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Trend Lines Tell a Tale Slime Trumps Grime Consumer Protection
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Can You Drink Diesel? A Finger in the Wind For Rapid Techheads
Things are Looking Up
If you peruse this month’s issue of ABR, you will find a golden thread running through it. A golden thread of muted positivity. Things are looking up, not in a big bang sense, but rather a cautious peep over the parapets, and the sense of a new dawn. A new dawn that promises good things as long as we keep our heads down and stay true to the precepts of hard work and the acceptance of smaller returns than what was reaped during the whirlwind years from 2004 to 2007.
ur cover feature reflects the confidence that the big groups have in the automotive aftermarket. The Imperial Group is known for its business acumen, but also renowned for its caution and its belief in organic growth rather than big bets. Their investment in Midas, over and above their previous investment in the automotive aftermarket a few years ago, shows that they see this somewhat unglamorous side of the automotive industry as having something going for it, and something to cultivate and grow. The big advantage of this segment is that it is more predictable and stable when compared to its new vehicle butch brother. The aftermarket does not behave like the new vehicle market, so you won’t see the fireworks of the 2005/2006 era, but you also won’t see the crash and burn scenario of 2008/2009. And don’t be surprised to see other peeps over the parapet from other investors with cash in their pockets, because everyone is now looking for less adrenaline inducing experiences. The distribution landscape for the aftermarket is now in a state of flux, and who knows what is going to happen. The forces at play make for fascinating spectating, but only time will tell which way the jigsaw puzzle pans out. The articles from our other regular contributors also reflect the theme of cautious optimism, with Tony Twine and Frank Beeton weighing in with some insightful and heavyweight points of view, Theo Calitz pointing the way forward for customer interaction, and Giel Steyn outlining the need to always put quality first. Marcus Haw reminds us of the safety issues and in addition, ABR’s first issue of the year would not be complete without reference to Brand Pretorius’ state of the industry address, and Brand’s years of experience adds further credence to the golden thread despite his
tongue in cheek allusion to current forecasting being like sticking your moistened finger in the wind. All the other articles continue with the theme of looking forward, and not looking back, except for some hindsight guidance. Malcolm Perrie sums it up with his analytical approach to the trends in the newly introduced PerrieScope, and his perceptive comment that “maybe there is more reason to be optimistic about 2010 than simply the Soccer World Cup!” Prescient words and the voice of someone who has always been a trendy sort of fellow. This is what it is all about – trends. We are now in a mild upward trend phase, for which we should be grateful. The past 18 months has been a true wake-up call, and we must learn from this, and accept that unsustainable growth is more dangerous than no growth. Let us set our sights on realistic growth and live within our means. History teaches us that we all have short memories, but it is now time for us to emulate the elephants and never to forget the lessons we have learnt. We simply cannot repeat this experience.
Our wish is for 2010 to be a mildly stimulating year for all our readers.
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The Phoenix What’s the Buzz Cover Feature Tony’s Take Frankly Speaking The Perrie-Scope Burford on Brands Industry Update Intelli-Driving The Tipping Point Show Time Auto Topical Frankly Speaking The Chery Story Diamond Dialogues Top Class Topics Tyre Safety The Bengsch Mark
Things are Looking Up
Powered by Midas How Big are the Really Big Boys? VW and Suzuki – an Interesting Combination Trend Lines Tell a Tale Rolls-Royce Knows no Equal Citroën Here to Stay Looking Back is Good Slime Trumps Grime Stage set for bumper Tyrexpo New Decade? New Market Cycle? A Call for Action Chery Conquers Dakar Consumer Protection Reflections from the Front Line A Message from Bridgestone This Film Stops Criminals
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Building on a century of achievement
The RMI (Retail Motor Industry Organisation) celebrated its centenary in 2008, and the original intention was to bring out a high quality publication to commemorate this auspicious occasion, but circumstances and insufficient time led to the RMI opting for a series of centenary dinners instead, sponsored by WesBank and Robert Bosch, which served as a celebration of the centenary with many friends, colleagues and partners, in an appropriately collegial manner. However, the RMI, upon reflection, deemed a more lasting memento as being appropriate, and when Trilogy Publishing approached the RMI early in 2009 with a view to compiling a “RMI 101” publication, the RMI sanctioned the endeavour; as such a compilation would serve many purposes in the celebration of 101 years of service to the industry. The resulting coffee table edition, which was presented to the sponsors at a function at the Indaba Club, Illovo, Johannesburg, on 2nd December 2009, has achieved this purpose, whereby the RMI together with the 54 participating companies, celebrate a century of achievement, whilst also informing the automotive community of the role they play today. In addition, this sure to be a collectors’ item in the years to come, serves as a forum for an historical overview of the South African automotive industry over the past 101 years.
Jeff Osborne, CEO of the RMI, receives the first copy of the RMI 101 from Graham Erasmus of Trilogy Publishing Jeff Osborne, CEO of the RMI, comments that the RMI has achieved much in its one hundred and one years’ existence, through the good times and the bad times, and that it has delivered on its vision of service, quality, and professionalism. He continues, “Our mission today and in the future is to extend and elevate these aspirations to the highest levels amongst our members, and to broaden this dynamic reach to all corners of South Africa and to all segments of our society, from the multinational manufacturers, importers, distributors and dealers, government and big business, right down to the customers and consumers who have sustained our industry for a century, and will continue to sustain these valuable service providers for many years to come”.
8 000 copies of the RMI 101 edition have been printed, the bulk of which are to be distributed to the RMI members. The majority of these members did not have the opportunity to participate in the RMI Centenary Dinners in 2008, purely for logistical reasons, so the RMI Board has decided to make up for this by giving these members the RMI 101 book as a souvenir of the organisation’s history. The balance of the books shall be distributed to the sponsors, NAACAM, NAAMSA, the dti, consulate offices, foreign trade offices, and other industry bodies. Jeff Osborne concluded by saying that the immediate challenge for the RMI is to make the organisation as inclusive as possible, which will not only strengthen the organisation, but give it a broader base on which to grow in the future, but to do this with circumspection and thoughtfulness; “We have a responsibility to transform the industry into a more representative demographic without throwing the baby out with the bath water. Part of this process is to build up from the grass roots level, as we develop the entrepreneurs of the future. Let us roll up our sleeves and prepare our industry for the next 101 years, side by side!”
CHEVROLET ANNOUNCES SPONSORSHIP OF THE CHEVROLET DIAMOND EAGLES CRICKET TEAM Brian Olson (left) General Manager: Marketing for General Motors South Africa with Johan van Heerden, CEO of the Eagles Cricket Franchise and 2010 Car of the Year Finalist, the Chevrolet Cruze, celebrate Chevrolet’s sponsorship of the Diamond Eagles Cricket Team.
AVTS gets international thumbs up in quality audit
Roadworthy testing company AVTS has obtained ISO 9001:2008 Certification for the seventh year running – AVTS remains the only group of test stations with this international quality standard in South Africa. According to Ferose Oaten, Managing Director of AVTS, the ISO certification is an important six-monthly assessment to ensure that the highest standards are maintained – SABS/ISO is the most rigorous audit of quality management globally. “Our industry is one which has an important role in reducing the number of road fatalities each year in South Africa – we are in the business of saving lives thus we take great pains to ensure our standards are exceptional,” said Oaten. She added that it was tempting for companies to compromise on quality and safety during a recession, and not continue to maintain their ISO Certification, but while the motor industry has experienced a tough year, AVTS was committed to maintaining the highest safety standards. However, the ISO 9001:2008 Certification is not only about safety standards. Sales Manager at the SABS, Mario Carelse says that having the certification sets your company apart in many different areas of business. “When you as a customer pay for a product or service that has this certification, you can be assured that you are getting your money’s worth. It also means that the company with which you are doing business is third party tested and with that comes added peace of mind for the customer. For instance, if you are not entirely satisfied with a product or service you have purchased or if you have any kind of complaint, not only can this be directed to the company, but through the SABS as well. The SABS will go to any lengths to make sure you get what you paid for”.
ENTREPRENEURS HAVE A CHERY TIME
Local entrepreneurs are fleeting up in advance of the Soccer World Cup… and they aren’t only buying buses, coaches and people movers. According to Darryl Jacobson, managing director of Burchmore’s, enterprising local businessmen are also snapping up well-priced sedans. Jacobson says that he is noticing substantial demand for cars such as the Chery J5 – and the clincher in the deal is the sedan’s highly attractive price-tag. “We are selling demo model J5s for a mere R75 000, which equates to about 50% of the retail price of a new model… and they are being purchased faster than mince pies at Christmas,” he reports. The buyers anticipate offering a transport service to World Cup visitors. “They plan to use sedans such as the J5 to transport fans within the host cities and also around the country. Its common knowledge that airfares are going to skyrocket – we have seen reports of economy class tickets costing as much as R8 000 (for a return flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town). These local entrepreneurs are offering a meaningful alternative to thrifty soccer fans, who can enjoy a comfortable and affordable drive instead. Naturally, they can enjoy the sights and sounds of the country en route to their destination too,” Jacobson points out. It also doesn’t necessarily make sense to fly to one of the host cities and then hire a car, because car hire rates may be exceptionally high during this sporting spectacle. “It will be far cheaper to hire a personal driver, and your very own car. The entrepreneurs have done their sums. If they buy wisely, they can easily make a small fortune during the World Cup. Furthermore, if they buy a used car at the right price, they will hardly lose any money if they dispose of the vehicle immediately after the event,” Jacobson notes. Of course, the World Cup is still a long way off – so why are they fleeting up now? Jacobson says that these entrepreneurs realise that the prices are lower right now. “I can state with absolute certainty that, the closer we get to World Cup kick-off, the more prices will rise. Furthermore, we will see stock shortages,” he predicts. In conclusion, Jacobson says that it is a misnomer to believe that the World Cup is only a shot in the arm for manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers of buses, coaches and people movers. “The car market is already being impacted positively… and not only in terms of rental car purchases,” he concludes.
