador. In her role as Road Safety Ambassador Clare will be creating awareness about the road safety challenges in South Africa and offer education and advice, which is vital to change the road safety situation in South Africa. One of the main focus areas will be road safety awareness among female road users under the banner of Women in Road Safety, a forum of the RSF. "We need to get the right messages to road users and through our Road Safety Ambassadors we will be able to extend our reach. We look forward to working with Clare and sharing her expertise with SA road users.” said RSF Director, Petro Kruger. “Road safety is an issue of critical importance in South Africa,” said Clare. “I’m totally committed to supporting the RSF and I am looking forward to making a contribution in any way I can.” Contact: Petro Kruger – 083 386 6963 Dirk Vale - 0792174072

Down, but not out
Emperor’s Palace was the location of a breakfast presentation, hosted by Hulamin, from Cees Bruggermans, chief economist at First National Bank, on 22 September. The presentation focused on the recent, and still prevalent, economic crisis. Refreshingly however, Bruggermans did not speak about how bad things have been, how bad they still are and how tough they are going to be to fix. Instead, the true reasons behind the crisis were revealed, as was the path to recovery. A common misconception is that the sub-prime lending plan and Lehman Brothers’ subsequent bankruptcy were the cause of the recession. This was in fact merely a sign of things to come – the recession had already begun. “This was the real moment of truth,” noted Bruggermans. “On Monday Lehman went bankrupt, and on Thursday the treasury was asked for $700 billion.” This led to panic, and as Bruggermans joked, “When we panic, we do it in style.” Everyone expected the entire collapse of the word economy and prepared for the worst, but thanks to Ben Bernanke, governor of the Federal Reserve Bank, the worst did not happen. Actions were taken to restore the lost faith in the world economy. Bank guarantees restored trust, arranged takeovers restored system stability, new capital injection improved solvability and collapsing the interest rates led to improved credit. While we are still reeling from the blow of the crisis, it is, essentially, over. It won’t be plain sailing from here, but we are past the worst. “It is actually very difficult to destroy the international financial system,” stated Bruggermans. Many people try to come up with new methods of making money, and while some will work, some will not. This means that during an economic crisis, particularly one as severe as the world has just experienced, these newer methods will fall away. “The stress-tested, residual innovations from the past thousand years are what you are left with,” he illustrated. So here we are, on the other side, left with a damaged, but still functioning economy. There’s some damaged pride too, but expect more on this next month, because as we all know, Life Goes On.







by Gilbert Hogg

We are the champions, we are the champions, we are the world
I don’t know whether anyone else has picked up on this, but the second that Alastair Cook took the catch on the 23rd August 2009, for England to regain the Ashes, another milestone, of far bigger import, was being recorded in the annals of world sport. At that second, South Africa went to the top of the ICC cricket test championship log, to go with their top spot in the ICC limited over internationals rankings. Add to this the fact that the Springboks are on top of the pecking order in the IRB world rankings for test rugby and they are also the current IRB Sevens World Series champs, and something unique is definitely on the go. I doubt whether this has ever happened before, and maybe it will never happen again that one nation holds all four titles simultaneously. Wow, quite a feat, particularly if you consider the poor bunch of administrators our players have to endure, and the international bias we also have to contend with. I attach a Zapiro cartoon that one of my readers sent to me via the internet, and a story on the Supersport website, which was written by Dan Retief and appeared on 26 August 2009. Both of these get the message across far better than anything I could cook up.

Justice my other foot!
To say that I am pissed off about the IRB’s decision to find the Springboks and SA Rugby guilty of bringing the game into disrepute is only because I can’t come up with a stronger expression. The IRB’s so-called Independent Committee, chaired by Sir John Hansen of New Zealand with Judge Guillermo Tragant of Argentina and former Wallaby captain John Eales, has played it by the book and in the process let down one of rugby’s great figures, John Smit, and the game itself. In the course of a “judgment” running to some 35 pages the trio have left SA Rugby with little room to manoeuvre with dire threats of how the penalties could have been greater and how South Africa’s world champions were at risk of being banned (although a subsequent passage revealed that such a sanction would have been suspended) from the next World Cup tournament. The committee “expressly found that on the merits of the case the actions of SARU, its players and team management brought the game into disrepute, criticised the judicial process and was (therefore) misconduct. “The committee separately noted such misconduct to be serious in nature and commented that ‘there has been no formal apology, acknowledgement, contrition or clarification from either the players or the SARU themselves.’ “The independ-