What’s PREMIUM LOTUS 7 REPLICA TO BE MORE READILY AVAILABLE IN SA
The premium quality, South African designed and built Millennium 7 sports car is to be made available to more enthusiasts in the future. This will follow a decision by the main driver of the project, Chris Carstens, to put it on more of a business footing than has been the situation up to now, where production has been very limited and all the cars have vastly different specifications. The Millennium 7 is yet another take on the original Lotus 7, designed and built by the legendary Colin Chapman in England in 1957. This relatively simple, but highly effective design is probably the most copied car of all time. Records show that more than 90 companies around the world have built variations on the Lotus 7 theme. Several companies and individuals in South Africa have been involved in these projects over the years, with varying degrees of success; a high point is the fact that many locally-made Lotus 7 replicas have found their way to foreign countries as exports. This Millennium 7 project is the result of a number of people in the SA air- Roger Houghton at the wheel of the Lotus 7 Millenium craft industry living their dream by producing a purpose-built two-seater sports car on a Brentwood Park smallholding, north of Kempton Park. Aeronautical engineer Chris Carstens and his long-time friend, Kobus van der Walt, of SAA Technical, both of Kempton Park, are the driving forces behind this project, which has been under development for the past six years. Chris, who heads up Safair Technical, has been involved in building aircraft, sports cars and even a trike over the years and the Millennium 7 was the result of a request by Kobus to design and build him a special sports car and they hit on the idea of building a Lotus 7 replica for the 21st century. Chris and Kobus then attracted seven like-minded people from the aeronautical world to join their team, which is housed in a novel, metal aircraft hanger “tunnel” factory on the smallholding. Interest in the car is so high that Chris is already planning to erect a second, conventional factory alongside it to handle increased production.
One of the powerplants for the Lotus 7
Jeff Osborne, CEO of the RMI, prefers something more sedate
Pula Dippenaar and Philip Otto from South African Show Services were there to discuss the 2010 Frankfurt Automechanika Show and the 2011 Automechanika Africa
Gullwing wins the "iF product design award 2010"
The new SLS AMG has received an internationally renowned design award, the "iF product design award 2010". The iF product design award was first presented in 1953, and ranks among the most important design awards of all. The 24-member jury chose 778 entries from around 2500 candidates in 16 categories; the SLS was up against numerous well-known competitors in the "Transportation Design" category. "This sought-after award for the new SLS AMG is a great honour for us. It also reflects the extremely positive feedback on the design of the SLS that we have been receiving since the September world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main," says Prof. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. All winners of the iF product design award are entitled to use the sought-after iF label for the entire lifecycle of the product receiving the award. The award ceremony is traditionally held on the first day of the CeBIT fair in Hanover: on 2 March 2010 the winners of the iF gold awards for outstanding design performance will also be announced. From then on, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG will also be on display until August 2010 as part of a design exhibition which the organisers expect around 250,000 visitors from all over the world to attend. All the award winners can also be viewed in detail at www.ifdesign.de. This website is one of the most popular design platforms on the internet.
Toyota, Volkswagen to end distributor contract in Japan
Volkswagen Group Japan KK (later VGJ, headquartered in Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture, President: Gerasimos Dorizas) and Toyota Motor Corporation (later TMC, headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, President: Akio Toyoda) have reached an agreement to terminate their contract for distributing Volkswagen cars in Japan at the end of 2010. The existing Volkswagen dealers under Toyota distributorship (called DUO) will move to a new direct dealer contract with VGJ. The decision was initiated by the proposal of Volkswagen AG (VW AG), which has been reviewing its global sales structures since the economic crisis in the autumn of 2008. As part of its strategy to rationalize sales structures, Volkswagen requested to move to direct contracts with all dealers in Japan without a distributor, which has been agreed by TMC. With an aim to further enhance sales and services in Japan, the shift to the new structure (contract) will be done without inconveniencing existing Volkswagen customers. VGJ currently has 250 dealerships in Japan, making it the largest importer network. In July 1991, VGJ, VW AG and TMC signed a distributor agreement on Volkswagen cars in Japan. TMC started DUO operations in 1992, and such operations have grown to date to 134 dealerships run by 88 companies. In 2008, out of 45,522 Volkswagen cars sold in Japan, DUO dealers sold 21,774 units, thus contributing to making Volkswagen the No. 1 import brand for nine consecutive years.
by Tony Twine
How Big are the Really Big Boys?
ne of the most fascinating and most easily digestible annual publications that provide a snapshot of the World’s economy and business environment is the Pocket World in Figures, published by the Economist group in London. The 2010 edition contains a list of the World’s largest non-banking listed corporations, measured by their market capitalisation rates, which data is compacted on the left hand side of the above table. By way of comparison, the 24 largest market capitalisation corpo-
rations on the JSE securities exchange for the corresponding period are shown on the right of the table. The South African data was obtained from the Bloomberg Financial Information Service and converted to Dollar values using an exchange rate of R7.661 per US Dollar. The largest market capitalisation on the JSE SE is that of BHP Billiton, which occupied 13th position in the Global rankings of June 2009. The second biggest company accessible via the Johannesburg Exchange is Anglo American PLC, which also has it
primary listing outside of the RSA. But, Anglo American PLC had a market capitalisation value of only one third of the 24th biggest company on World exchanges, Switzerland’s Roche. In 4th place in the South African league is MTN, the largest company on the JSE SE to have its primary listing here in the RSA, but it should be remembered that MTN has operations in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle-East, as well as an administrative centre in Dubai.
The country splits of the Global data are summarised in the first of the three accompanying pie charts. The overwhelming leader in terms of primary listing market capitalisation levels amongst these top 24 non-banking corporations is clearly the United States, which comes as no real surprise. Its dominance of the market value of these super-sized companies certainly gives an indication of why world financial and capital markets have the habit of following the behaviour of corresponding markets in the USA like particularly obliging sheep! For the sake of compacting the graphic information, the double primary listed companies of BHP Billiton and Royal Dutch Shell have been allocated to the United Kingdom, although the importance of their Australian and Dutch listings should not be ignored. A similar level of dominance displayed by the primary listings within the USA of these 24 international giants (47.7%) is reflected in the values of the oil, gas and related companies, summarised here under the grouping of petroleum. Not totally surprising is the fact that information communications technology giants occupy the second highest sector share of the market capitalisation of the global companies. The sole motor industry representative in the global list is Toyota Motor Corporation, which is also the only player in the league with a primary listing in Japan. This was not purely a feature of the recessionary pressure on the glob-
al motor industry during 2009 as Toyota was already the only motor sector representative in this league as long ago as January 2007, when its market capitalisation enjoyed a 3.3% share of the global giant market capitalisation, which declined fractionally to 3.2% by mid-2009. The segmentation according to predominant economic activities of the rather more medium sized South African giants is very clearly completely different to that of the global league. After the mining sector’s 63.1% dominance of the local non-banking market, manufacturing comes in at a very distantly placed second position (10.2%). This could conceptually rise to 15.7% if the sole representative of the petroleum sector in the SA listing, SASOL, is considered to be a manufacturing company. By June 2009, the worst of the recent bear market for equities was over, both for South Africa and the World as a whole. At that stage, three global giants present in the January 2007 listing for non-banking companies, namely China Life, Pfizer and Cisco Systems had left the league. IBM, Apple and Roche have risen in prominence on the World equity market ladder. World economic recovery during 2010 will probably again produce a handful of winners and losers in these rankings of truly enormous companies.
by Frank Beeton
Volkswagen and Suzuki – Now There’s an Interesting Combination!
The announcement, on December 9th, 2009, that Volkswagen AG and Suzuki Motor Corporation had signed a framework agreement establishing a long-term strategic partnership between the two companies based on cross-shareholding, was not completely unexpected. This had followed a number of occasions, earlier in the year, when very senior Volkswagen executives had spoken in glowing terms of the Japanese manufacturer’s capabilities. Now, in the corporate world, such unsolicited compliments to competitors are not a regular occurrence, and the global media soon smelt a big fat rat lurking somewhere in the woodwork. Predictions of a developing relationship between the two manufacturers were not long in coming, and have subsequently proved to be well-founded.
he initial components of this relationship will include the purchase, by Volkswagen, of a 19,9% shareholding in Suzuki, who will, in turn, utilise around 50% of the $US 2,53 billion proceeds to make an investment in Volkswagen. It has been emphasised in statements by both companies that the strategic relationship will concentrate on areas such as the development of environmentally friendly compact vehicles and the exploitation of emerging markets, and that both companies would continue to function independently in those activities most visible to the outside world. Early co-operation is expected to centre on areas such as Suzuki’s proven expertise in very small vehicles (the company is the leading Japanese manufacturer of sub660 cc minicars), and its dominant position in the Indian market with Maruti Suzuki, while Volkswagen will bring its diesel expertise and world-leading product development resources to the table. These will be used to assist Suzuki with hybrid and electric vehicle development, two areas where it is currently seen as lagging behind its rivals. An early project could be a jointly-developed replacement for the best-selling Alto model in India. While this all seems very neat and tidy, there is still cause for speculation over Volkswagen’s ultimate aims for this relationship. Much of the early debate surrounding a possible tie-up with Suzuki was focused on the prospects for combining the two manufacturers’ global sales (Volkswagen sold 6,3 million vehicles in 2008, while Suzuki’s equivalent volume was 2,3 million units), and their potential for challenging Toyota as the World’s Number One manufacturer – in recent times, the global leader has usually been obliged to sell something more than nine million units to top the rankings in any particular year. Volkswagen’s ambitions in this direction have been well-documented, and the prospects of pulling Suzuki’s global volume into the Group total seemed to offer a tantalising short-cut on the road to world domination originally planned to happen around 2018. However, the nature of the relationship, as it initially emerged, does not provide for a corporate merger enabling the consolidation of sales outputs, and, at this point, Volkswagen is still talking about global leadership as an 8- to 10-year target. Despite claims by Suzuki that it does not envisage becoming a “VW-owned brand”, any future consolida-
tion of the two companies’ assets certainly has awesome potential, bringing together a group that will boast nearly 100 global production sites and more than 420 000 employees, and offering products ranging from motorcycles, through all categories of light passenger and commercial vehicles to the heaviest trucks and buses. VW’s stated target is to eventually own 12 vehicle brands, and it is due to hit double figures when it completes the muchheralded Porsche takeover in 2011. Combined VW/Suzuki global market strength across Japan, Southeast Asia, India, Europe, South America and China still has room to expand, most notably by establishing the much more meaningful North American presence for which VW is currently preparing through production and product actions. The resulting real potential for global industry leadership is surely one of the most important reasons behind the very positive media and stock market reactions to the announcement of this liaison. The successful rolling out of the relationship between Renault and Nissan has presumably put to rest the long-held theory that Japanese companies, once foreign-controlled, become culturally paralysed, and lose their innovative edge. It now seems highly likely that a similar arrangement will develop between PSA Peugeot Citröen and Mitsubishi, and the Volkswagen/Suzuki alliance will become the third example of a European/Japanese tie-up. Despite the considerable size of Volkswagen, and Suzuki’s substantial global footprint, these two companies have relatively small areas of product and geographic overlap, leaving considerable room to grow the sum of the two parts over a relatively small timescale without, in any way, compromising the total size of the marketing “cake”. Many observers would not be unduly surprised if Volkswagen eventually makes some kind of move to take full control of Suzuki, given its global leadership ambitions, but it may well take some kind of financial catastrophe to put Suzuki into a sufficiently vulnerable position. It seems that VW’s “softly, softly” approach with truck manufacturer MAN, which has led from an initial 30% shareholding to anticipated full ownership by around mid2010, is an example of the sort of patient progression that may unfold in the Suzuki case. Time, alone, will tell!
Trend Lines Tell a Tale
by Malcolm Perrie
Over the year end holiday period I could not help myself from reflecting on the decade 2000 to 2010 and the changes that we had experienced within the industry. A pedestrian start with new vehicle sales until 2003, followed by sales doubling over the next three to peak in 2006 and then the crash in the final three until 2009 bringing new vehicle sales back to virtually where they were in the early 2000’s. A spectacular Bell curve in anyone’s view!
2006) and its reversal in 2007 to 2009. • Younger vehicles consume fewer parts (I would hope) and delays their entrance into the true aftermarket as the OES market is their first port of call in the first 1 to 3 years. Similarly, therefore, older vehicles consume more parts – provided that they still travel the same distance as new cars. By aggregating the data one can derive the changing year-on-year growth or decline in the parts demand. A simple tool but by monitoring these key trends and using what if scenarios for the future, we can derive some useful planning tools. In the example illustrated and indexing fuel usage, new vehicle sales and the average age of vehicles at 2000 levels the mathematical model shows a growing parts market between 2000 and 2004 followed by a fairly lacklustre, sideways market of no growth between 2005 and 2009 and a predicted growth cycle starting in 2010. Maybe there is more reason to be optimistic about 2010 than simply the Soccer World Cup! Note: The Scale for Growth of Parts Demand is on a different axis (right) to the other three curves
So what does that do for the aftermarket, and what can we learn from some key trends? Some key points to ponder: • Rising new vehicle sales did not just bring unit growth. It brought greater variety and increased consumer choice. Increased variety and consumer choice translates into fewer (not more) sales per model and an associated increase in inventory (greater variety of part no’s) to service this rapidly changing market. In the early sales growth phase, new vehicles simply replace tied old ones with little impact on the overall national fleet. Sustainable new vehicle sales (greater than three years, in my opinion) grows the national fleet on a sustainable basis. Thus what we have experienced is the reduction in the average age of vehicles (period 2004 –
So what does all this mean to us in the parts market? What are the key indicators? I have chosen three key trend lines to drive market demand. These are: • Fuel consumption. This is directly related to the mobility of the national fleet and therefore growing fuel usage should be an indication of growing parts usage. New vehicle sales and the total installed vehicle parc would highlight the changing age of the vehicle parc.
Rolls-Royce knows no equal
by Adrian Burford
Ask any lay person what’s the best car in the world and the response will almost invariably be the linked surnames of Messrs Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, and that’s how it has been for the last 103 years.
parent. Vickers, the owner of ‘RR Motors’ through the 80s and 90s then decided to sell at the end of the century, with BMW a popular suitor. As it turned out, Volkswagen beat them to the draw and acquired the company (which included Bentley) for 430-million Pounds. However, complications arose in that another entity, Rolls-Royce PLC, still owned the rights to the RR logo and the Rolls-Royce name and they decided to licence these to BMW, who were already supplying various components – including the engines – used in Rolls-Royce cars. The upshot of all this is that from 1998 until 2002 BMW continued to supply the engines to build cars which were part of a company owned by Volkswagen, and allowed Volksie to use the RR name and logo. From the beginning of 2003 only BMW would be able to label a car as a Rolls-Royce, leaving VW to concentrate on the Bentley brand – which is what they had always claimed to want out of the purchase of Rolls-Royce Motors. In the BMW era, Rolls-Royce seems to be thriving, with sales of the latest Phantom (available in standard and long wheelbase as well as drophead and coupe) climbing despite prices that would buy a spectacular home in a spectacular suburb. Still largely hand-made, this alumnium-bodied wondercar is powered by a version of BMW’s V12. The Ghost, the next generation smaller Roller, is expected to go on sale early in 2010 and extend the brand’s reach in the marketplace, where even the super-rich are after a more agile car. It has also required an increase in the Goodwood workforce, which now numbers about 900. Since 2007 the servicing and sales of new Rollers locally has been handled by RollsRoyce South Africa, which is part of the Daytona Group which also includes the likes of Ducati and Aston Martin.
olls and Royce first met at a Manchester hotel in 1904, the former already a well-known car dealer, the latter a respected engineer who had just made his first car. By December they had struck a deal whereby Rolls would take all the cars that Royce could build and that same month, the first Rolls-Royce was unveiled at the Paris motor show. A little over a year later (March 1906) Rolls-Royce Limited was formed and by the end of a year 100 000 Pounds was raised with a public share offer. By then the car which would put them on the map was already taking shape – a powerful six-cylinder model called the 40/50 hp. This soon became the focus of the company’s attention and in 1908 was renamed the Silver Ghost. Eventually more than 6 000 were built up to 1925, with a further 1 701 being built at a plant in the USA. It also formed the basis for a long-serving armoured car. In the years of the Great Depression, R-R stayed independent and afloat thanks to the introduction of a smaller and cheaper model called the Twenty, and also acquired Bentley in 1931. The first Rolls-Royce to come to South Africa, was, predictably, a Ghost and according to the late Fred Schnetler ‘s book, a Century of Cars, that would’ve been around 1910. With the brand’s reputation being what it was, cars adorned with the Spirit of Ecstasy were the first choice of the worldwide aristocracy in the 20s and 30s. In the First World War the company was commissioned by the Royal Aircraft Factory to build an aero engine. It was so good that many military aircraft ended up being powered by Rolls-Royce. This continued after the war and the Merlin V12, introduced in 1935 and subsequently fitted to the Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and Wellington, is regarding as Henry Royce’s
greatest engineering feat even though it was only finished two years after his death in 1933. After WWII Rolls-Royce continued to focus on aero engines and this was by far the larger part of the business even though the Silver Wraith, Phantom and Silver Cloud reaffirmed its reputation as a builder of fine cars. In 1973 Rolls-Royce Motors was created, with the car business separated from its
Citroën Here to Stay
by Howard Keeg
The Peugeot Training Centre at the Linbro Business Park turned from blue to red on the 30th November 2009, when the media was apprised of CITROËN South Africa’s plans for 2010. Part of the plan is to share Peugeot South Africa’s Linbro Park facilities, which explains the colour inference. Apologies for the late reporting, but as luck would have it ABR’s December 2009 issue went to the presses the day before the announcement.
From 2001 to 2009, the Citroën brand was looked after by Boundless Trade, which explains the paucity of models these past few years, as Citroën kept its powder dry for the impending push for a 2% market share. An ambitious target, but with the facelift C1 arriving in February 2010, the C3 and C3 Picasso delighting us in March 2010, and joining the C4, C4 Picasso and C5, things are definitely looking up. But it is the DS3, arriving in haste in May 2010 shortly after the French debut, which could set the cat amongst the pigeons. As Frédéric Chapuis, Managing Director of Citroën South Africa, says, “the new company will enable us to play our own game in the segments”. PCSA has the advantage of having established dealerships which now can be spread around, and actually keeping some struggling Peugeot dealerships alive, which as Chapuis says, “is a nice compromise”. With 10 dealerships at launch, and six more in the pipeline, together with service centres in areas where no dealers currently exist, and an accelerated technical training programme, CITROËN South Africa is confident that its after service levels will meet expectations, and current Citroën owners can also relax as warranty and service of existing customers will be honoured. The motor manufacturer that gave us the floating engine in 1932, the traction avant in 1934, and the hydropneumatic suspension in 1954 is back with a bang, and the South African motorist can prepare to resume its love affair with this inventive vehicle.
uth Africa for Citroën in So he sky’s the limit T
rom January 2010 CITROËN South Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of CITROËN France, and the intention of the press conference, apart from outlining Citroën’s impressive pedigree, was to give a glimpse of the exciting range of products which will reach our shores during 2010. Fortunately for this iconic French brand, it was Peugeot’s miscalculation of the future size of the South African car market that allowed for space at Linbro Park to absorb its Gallic cousin. When the Linbro Park facility was planned, the talk was of a one million unit market. This wish has now evaporated, so PMSA (Peugeot Motors South Africa) has morphed into PCSA (Peugeot Citroën South Africa), with two divisions and two colours; the Peugeot blue and the Citroën red.