ent committee made it very clear in its ruling that the playing arena is no place for protest and that the wearing of the armbands showed a serious lack of respect and consideration for their opponents. It was clear that if players choose to wear on their uniforms armbands or other emblems which bring the game into disrepute, then they have breached that Regulation [11]. “The committee criticised SARU because they allowed the game and the IRB to be brought into disrepute by not only failing to attempt to prevent this protest, but by approving of it and effectively consenting to conduct which was prejudicial to the best interests of the IRB and of the game.” The Hansen committee has thus chosen to look at the armband incident in isolation and not delve into the reasons for it occurring. It is a classic case of treating the symptom and not the cause because Messrs Hansen, Tragant and Eales elected, copping out in my opinion, to ignore the reason for the Springboks resorting to their protest. In so doing they failed to heed a heartfelt message from the world’s mostcapped captain and one of the mostcapped and most-decorated squads of players in history. The Springboks are not some two-bit little outfit from the backwoods. They are the current world champions and are No 1 on the IRB’s ranking list. For them (and the union they repre-

sent) to decide to show dissent in a way they probably knew would lead to tumult in the oval world’s corridors of power in Dublin surely deserved greater consideration. The amount of capital letters the IRB affords itself and its functionaries in all its communiqués is revealing of the kind of stuck-up organisation it is and it is guilty of shooting the messenger, in this case SA Rugby and the Springboks, rather than paying heed to a Problem that is Seriously bringing The Game into Disrepute. The IRB’s disciplinary process is a mess that delivers inconsistent and flawed outcomes almost on a weekly basis. Not only is the judicial system out of step with the ethos of the game it purports to protect and represent but it does not enjoy the support and confidence of the players and the public at large. The Springboks deciding to make a stand on Bakkies Botha being suspended for an action that takes place numerous times in almost any senior game played around the world was not some knee-jerk by the squad but the result of frustration at inequities visited on them over many seasons. To even link John Smit’s name to the phrase “bringing the game into disrepute” is an insult that cannot be allowed to stand. The Springbok captain has suffered severely and unfairly at the hands of officialdom – Paul Honiss telling him to have a chat to his players at
October 2009


Lansdowne Road and allowing Ronan O’Gara to score a try while the Boks’ backs were turned; being unjustly severely punished with a six-week ban when, while in possession of the ball, his hand-off made contact with French captain Jerome Thion’s throat at the Stade de France; Brad Thorn up-ending him in a spear tackle in which he was injured at Eden Park and then receiving a suspension of only one week and the punishment meted out to Bakkies Botha for a rugby action while Andrew Sheridan escaped any censure whatsoever for aiming punches at Andries Bekker’s testicles. There have been many other incidents in the course of Smit’s long career in which the scales of justice have been weighted against his team or one or another of his teammates. Given wiser council the Springboks might have decided not to wear the armbands but the steps taken and the language used by the IRB is a raging disgrace. How disappointing that the much respected John Eales, who in my estimation was the kind of captain John Smit is, has lent his name to such calumny. The great pity is that Louis Luyt is not still the president of SARU because boy would they have had a fight on their hands!


What’s the Buzz?

Inaccurate tyre gauges could be costing you money and risking your safety. This is the message from Romano Daniels, Bridgestone South Africa’s General Manager of Group Communications and Marketing. “Inflating your tyres to the correct pressures ensures you get the best lifespan and safety out of your tyres,” said Daniels. “If your tyres are over-inflated, they wear faster in the middle, shortening tyre life and also reducing traction. Underinflated tyres wear excessively on the shoulders, and also build up excess heat which could cause a blowout,” he added. He said that many tyre gauges at filling stations were old or not properly calibrated, leading motorists to set their tyre pressures incorrectly. He recommended that motorists buy their own tyre gauges to ensure their safety and maximise tyre life. “A good portable tyre pressure gauge can be purchased for under R200, a small investment compared to the cost of a set of tyres,” explained Daniels. “A really top-class gauge such as those used by motor-racing teams will cost more, possibly over R500, but will last for many years. There is no doubt that the increased tyre life and safety you will enjoy will more than repay the purchase price,” he said. He recommended that motorists keep the tyre gauge in the car and check their tyre pressures weekly. He said that tyre pressures should always be checked when cold. “The best way is to slightly over-inflate your tyres at your closest garage on the way home in the evening,” he said. “Then check the pressures the next morning when the tyres are cold, and deflate them to the correct pressures using an accurate tyre gauge.” Daniels said that this would give spot-on tyre pressures, especially important with the upcoming rainy season. “The tread on tyres disperses water in wet weather. Correct tyre pressures play a major part in ensuring the tread pattern makes correct contact with the road surface as the tyre manufacturer intended, improving your safety,” he concluded.