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Looking Back is Good
by Eugene Herbert
While it may seem “common sense” to make use of the equipment fitted to modern vehicles we often find that many drivers display little such sense even when it comes to proven safety features such as seat belts.
ing you along into it but it will be more difficult to control the area ahead of you if you do not control the area behind you. The sooner you use your mirrors, the more time you will have to solve a problematic situation.
omething that is neglected frequently – unless the assessment of personal appearance is included – is the use of rear view mirrors, of which almost all vehicles are blessed with three. In the interests of reminding drivers of the benefits we will be featuring a “two part” series on just why the proper use of mirrors is so important
Why Effective Use of Rear view Mirrors is so important
A vehicle slamming into your car from behind, especially a large truck or bus can do as much, if not more damage to you and your passengers than a bomb exploding in your boot. Imagine that the traffic ahead of you slows down and you need to slow down and stop for it. You may not be able to stop your car hitting the vehicle ahead if you cannot prevent the vehicle behind from hitting you and push-
The Area Behind your vehicle
While you are in Moving Traffic The area behind your vehicle can be, open, closed or unstable. If a vehicle is more than 3 seconds away from your rear bumper, and not gaining on you, the area behind is open. If a vehicle is 3 seconds or less away from your rear bumper, and not gaining on you, the area behind is closed. If a vehicle is closing on your back bumper, the area behind is unstable and can become a dangerous situation.
Closed and unstable are both obviously potentially dangerous, an open area is relatively safe but has the potential to change quickly to either closed or unstable. Therefore we need to use our rear view mirrors regularly to keep ourself updated and especially well before indicating (signalling), changing direction, slowing down or stopping. After Seeing a Change in Traffic Pattern When you see any change in traffic pattern, use the rear view mirrors. You can get control of the area behind by immediately knowing what the condition behind is. You need to know if the area behind is open, closed or unstable. In the next issue we will cover the remaining important area.
Till next time safe driving.
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”
Slime Trumps Grime
Anyone who has to contend with the vagaries of a koi pond will be the first to tell you that algae is the enemy of man. Algae is fast growing, hardy, slimy and frustrating to anyone attempting to maintain a pristine pond. And yet, these are the properties that may be manna from heaven for our stressed planet. Because slime is better than grime when it comes to fuel production.
he quest for the holy grail of environmentally friendly fuel may soon be over, because algae fuel is the only fuel that can truly claim to be carbon neutral. All the other fuels, be it fossil based, plant based, synthetic based, you name it, all have their issues. Even the much hyped fuel cell technology, whilst far better than the others, cannot be described as carbon neutral. Only algae can make this claim, because during photosynthesis algae and its photosynthetic organism helpers capture carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen and biomass, and 99% of the carbon dioxide in solution can be converted. When the biofuels are burned, the CO2 taken out of the atmosphere is returned, but at least it is not increasing CO2 levels, such as fossil hydrocarbon fuels. All biofuels are good from this perspective, but when farmers in Brazil cut down forests for sugar cane production, they are harming the planet, and when sugar cane or soybeans or other exotic alternatives are grown for biofuel, they are cramping the space and production inputs for food production. Algae does not have these issues, because it can be produced on barren land
using ocean water and waste water, thus not affecting fresh water resources. And as those koi pond owners will tell you, algae really is an efficient grower. It has been claimed that you can produce more algae fuel from a 40 square metre area than biofuel from a soybean farm the size of Ellis Park. Based on this fact, the United States Department of Energy has estimated that to replace all the petroleum fuel in America, 40 000 square meters would be needed. Sounds a lot, but not impossible, as this space is available, without impacting on existing commercial farmland. Cost issues are still a factor, but when oil prices return to US$ 150 per barrel (and it’s coming), algae fuel will definitely be on the front burner, both literally and figuratively. So next time you clean the koi pond, take a more respectful look at that slimy growth. ABR shall revisit this subject, but in the interim, go to sites such as www.greenfuels.co.uk for more information. Those with a thirst for fermentation and conversion can even diversify from wine production, and with a burning desire even manufacture their own biofuels. There are books available at www.making-biodiesel-books.com to help you with this.
Stage set for bumper Tyrexpo Africa in Johannesburg
More than 140 domestic and international exhibitors for leading tyre and equipment exhibition Imperial Logistics join tyre industry conference line up
isitors to Tyrexpo Africa in Johannesburg in early March will have more than 140 exhibitors to talk business with as they look to take advantage of exclusive brand opportunities with tyre suppliers and improve the efficiency of their businesses with the latest workshop equipment, consumables and services. A late surge of exhibitor bookings has taken the show to near stand space capacity, guaranteeing a wealth of opportunities for tyre and equipment dealers from southern Africa and beyond. Paul Farrant, managing director for exhibition organiser ECI International, says the stage is set for a very positive show: “Tyrexpo Africa will have something to interest visitors from all sectors of the tyre and fast fit aftermarket, especially those looking for new and exclusive tyre brands to distribute or retail, and business owners looking to upgrade or replace their workshop equipment and consumables. “There has been very healthy interest in the exhibition from domestic southern African companies as well as from international suppliers, particularly Chinese tyre manufacturers, who see great export potential in South Africa and neighbouring countries. This is the only exhibition in South Africa that caters exclusively for the tyre and associated industries so it’s a great opportunity for the trade to take time out to see what’s new in their business and to meet like-minded people”. Among the many tyre companies present in the Sandton Convention Centre will be Stamford Tyres (Africa) Pty, who will be using the event to build on their increasing presence in the tyre and wheel markets of
South Africa. The main focus of attention on the company’s impressive stand will be an extensive selection of tyres for the PCR, LTR, TBR, OTR, ORR and wheel sectors of the market. Mr Wee Kok Wah, president of the Stamford Tyres Corporation says, “Our presence in South Africa continues to gather momentum with established bases in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and we welcome all visitors to our stand at the show to discover the excellence of our products.” The message from Dereck Knight of Beissbarth, a Bosch Group company, is similarly upbeat: “We’ve invested in a major presence at Tyrexpo Africa to showcase for our latest ranges of wheel alignment, tyre changers, wheel balancers, brake testers, air-conditioning testing and vehicle test lane equipment. I’m confident that garage and workshop owners will be impressed by the sophistication, accuracy and ease of use of our equipment. More importantly, it can save them time and improve labour-related profitability which is extremely important in a highly competitive tyre and wheel market place.” For the first time, Tyrexpo Africa will feature a high profile tyre industry conference alongside the main exhibition. Among the well-known speakers recruited by ECI International are Georg Schramm, head of marketing for Apollo SA (Dunlop), who will present a paper on the macro-economic impact of the BRIC economies on the South African tyre business environment. Sir Tom Farmer, CVO CBE KCSG DL the founder and former chief executive of the Kwik-Fit retail empire, will explain the Kwik-Fit success story and cover the challenges facing today’s tyre retailers, while
Francois Ehlers from Imperial Logistics will oversee an interactive panel dialogue on the issues facing South Africa’s fleets, with special focus on roads, diesel and tyre costs, the importance of tyre maintenance and how the tyre sector can assist them in achieving their business goals. Other speakers include David Wilson of the UK Retread Manufacturers Association, who will speak about Chinese tyres and their impact on the retreading sector and Dr. Etienne Human, Lead Consultant of South Africa’s National Waste Tyre Project and CEO SATRP, who will provide an overview of the waste tyre situation in South Africa and announce world-class plans to address the challenges being faced. The one-day conference will take place on the middle day of the exhibition, Friday March 5. ECI has sought to make it easy for visitors to attend the show after working hours, with 5 March designated for extended opening hours up to 8.00 pm. The company believes that Saturday opening will also appeal to office-based workers who find it difficult to take time out Monday to Friday. Paul Farrant explains further: “We’ve listened to previous visitors and consulted with many of our local exhibitors in coming up with these opening times. We’ve been as flexible as we can and hope that the late-night on Friday as well as Saturday opening will draw in the visitors who would otherwise have struggled to make it to the show.”
The third staging of Tyrexpo Africa will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg (SCC) on 4, 5 and 6 March 2010.
New Decade? New Market Cycle?
by Tony Twine, Senior Economist, Director – Econometrix (Pty) Ltd
There is some argument as to whether 2010 is the last year of the first decade of the 21st Century, or the first year of the second decade (remember the Y2K debate?). If we remember that there was no year 0 AD or BC, then this year is the end of the decade, which began in 2001. But let us not allow the niceties of simple arithmetic to interfere with the motivationspeak of marketers and other business leaders across the global economy, who all need to divert attention from the at least the past two years.
growth, rather than the concept of seasonally adjusted annualized growth, which was in negative territory between quarter 4 of 2009 and quarter 2 of 2009. A return to positive rates of production growth in the domestic economy during 2010 provides a promise of a return to positive growth for new vehicle sales for the first time since 2006 for passenger vehicles, and 2007 for light commercial vehicles. But, it is wise to imagine that the growth profile for new vehicles may not replicate the previous cyclical upturns that we have been used to seeing, with this caveat being based on lessons learned around the world since the end of 2007. The big lesson of the financial sector melt-down was the economic penalties of ignoring, camouflaging and ultimately miss pricing risk, which came home to roost as Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers crashed and burnt. This global lesson is likely to be reflected in the processing of local applications for wheels credit – bigger risk clients are going to have to pay more for vehicle finance, relative to both the better risk applicants and also what they might have paid by the way of a risk premium in years and decades gone by. We therefore expect a slower upturn in new vehicle sales during 2010 than was the case in the two previous upturns of 2000 and 2003. The LCV sales cycle is currently lagging the car sales cycle by about three months, and will probably only really start moving convincingly upwards late in the first quarter or even during the second quarter of 2010. The affordability of used vehicles is likely to remain more to the liking of the banks than the higher priced new vehicle equivalents, so even if Econometrix’ prediction of a 5% rise in new vehicle sales during 2010 occurs, used vehicle sales appear unlikely to be under any downward pressure during the year.
ll around the world, motor sectors present as being amongst the most cyclically volatile of all sectors within individual economies. Within the wide ranging activities of the sector, this statement is particularly true of the new vehicle or original equipment supply chain, stretching from component production through to retail sales activities. The used vehicle markets also suffer from the pressures of economic cycles, and are not automatically counter cyclical to developments in the new vehicle markets. More accurately, it can be suggested that the ratio of used to new vehicle unit sales rises during economic downturns, and falls during economic upswings, but severe downswings can produce reductions in both new and used sales, while economic upswings can simultaneously benefit both these markets. Automotive after markets for service, repairs and replacement parts tend to be far less cyclical than both the new and used vehicle markets, their performance trends relying on the ongoing accumulation of vehicles on the planet, and how busy those vehicles are on average at any point in time. The second of these drivers is inevitably relating to the economic cycle, so even after markets are not totally immune to rises and falls in economic prosperity. The steadily rising number of vehicles needing replacement parts and ever-increasingly skilled labour does act like a shock absorber damper to the cyclical swings of this part of this section of the auto sector, however. The South African Economy has shown declining levels of economic production growth since the late months of 2006, which ultimately became negative rates of annual growth by the first quarter of 2009, and which will probably only become positive annual growth in this, the first quarter of 2010. Note that this is annual
CONTRADICTORY FIGURES HIDE ROAD DEATH RISE
Rob Handfield-Jones, MD of driving skills company, driving.co.za, says that the Department of Transport’s claim that the December 2009 road death toll was lower than that of December 2008 is invalid and based on contradictory figures. He said the DoT’s latest pronouncements undermine the credibility of South Africa’s road safety data. “We don’t have an official death toll for the year 2008 / 2009, and the authorities haven’t released an annual road safety stats bundle for almost two years,” he commented. “The last credible and comprehensive data was released in 1998. Even the NIMSS reports compiled by researchers from UNISA and the Medical Research Council refer to the official death toll as an ‘...uncertain subgroup of motor vehicle collisions...’.” Handfield Jones said the DoT could not continue to justify its failures by blaming the road user. “Across the world, people only drive as badly as their governments permit them to,” he said. He called for a moving violations-based enforcement regime and a new driving licence system, as well as a Professional Driving Permit which included a driving skills test. He described the existing system as producing poor drivers who routinely committed moving violations which could be fatal even at low speeds. “The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport should urgently investigate how the DoT came to use contradictory data in road safety comparisons, and also whether this was an unintentional error, or a deliberate attempt to hide an increased death toll ahead of the Soccer World Cup,” he concluded.
FOTON LAUNCH NEW 15-SEATER INKUNZI TAXI
Foton South Africa has announced the launch of its new 15-seater minibus taxi, the Inkunzi, which will be available for under R200 000. The Foton Inkunzi, meaning Bull in Zulu, is produced at the Beiqi Foton Motor Company in China, which was founded in 1996 and currently employs around 26 000 people. Foton is China’s largest commercial vehicle maker and the second largest in the world and is now set to make an impact on the South African market with some exciting products in months ahead. The first of which is the Inkunzi, a genuine long wheelbase 15-seater minibus that balances style with the practicality that is so important in the taxi sector of public transport. It meets the very latest standards that require an escape hatch to be fitted in the roof and it has undergone a full complement of tests, including rollover tests, to ensure it provides passengers with the highest level of safety. “The minibus taxi industry is going through some major and very positive changes and here Foton is set to provide a new standard in comfortable, safe and affordable transport solutions that meet the demands of the taxi recapitalisation process,” said Brett Soso, managing director of Foton SA, a division of Amalgamated Automobile Distributors.
A Call for Action
by Frank Beeton
In my last “Weighty Issues” column, I expressed concern that the early signs of more enlightened leadership emanating from the latest incumbents of South Africa’s Transport Ministry, appeared to be evaporating. Just before Christmas, South Africans could have been excused for thinking that some unparalleled new level of insanity had permeated the corridors of this august body. Newscasts carried reports that high cube containers, filled with urgently-needed consumer goods, were piling up in Durban harbour, because Provincial traffic authorities, on the instructions of the Department of Transport, had suddenly decided to rigidly enforce the 4,3 metre vehicle overall height limit which made the conveyance of these “boxes” on standardheight platform-bodied semi-trailers an infringement of the law. The impounding of vehicles found to be in contravention of this limit threatened to paralyse the flow of goods from harbour to consumer, just days before Christmas.
he immediate reaction from the business community was justifiable outrage that over-zealous petty-minded officials were being allowed to sabotage a national economy that was still reeling from the effects of the global financial meltdown. However, accusations and counter-accusations soon emerged over responsibility for this action, with the result that the kwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate was increasingly singled out as the villain of the peace. They were accused of upsetting the status quo in which the authorities, applying some kind of ill-defined moratorium on prosecutions, had effectively turned a blind eye to the (technically illegal) conveyance of these containers for at least ten years. In the midst of this confusion, it soon became clear that the situation had never been formally addressed by the Department of Transport, and that the Road Traffic Regulations were being contravened whenever a high-cube container was transported on a public road using a flatdeck truck or trailer. Recognising the potential for economic disruption inherent in this situation, it could be reasonably asked why John Schnell and his merry khaki men did not take a more pragmatic approach, by, for instance, strictly invoking the existing Abnormal Load provisions? This would have given them authority to regulate speeds, and thus address their alleged concerns over the safety of the overheight combinations, while at the same time creating a legitimate opportunity to earn permit fees. However, it must be stressed that
no real blame in this matter should be ascribed to this group of officials, who were only doing their job properly. The real problem was lack of leadership from Central Government, or, to be more specific, the Department of Transport. It now emerges that freight forwarders were being continuously confronted with consignments too tall for legal conveyance on general-purpose goods vehicles, and they had proceeded to transport these items on the assumption that no prosecution for exceeding the overall height limit would follow. However, recent developments have served to demonstrate the fragility of this “informal” arrangement. Once it had become patently obvious that high cube containers were here to stay, it was imperative that the Road Traffic Regulations should have been amended to facilitate their conveyance. The argument has been put forward that lower height skeletal trailers could accommodate these containers without exceeding the overall height parameter, but it must be recognised that most transport operators are unwilling to invest in expensive singlepurpose equipment that removes their operational flexibility to secure return loads, or perform casual work. To allow this situation to prevail for so long, could only lead, eventually, to the kind of disruption that manifested in December, once one of the parties decided, for whatever reason, to step away from the “agreement”. This has highlighted, once again, the regrettable absence of any effective communication mechanism between
the road transport industry and the Department of Transport. From the direction taken in DoT policy statements, it is quite clear that this body does not look with favour on road transport, and would like to see its role in the national freight “mix” considerably diminished. This shows a total lack of understanding of both reality, and the extent to which the country’s economy is dependent on road haulage. No amount of wishful thinking will suddenly make the rail network costeffective as an alternative transportation mode, and efforts to improve its performance need to be first demonstrated in the linehaul movement of bulk commodities, such as coal and iron ore, before any efforts to force a modal choice change among general freight forwarders is contemplated. Unfortunately, the South African road transport community is highly fragmented and hugely entrepreneurial. As a result, it has not been able to organise its own fully representative lobby mechanism to interact with government, and frequently finds itself having to react to nonsensical legislative initiatives such as the recent proposals to reduce axle mass limits on secondary roads. In the interests of securing the country’s economic future, the Department of Transport needs to urgently set up a forum within which it can effectively communicate with road hauliers, and “test” its ideas before going public with unsustainable and impractical proposals. If Mohammed will not come to the Mountain, it’s about time that the Mountain sought out Mahommed!
A series of articles on the rise of the Chery automobile
Chery Conquers Dakar on First Attempt
The Dakar Rally is the ultimate test for crew and machine, a chance to pit yourself against some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. It tests the limits of human and mechanical engineering over more than 9 000km across Argentina and Chile. It is never to be underestimated.
ore than 350 000 people witnessed the crews set off over the start ramp in Buenos Aires and for the first time there were a number of Chinese manufacturer entries, eager to pit themselves against the best off-road teams in the world. One of these teams was the Chery team, which was run by well known Dakar stalwart, Giuliano Airoldi and the Tecnosport operation. After more than 2 weeks of total endurance the two Chery Rely SUV entries, driven by Lu Ningjun and Jiang Yaohuan arrived back at the finish in the Argentinean capital in a very respectable 28th and 29th place respectively. It was a result beyond the expectations of team boss Airoldi. “The first thing you have to reach is the finish,” he said at the rest day in Antofagasta, Chile half way through the event. “I never through we would be this high up at this stage,” he commented as the crews arrived at the bivouac in 34th and 35th places. For Chery it may have been a new challenge, but Ningjun has actually been racing with the Tecnosport team for 4 years, showing continuous improvement. This is even more impressive given the obvious language barriers between himself and his Italian codriver Tepercio, who previously navigated for the famous Dakar driver Shinozuka. Even the young Yaohuan in his first ever Dakar showed a “good approach” said the team boss.