From p 21

In what may be Ogilvy Cape Town’s most prestigious international celebrity TV shoot, the local agency has used Cristiano Ronaldo to create a Castrol EDGE commercial to be flighted across the world from September this year. The commercial, created for BP Lubricants UK Ltd, emphasises both Ronaldo and the oil’s ability to perform under extreme conditions. This ad follows in the footsteps of Ogilvy Cape Town’s recent Sun International ad with Charlize Theron. In the commercial Ronaldo demonstrates his ability to play football in extreme hot and cold weather conditions and then matches this to the oil’s capacity to do the same. “While the glamour of shooting overseas with Cristiano Ronaldo is undeniably seductive, more exciting is the fact that we’re developing global work for a global brand from Ogilvy Cape Town,” says Gavin Levinsohn, Ogilvy Cape Town Managing Director. FIFA’s 2008 World Footballer of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo, is a brand ambassador for Castrol and a natural fit for a youthful oil brand such as Castrol EDGE. Like the oil, Ronaldo is able to perform under harsh and varied conditions.






Despite the efforts of part-time stewards at the Grands Prix trying to mess up the races, the Formula 1 season with four or five races to go, depending on when you are reading this, looks like it is heading for another grand stand finish as we had in 2008 in Brazil.
e have had late charges from Mark Webber, despite a drive through penalty, winning his first Grand Prix in Germany, Lewis Hamilton, the reigning champion taking Hungary, veteran Rubens Barricello getting his first Grand Prix win in five years on that awful Valencia Circuit in Spain. Then Kimi Raikkonen got Ferrari’s first win this year at Spa in Belgium despite great pressure. Never mind those four, what about Fisichella racing his Force India car using Mercedes Benz power being fastest in Belgium in the Ardennes Forest and finishing on the tail of Kimi. You just can’t predict who is going to win these days. Bookies must be losing a fortune. Massa getting hit by a spring off fellow Brazilian Barricello’s Brawn brought in Luca Badoer, a faithful Ferrari employee and test driver, who hasn’t driven a Grand Prix car for eleven months, thanks to the FIA testing rules. He is a great tester but a rusty GP driver. They could also have had a choice of proven drivers like Nelson Piquet Jnr fired by Renault whilst playing a junior role as teammate to Alonso, Sebastian Bordais (four-time American champion) and a few others who could all shape in a team like Ferrari. Some people even say that the Michael Schumacher come-back was engineered by F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, to up flagging ticket sales on the featureless Spanish harbour circuit. Could it be fans thought that Fisichella going to drive in place of Badoer in the Ferrari at Monza was another such plot? He was in fact staying put after giving Force India a great win and the best result they have had in their short history in GP racing. In the end, true to rumour, he went to Ferrari and is staying until the final race in Brazil. Maybe Force India still owes for the Ferrari V8’s they used in 2008. Who knows. Liuzzi jumped into the Force India seat. There was even talk of Alonso getting into the red fire-engine as he was rumoured to be into the Ferrari line up for next year. Anyway, despite this merry go round, the Formula 1 season has had more highs than lows. Brawn GP led the way with six out of seven wins to start the year. Vettel and Webber also surprised and the Red Bull Team became a real threat using Renault engines. Then there was a late come-back of McLaren and Ferrari. Hopefully Brawn GP is working on getting heat into their tyres on wet and dry roads so as to continue where Button and Barrichello left off so they can pull off both titles – Drivers and Manufacturers. Only the Manufacturers really care about the second one. I love the bit about the FIM investigating Alonso winning the Singapore GP after he gained a good few positions when he pitted
by Roger McCleery