Both crews arrived consistently on time at the bivouac at the end of each stage, impressing many with their clear headedness in crossing the many obstacles and challenges in their path each day. The Chery Rely SUV too proved its mettle against many more established rivals that left the start line on the 1st January. Faced with daily distances that sometimes exceeded 600km, mechanical reliability is a key factor in reaching the finish. The Chery crews not only firmly established themselves in the numerous rally style stages of Argentina, but conquered some of the highest and most treacherous sand dunes in the world. They crossed the Andes mountain range at an altitude of more than 4 750 metres and survived the bleak Atacama Desert where no rain has fallen since records began over 150 years ago. The Chery Rely SUV definitely proved itself when it comes to reliability and endurance in what is without doubt the toughest motorsport event in the world. The team is already making plans for Dakar 2011 and will return with more vehicles and more crews in a bid to move even higher up on the finishing podium. “Chery wants more cars to grow young Chinese drivers in the Dakar,” concluded the team boss. The established factory teams will definitely have to watch closely as Chery sets its sights on the top places when the Dakar Rally gets underway again in Buenos Aires on the 1st January 2011.
Diamond Editorial Partnership
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 the December 2009/January 2010 issue of ABR, we promised to revisit compulsory specifications in the February 2010 issue and to look at how responsible companies such as Grandmark International go about following the procedures as laid down in the importation of product that meets and even exceeds these standards and at beneficial prices. This is very important for the consumer, and will remain important for the foreseeable future, and beyond. However, we have decided to hold back on this aspect of customer protection for a couple of months, because the Consumer Protection Act comes into effect on 28 April 2010, and we wish to discuss this and related issues while the iron is searing hot.
he Consumer Protection Act will be phased in over six months, until full implementation by the end of October 2010, and there is still uncertainty as to how the regulations relevant to the Act will be phased in, and to what extent. On the contrary, what is certain is that product covered by compulsory specifications will not be covered by the Act because there is already an Act in place and a national regulatory body – the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act (Act 5 of 2008) was promulgated in Government gazette 31216 on 4th July 2008 and took effect on 1 September 2008. This Act basically protects the consumer by controlling what comes into the country, so the Consumer Protection Act is debatably not required for these products. upper end of the market will be exposed as unrealistic by the excellent prices offered for equally good quality by operators such as Grandmark International, and for this good news to properly take effect will require acceptance and co-operation by the insurance industry and ironically, the consumer. More on this in the March 2010 issue of ABR. Suffice to say that the Consumer Protection Act will have a profound effect on the behaviour of both industry and consumer alike. Secondly, the Consumer Protection Act will inexorably
force low quality product out of the market, through a combination of fear and consumer activism. The fear of legal retribution will go up exponentially, as the Act starts to take effect and high profile cases make the news (highly regarded and influential magazines like ABR have a very important role to play in this regard), and consumer activism will ratchet up as the good news gets round and confidence levels increase. All good and well, but the Consumer Protection Act, as well as the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, can only be truly effective if the means to the end are adhered to. These Acts require observance both in law and in spirit, and the consumer also needs to accept his/her responsibilities. ABR shall illustrate this graphically in the next edition of Diamond Dialogues, with a real life scenario. The news that the RMI is to hold a series of workshops on the CPA around the country for its members during February 2010 is to be welcomed, and illustrates the importance of belonging to such organisations. Grandmark International is a proudly RMI member, and intends to make full use of these workshops.
What the Consumer Protection Act brings to the consumer is the right to complain, and the mechanism will operate similarly to the Competition Commission. Another advantage of the Consumer Protection Act is that the consumer will now be afforded equal protection vis a vis quality of product, irrespective of who is the supplier. This has a double beneficial impact, as both legislation and self regulation will change the ways of industry from top to bottom. Firstly, the high prices at the
Reflections from the Front Line
Richard Pinard talks to ABR about the issues facing the aftermarket in 2010
2009 was a tough year for the automotive industry, with practically no one spared the ravages of the worst economic recession in the past 50 years. But this scenario has many pluses, and the good news has been twofold. Firstly, most companies survived the turmoil, and came out leaner and meaner. Secondly, 2009 was a wakeup call, reminding everyone that nothing can be taken for granted, and that for the foreseeable future it will not be business as usual, and no longer can organisations simply rely on fate and go with the flow. The era of reflection, and intense analysis, has arrived. Strategies, plans, initiatives, whatever, will all need to be scrupulously sliced and diced, before implementation. The margins for error will be paper thin, and no longer will the wild and adventurous have the luxury of second guessing the market. The front line will be particularly harsh for those who rest on their laurels, and Richard Pinard, Managing Director of Top Class Automotive, understands this critical fact better than most. Top Class Automotive has always understood the importance of customer service and delivering on its promises, but it also understands that to keep its reputation at the highest level, it needs to develop its base, with a wider range of its existing which will make life difficult for those purveyors of inferior quality parts, as the ramifications will be extremely detrimental to those on the wrong side of history. Richard says that the business environment is becoming increasingly complex for the participants in the automotive aftermarket, with the modern motor vehicle now a sophisticated transport steed – smaller, environmentally friendlier as emission standards are ratcheted up, and increasingly dependent on alternative power sources, and in reality a computer on wheels, with sensors and electronic gizmos all over the vehicle. Richard also says that the pending introduction of the Consumer Protection Act will encourage the importation of quality parts, and even boost the local component manufacturing sector as traders look to source high quality parts. To this end, the country needs to actively improve local content, and this will require higher productivity, increased investment, infrastructural improvements and enhanced government support. For those with a commitment to quality and safety, the future is bright, and the era of modern motoring may be upon us.
TopClass MD, Richard Pinard
product, and to look at expanding its product offering. Thus the market can look forward to a bigger range on cylinders, brake parts, wheel bearings, timing tensioners, and further enhancements on the incredible range of Permatex workshop products. Richard emphasises that the key dynamic is quality, and the gearing up to source intelligently and cost effectively. Thus, Top Class Automotive welcomes the Consumer Protection Act,
uring December 2009 Marcus participated in two road blocks, with his focus on the tyre condition on the vehicles. At the first roadblock the tyres in general were all in reasonable condition, but a week later on a very different route, his enthusiasm was dampened somewhat when he found that 75% of the tyres he inspected were in a dangerous condition. Educating the user on the fact that tyres are their primary safety feature on any vehicle is one of the most important factors in road safety training. Changing perceptions of the product will take time, and in some cases may seem repetitive to the reader. But all training is by its very nature repetitive. And continued training is the only way we will ever change those perceptions. And continue we will! So we welcome you to 2010, the year we host the Soccer World Cup, the year where hundreds of thousands of international visitors will be transported around our beautiful country on tyres. The year that some say will be the resurgence of economic stability; whilst others say that things will still get worse before a later resurgence. But one thing is certain. Tyres are going to be needed, and they are going to be used in bigger numbers than usual. An even more important certainty is that the tyres must be in good condition, well maintained and definitely not cheap junk that is underrated for the required work. Contemplate for a moment the future of
and Their Contribution to Safety in Motoring
A Message from Bridgestone
Marcus Haw While ruminating on how 2009 flew by and 2010 was here before we knew it, our thoughts were interrupted by a radio announcement on the shocking road accident death rate for the holiday season. This once again reaffirms the need to continue educating drivers to the dangers they face on our roads. Bridgestone S.A. is in general a safety conscious company and in particular we are intensely concerned with road safety. We are busy with many road safety projects and have initiated many more, including having Marcus Haw educating and informing the motorists, through the media, of the role tyres play in their safety on the roads. Over the past few years we have enthusiastically written many technical and educational articles to this end. At times though, seeing the condition of tyres on various vehicles, we wonder if anyone is reading these pieces or when trying to explain a tyre concern to someone in the industry and to be met by a blank stare, we wonder if we will ever win. Now, at this time of the year we are one hundred percent convinced that we must never stop trying to get the message through and we are adamant that the fight must go on.
the fleet operator who, through taking the cheap route by fitting second rate tyres wipes out a group of soccer fans. Simply because the operator chose to ignore the safety side of tyres. No-one can take chances with tyres during this period or any other for that matter. Human lives are important! Whether a visitor or a local, you should always be driving on safe tyres.
ning a company operating vehicles other than wheel barrows! They should in fact be criminally charged. Passing on their condolences to the bereaved families is insulting not only to those families, but to every member of the public who knows these companies are negligent. Why have we had so many bus accidents reported recently? Why are these operators allowed to carry on transporting people? The recent action taken against a bus company was an example of what should happen to the bus operators. They should be taken off the roads until every bus has been certified by an independent and objective certifier and every driver is retrained to respect the rules of the road and recognise the responsibility they carry. And the MDs of these companies who come on radio and make statements in the papers which are no more than excuses for their own incompetence and lack of leadership should be banned from ever runAnd so we begin this promising year with another promise: We will carry on with our road safety campaign and we will be nagging you all to learn more about tyres. While the above mentioned accidents were not all tyre related, the tyres on those vehicles were not all they should have been. Remember too that tyres are an excellent indicator of the total maintenance and care in a fleet. Happy New Year, and let’s make it a safe one. We are looking forward to talking to you all in the coming months. Please learn from our articles, and travel safe.
The Bengsch Mark
This Film Stops Criminals
On any given day in South Africa, scores of motorists are attacked by so-called ‘smash-and-grab’ criminals, their car windows shattered by all manner of implements including hammers, bricks and the ‘grabber’ tool of choice, a sawn-off ceramic sparkplug. Thwarting these attacks is possible with the application of a superior polyester window security film called Profilon, writes Paul Collings.
A Defcon1 technician applies Profilon to a customer’s car without having to remove the glass. ur country has one of the highest rates of road crime in the world, where outlaws brazenly smash the windows of unsuspecting motorists in order to steal their belongings and often, the vehicle itself. It is not overdramatic to state that our country’s roads are virtual battle zones where not only property is at risk, but life and limb too. The good news is that there is an affordable high-end vehicle window security film available in South Africa called Profilon that can prevent penetration of vehicle side-windows, effectively halting a wouldbe smash-and-grab attack dead in its tracks. Originally developed in Europe to protect people and property from terrorist attacks, Profilon is rated by both EU and US quality standards authorities as the world’s strongest security film. Supplied locally by Defence Concepts SA, a subsidiary of Diesel-Electric (Rand), Profilon is the only BMW factory-approved and Mercedes-Benz factory-recommended aftermarket window laminate in South Africa. According to Fred Bengsch, sales director, Diesel-Electric (Rand), “Profilon is the best product available to give people and property the best chance of surviving smash-and-grab attacks, hijackings and robbery. With the backing of Diesel-Electric, Defence Concepts SA has grown from strength to strength and has increased its local distribution network and official approvals several times over.” Boasting a full pass to the Underwriters Laboratories UL 972 “Burglary Resistant Glazing” and DIN 52290 Class A specifications as well as a 100% rating as an AAaccredited window laminate, Profilon is in a league of its own when it comes to preventing lethal attacks. Max Waspe, manager, Defence Concepts SA in Kramerville, Sandton states: “There is a huge difference between a window tint, a safety film and a security laminate. Car owners need to be properly advised on these differences and given a choice to ensure they are properly protected.” While vehicle window tints are typically about 50 microns thick, they provide no real resistance to even accidental glass breakage and should only be sold as a glass ‘colourant’, advises Waspe. “A so-called ‘safety film’ is a single-ply polyethylene terephthalate polyester (PET) film designed to increase the security strength of glass. Safety films are generally between 75 and 150 microns and
Max Waspe explains the shock absorption properties of Profilon. their primary function is to hold tempered glass (fitted to vehicle side-windows) in place under impact,” Waspe explains. “A security laminate, on the other hand, is a multi-layered (2 to 4 ply) PET laminate composite and would generally be between 150 and 375 microns thick in automotive applications. Due to its thickness and multilayer composition, it creates superior resilience to the glass providing far greater resistance to breaking and penetration.” Recognised internationally as the world’s best window security laminate, Profilon has continually set new standards in vehicle security since first coming to market in the late 1970s due to its multi-layered proprietary composition, non-hardening bonding adhesives and combined thickness. “Profilon is available in 130, 250 and 375 micron thicknesses and once bonded to the inside of a vehicle’s windows, has the ability to withstand not only the initial impact but several subsequent strikes as well.” adds Waspe. “Profilon acts as a shock absorber and while the tempered glass did shatter while undergoing extreme impact testing, Profilon held the glass in place and proved itself to be impenetrable against a wide range of glass-shattering implements.” As crime statistics continue to rise in South Africa, our vehicle parc is increasing, adding more ‘sitting ducks’ to the crime syndicates’ buffet table. Consequently, car dealers must make it their duty to educate their customers on the value of fitting a genuine window security laminate like Profilon. “Over the last decade, Profilon has not only prevented smash-and-grab incidents but actually saved the lives of hijack victims in South Africa by stopping live rounds from entering the vehicle,” Bengsch says. “We have the testimonials to prove it. Driving in this country gets more risky by the day and survival means taking every preventative measure possible. Profilon is one such avenue, affordable and effective!” The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so to speak, and in the months ahead, ABR will run Profilon’s ‘life, limb and propertysaving’ stories from the survivors’ perspective, where fact was indeed ‘stranger than fiction’...
CRM in the Automotive industry – Customer relationships is serious business!
One element of CRM that has come to the motor industry Theo Calitz has been and has been a huge influence is CSI or Customer working in or involved Satisfaction Index. This is basically a measurement of how in the motor industry satisfied and happy the customer is.
for the last 16 years. A Mechanical Engineer by SI has become increasingly profession, he is pasimportant during the last sionate about customer 15 years and the motor care and his company, industry, through NAAMT-R-M specialises in automotive CRM for SA, syndicated a regular measurement the automotive indus- (monthly) of customer satisfaction, try and has been doing called the Competitive Customer it for nine years.
Satisfaction Index or CCSI. This was done by the OEM’s providing information of customers who had recently purchased a vehicle or had it serviced (Sales and Service CSI). At first the results were not made known publicly but this all changed in 2002 when the companies belonging to NAAMSA decided that it should be published. I still remember the Toyota ad that appeared immediately. They were clearly on top and there was enough merit in this fact to justify a ad on national TV! I suspect that maybe these results became more important to the OEM’s than to the customers themselves and became a very strategic focus of the companies, especially the bigger ones. Dealers became incentivised and soon, big money started to flow to reward good CSI results. This focus from the industry did drive satisfaction levels up which are great for the customers. Sometimes, however there are unintended consequences. Let me provide you with some examples: When I bought a car a few years ago, the salesman was applying pressure on me to fill in a CSI questionnaire right there in front of him with a very pertinent message that his job was on the line should I score him anything less than 90% on any point. Talk about pressure! I refused to complete the form in front of him, wanting to protect my objectivity. I also had an incident after I had my car serviced where I was informed that I can expect a phone call... (nudge, nudge). It has almost become an industry, this desire to measure customer satisfaction. First it was the CCSI (national, with all the OEM’s in NAAMSA), then it was the CSI measurements done by the OEM’s in order to gauge and ‘pre-empt’ the CCSI, then it became the dealer CSI which is another step closer to the customer to pick up problems. It has not happened to me yet but I guess it is theoretically possible to be phoned by the dealer after the service, then by the OEM and lastly by the company syndicated to do the national research. Looking at the length of the latter call, this could be really irritating – I have been on the phone with these people for over 30 minutes!
Then there is also the mystery shopping, where an actual customer experience is simulated and measured. Some motoring magazines also do their own mystery shopping. This is a very real measurement but, once again, has it downsides. It tends to be a very small sample if it is a comprehensive mystery shop evaluation (and believe me, it can become very comprehensive with hidden cameras, microphones, etc. Sometimes the planning to create an ‘authentic experience’ is very elaborate, involving changing details on warranty databases, etc.) and, especially if it is measured by an outside party like a magazine or radio programme, a Service Advisor having a bad day can impact the measurement of a whole brand! I have also noticed that the dealers are pretty good at picking up when it is a Mystery shop, especially the rural dealers. They know their customer base well. In spite of this I have seen that dealers still get it wrong in spite of the fact that they realise that it is a mystery shop! In some cases big incentive payouts hinge on these results and can cause a lot of pressure on some poor frontline staff. No wonder some dealers are rewarding their service advisors with bigger salaries and company cars! It does not stop here though. The next thing that appeared is websites where customers can complain as well as publications that are keen to publish complaints letters, something that the OEM’s are keen to engage and remedy. Multiple blogs also made their appearance – giving the customer a modern version of the soapbox. With the recent economic slump the OEM’s have had to tighten their belts and have reduced spending in this arena substantially. This is not necessarily a bad thing in the sense, although it remains very important (maybe now more than ever), it is time to measure customer dissatisfaction more cost effectively and without the big bucks being spent to achieve this. So, what can we conclude from all this? Firstly, the customer is more empowered than ever before, especially with the more established brands. Secondly, this has become an industry in its own right with big money involved and maybe the focused has shifted ever so slightly away from the customer to the business of customer satisfaction!?
www.t-r-m.co.za T 0861 TRM TRM F 086 686 8382
Customer C.A.R.E. Programme
– sponsored by Federal-Mogul
Module EIGHT - STEP # TWO: THE DI PHENOMENON
Greetings and felicitations to all my readers. I feel that I am slowly getting to know you, and that a bond is developing between us. I also know that you have feverishly turned to this page, after excitedly and impatiently waiting to continue with this programme, to find out how we can manipulate people’s minds, so that your smelly, cheating, backstabbing, horrible little customers can become KINGS in the minds of your employees. You didn’t? Oh well, one can but dream.........
ut I am not going to give up; I shall go on and on, until you concede that C.A.R.E. will always stand for CUSTOMERS ARE REALLY EVERYTHING! In module seven, I said that the secret of superb customer service in your organisation is to get your employees to be totally fascinated by your customer. Not only fascinated, but to be totally besotted, and more importantly, they must LOVE the customer. Not physical love, but spiritual love. The Greeks have the correct perception of this love with their word, “agape”. This love can also be described as a form of twisted loyalty, in that no matter how badly your customer behaves, you stick with them through thick and thin, and you will not countenance any criticism of them. If the truth be told, and you really want to split hairs, this is not really a spiritual love, because with spiritual love, forgiveness is at the core of accepting faults. The love that you want to inculcate in your staff ’s bosoms is one of one-sided loyalty. A loyalty akin to that of a fanatical sports team supporter. They will hear nothing wrong about their team, and if they lose, God forbid, it is always the fault of the referee, or the touch judge, or the conditions, or that fickle Lady Luck, or the alignment of the constellations. This fanaticism was taken to new heights after
the 1995 Rugby World Cup, when the New Zealand rugby team was comprehensively beaten by the South African team in the final, and unfortunately for them there was very little to carp about. They could not complain about the refereeing, nor the conditions. So, guess what? They invented a story about being poisoned! Maybe it was the third force. They had been so conditioned that they were going to win, that when their inflexible strategy of shovelling the ball to Jonah Lomu at every conceivable and inconceivable opportunity, was ruthlessly exposed by Kitch Christie’s cover defence strategy, their minds just could not accept the reality of the situation. An excuse had to be found, and from the depths of their devastated sub-conscious, a fairy tale of comical proportions was conjured up, and it bubbled to the surface, to be told falteringly at first, and then repeated over and over again, with more and more conviction, until it became an established fact in the majority of the minds of the normally level-headed New Zealanders. Goebbels’ theory of propaganda, that a lie told repeatedly, eventually becomes the truth, had been comprehensively proven. This is the twisted loyalty for which you must strive. “Whoa”, I hear you say, “I have some serious bad debts because of
this crazy thinking”. I am not saying that you have to accept customers that do not pay their accounts. My definition of a customer is that of “someone who pays your salary” (we’ll come back to this concept later). But if your customer fits that description, then it is important that each and every member of your staff does become fanatical about that customer.