for fuel first and came out at the back of the field. His team-mate, Nelson Piquet Jnr then crashed into the wall which brought out the safety car. All the others dived for the pits as Alonso went to the front of the pack and took his first Grand Prix in a few years. Who actually cares about the 2008 Championship? It is done and dusted. Once again all this officialdom seems to rear its head to try and reduce the entertainment and excitement value that Formula 1 GP Racing should have. Also Renault could get the hell-in as all Manufacturers constantly threaten in motor sport and withdraw. Next year engines must last longer. There is no stopping for fuel. I just hope this is not going to be another economy run as we saw in the Prost days with drivers slowing and dropping places in an effort to finish or actually running out of fuel altogether. Carrying 200 litres of gas in a lightweight motor car is no joke for the drivers. With two more teams joining the pack the one hour final practice on Saturday will change. The slowest eight drivers will each drop out of the first and second session leaving ten drivers to fight out the final ten minute session for pole. That really should make our Saturday afternoons watching practice the most exciting viewing of the weekend. The minimum weight of the cars is going up by 15 kilos to 620 kgs to incorporate the fitting of the KERS system which gives another 80 hp for a few seconds. Funnily enough the teams said they are not going to fit this systems anyway. The points awarded for 1st to 8th stay the same. Let’s hope this all works out to provide us with as good racing as we actually see here in South Africa in our local motor racing. Racing-wise ours is better. Promotion-wise, Formula 1 has got it wrapped up around the world. Rumour has it that Toyota, a team that has been run by their Board Room from the start, will join Honda and BMW and depart the scene. Not a bad idea maybe if you look at their results. Forecast is that Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Renault and maybe Toyota will supply the 2.4 litre V8 engines in future.







by Baron Claude Borlz

A selection of light hearted humour sourced from my readers and other publications that also try to lighten up our days …
This one was in the Did You Hear page of the Financial Mail of 4 September 2009, and is worth repeating:

Klein Piet comes down to breakfast, and since they live on the farm, his mother asks if he has done his chores, because he will only get his breakfast after they are done. A little ticked off; he goes to feed the chickens, cows and pigs, giving them all a kick in frustration. He gets back to find that breakfast consists of a bowl of dry cereal. “How come I don’t get any eggs and bacon? And why no milk in my cereal?” he asks. His mother explains that she saw him kicking a chicken, a cow and a pig. “As punishment, no eggs for a week, no milk for a week, and no bacon for a week” she explains. Just then, his father comes down for breakfast and kicks the pussycat as he walks into the kitchen. Piet looks at his mother with a smirk, and says, “Are you going to tell him, or should I?”

A husband walks into Victoria's Secret to purchase some see-through lingerie for his wife. He is shown several possibilities that range from R250 to R1500 in price, the more see-through, the higher the price. He opts for the sheerest item, pays the R1500 and takes the lingerie home. He presents it to his wife and asks her to go upstairs, put it on and model it for him. Upstairs, the wife thinks, "I have an idea. It's so see-through that it might as well be nothing. I'll not put it on, do the modelling naked and return it tomorrow and get a R1500 refund for myself. So she appears naked at the top of the stairs and strikes a pose. The husband says, "Good Grief! You'd think for R1500, they'd at least iron it!" His funeral is this Thursday.

An Epiphany
A man met a beautiful blonde lady and decided he wanted to marry her right away. She said, "But we don't know anything about each other." He said, "That's all right, we'll learn about each other as we go along." So she consented, they were married, and off they went on a honeymoon at a very nice resort. One morning they were lying by the pool when he got up off of his towel, climbed up to the 10 metre board and did two and a half tuck, followed by three rotations in the pike position, at which point he straightened out and cut the water like a knife. After a few more demonstrations, he came back and lay down on the towel... She said, "That was incredible!" He said, "I used to be an Olympic diving champion. You see, I told you we'd learn more about each other as we went along." So she got up, jumped in the pool, and started doing laps. After seventy-five laps she climbed out of the pool, lay down on her towel, and was hardly out of breath. He said, "That was incredible! Were you an Olympic endurance swimmer?" "No," she said, "I was a prostitute in Vereeniging, but I worked both sides of the Vaal Dam."

Spring has Sprung SPRINGBOK Citings update:
Following Jaque Fourie's four-week ban for knocking over little Ma'a Nonu on Saturday, the Sanzar citing committee has confirmed several further citings: Fourie du Preez has been banned for six weeks for 'looking at Dan Carter in an aggressive manner thatmight have hurt Carter's feelings', while Schalk Burger has received eight weeks for 'deliberately entering successive rucks with an untucked shirt, and a general sartorial approach detrimental to the spirit of the game'. Meanwhile, video evidence showing Richie McCaw pulling a knife on Heinrich Brussow to secure the ball in an early maul has been dismissed by Sanzar, with McCaw applauded for 'creative approach to the contest'.......Sanzar biased against the Boks? Never. October 2009