How do you get your employees to become raving customer care nuts? *
We can’t make all of our employees raving sports fanatics, but we can brainwash them into adoring the customer. To do this successfully, we HAVE to make an icon out of the customer, to be worshipped at the shrine of the workplace. How do we do this?
STEP # 2
We follow the example of the most successful icon creating phenomenon in recent history, and most probably of all time. I call it the DI PHENOMENON. This is aptly named, because what happened with Princess Di was no doubt a wonder; the creation of an icon in a matter of years, which is unusual but not unique in history. continued on p48
Customer C.A.R.E. Programme
from p46 However, what I do believe to be unique is the incredible altering of perceptions that her life, but more particularly her death, created. What do I mean? Well, the perceptions and emotions about the royal family had been built up over centuries, and these centuries-old feelings were inexorably altered in the short space of a decade. Not by a Shakespearean giant of the literary world, nor a politician of Churchillian mould, nor a reformer like Martin Luther. No, by a mere slip of a girl (apologies for the conscious use of a chauvinistic term). Or, more correctly, she was merely the vehicle that was used by the media. And therein lies the story, a truly incredible story, which I promised to tell you in this chapter. Unfortunately, this story needs time to tell, and I have run out of space. Thus, you will have to wait for module nine. I apologise for this, and I am embarrassed, because I have committed the first TRILOGY CARDINAL CRIME OF CUSTOMER C.A.R.E. This is the crime of over-promising, and under-delivering.
– sponsored by Federal-Mogul
nuts, then as sure as come customer care a very If your employees be ll bankrupt you in een apples, they wi God made little gr point is that like t? My So what is my poin ate systems short space of time. rson, you have to cre king businesspe sany sound thin , that restrains exce ces in your business and checks and balan vironment that an en must aim to create ployees the sive behaviour. You service, and gives em customer encourages superb at delight, surgs th ions and to do thin latitude to take decis not give them customers, but do nd your prise and even astou We shall come ver. e away the family sil carte blanche to giv at a later stage. back to this
ING: NOTE OF WARN
1. The Greeks have 3 words describing LOVE. Discuss these. 2. How can a score-line of 15-12, in extra time, be considered a comprehensive victory? 3. The pen is mightier than the sword, or the TV tube is stronger than a tank. Discuss. 4. Give an example of how you can delight, surprise or even astound your customer
Partinform Powers On
he well known and increasingly iconic series of Partinform road shows will once again grace the cities and towns of southern Africa in 2010, spreading the word on the benefits of branded quality parts versus the dangers of low quality white box parts, and once again the format of edutainment, one on one discussions, and prizes galore will be the order of the day. The chance to win a flip in a Ferrari will be the highlight of the shows, and Automotive Business Review will be there from start to finish, reporting on the activities and events.
The dates to be diarised are: TOWN HALL TBA GRAND PALM HOTEL CITY HALL TBA CITY HALL CITY HALL NASREC 11 FEBRUARY 9 MARCH 20 APRIL 11 MAY 17 AUGUST 14 SEPTEMBER 19 OCTOBER 9 NOVEMBER
GEORGE/MOSSEL BAY MTHATA GABORONE WITBANK NEWCASTLE POLOKWANE RUSTENBURG JHB/SOWETO
Can You Drink Diesel?
NO! Not suprising then that your engine chokes on water.
onaldson’s Fuel Filter Water Separator provides clean, filtered fuel that prevents pump and injector wear. Armed with a media that is hydrophobic, emulsified water and other contaminants are trapped and therefore prevented from entering and damaging your engine. Contamination of fuel can occur in numerous ways. Particulate and debris can enter when the fuel is transferred between storage tanks, water can ingress due to condensation on the inside wall of the fuel tank and by being pumped in from storage tanks where condensation and leaks are prevalent. Fuel Filter Water Separators remove contaminant and debris from the fuel just as a regular fuel filter would, however they have special filter media designed to remove water from the fuel. This water coalesces and drops to the bottom of the filter into the sump. Coalescing occurs as small water droplets collect and merge into larger droplets. Eventually, they become heavy and gravity causes them to fall to the bottom. This is better illustrated if you think of how water accumulates on your windshield as it rains. Eventually, the smaller drops merge with others to form larger droplets that run down the windshield. The Fuel Filter Water Separator is easy to install, has a longer life than standard fuel filters and reduces maintenance costs and downtime. It has been proven that correct filtration extends engine life and reduces fuel consumption. For more information about our complete line of spin-on and cartridge –style filters please visit our website: www.donaldson.co.za
Volkswagen Citi Mk1 003 handed over to its highest bidder
Volkswagen Citi Mk1 003 – the third last Citi Mk1 off the production line - was officially handed over on 4 December 2009 to its highest bidder, Dolf Jonker (right), the owner of the Auto Trust Body Repairers in Port Elizabeth. Dolf Jonker’s bid of R300 100 on BidorBuy website was nearly three times the listed retail price of the limited edition Volkswagen Citi Mk1. Dolf Jonker said: “My main motives for the highest bid were to own a piece of history associated with the Volkswagen Citi as well as to support the local charity organisation, Ubuntu Education Fund. I am delighted with the outcome.” At the same event, a cheque from the proceeds of the bid was handed over to Ubuntu Education Fund, a community based organisation in Zwide, Port Elizabeth. Also in the photo (from left), Mildred Dindala, Public Relations Officer: Auto Trust; Weza Moss, Corporate and Government Affairs Manager: Volkswagen of South Africa Community Trust and Gcobani Zonke, Vice President: Ubuntu Education Fund.
New PR Manager for Toyota South Africa Motors
Toyota South Africa Motors has announced the appointment of Leo Kok as Manager: Corporate Public Relations at the group. Leo joined the group on 18 January 2010. Leo joins Toyota from a career in media, having held positions as senior financial reporter and motoring editor at Beeld, the daily Afrikaans newspaper in the Northern region of South Africa. Leo will act as key media liaison between Toyota and the South African media.
Safety - A Fitting Approach
Automotive safety is a broad subject, and covers many facets. Quality of product plays a key role in vehicle safety, and the onus for this falls on the manufacturer. But quality of product is only the first line of defence. The correct fitment of parts is also vital. You could have the best brake pads in the world, but if the technician has fitted them incorrectly, your life is at stake. This applies to most vehicle parts, and the industry and the consumer have an important role to play in ensuring that fitment and maintenance of high quality parts are always top of mind. An oversight role is also critical, and this is where the SABS plays an important role.
indscreens are a case in point. Most motorists are aware of the importance of fitting a quality windscreen. They may not be aware of all the aspects behind windscreen safety, but they are sufficiently safety-conscious to insist on automotive glass approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). For the lucky few that never have to replace a windscreen the glass in front of their faces is little more than a means to keep out the elements, a surface on which to stick their license disk – and an expensive item to replace should it get cracked or broken. When replacement is necessary, motorists tend to go to their nearest glass fitment centre, or follow the advice of their insurers. But how often do they consider the quality of the workmanship that goes into fitment of the new windscreen? This is the second line of defence for the safety conscious motorist, and they need guidance as to where they can get this assurance. Not many people know that the SABS also certifies service and fitment, but Gilo Da Silva, Managing Director of Commercial Auto Glass, has always been ahead of the curve. “The quality of the glass is but one aspect of the replacement. The windscreen must also be fitted correctly,” Gilo emphasises. “That involves several factors such as the beading, the cowling, the quality of the polyurethane glue and the competence of the workmen themselves. If the replacement windshield is not fitted correctly, the glass will be under stress. So when a stone hits the windshield, it will be more likely to crack. In the event of an accident, a poorly fitted windscreen can pop out under impact. As the windscreen forms an important part of the vehicle’s structural integrity, this obviously has serious safety implications.” Since founding
Commercial Auto Glass in 1999, Da Silva has pursued a policy of ensuring that his company offers materials and workmanship to the highest standards. He was the first auto glass importer in South Africa to have his products tested and approved by the SABS. In August 2006, Commercial Auto Glass became the first vehicle glass fitment centre certified by the SABS to SANS 10240:2005, the National Standard that addresses the installation of replacement auto glass in motor vehicles by the direct glazing method. “The standard addresses four main areas: Building and Site, Equipment, Quality Manual, and Procedures and Personnel,” explains Gerrie Kriek, Managing Director of the SABS Transportation cluster. “Certification to the standard means that the product or service is fit for purpose and offers redress. Certified companies are audited annually to ensure continued compliance and the certification must be renewed every three years. It is an ongoing process to ensure that quality management is sustained for the customer’s peace of mind.” Da Silva agrees that the aims of the standard are carried through into practice. “Due to the procedures written into the standard, I now have a comprehensive and effective job card system. So if there are any comebacks from the customer, I can trace and correct the fault quickly. My workers undergo training twice a year to upgrade their skills, and there is a tangible commitment to professionalism and quality management throughout the chain. ” Commercial Auto Glass currently has nine branches in South Africa, located in Johannesburg (Selby), Pretoria, Boksburg,
Left to right: Thinus Rautenbach (Shop Manager Commercial Auto Glass), Johan Gouws (Vehicle Test Station Manager SABS), Desmond Govender (Transportation Manager- SABS), Danie Liebenberg (Lead Auditor-SABS) & Gilo da Silva (Managing Director Commercial Auto Glass). Vereeniging, Springs, Durban, Rustenburg, and Bellville and Salt River in Cape Town. In addition, there are two Commercial Auto Glass branches across the border in Gaborone and Francistown in Botswana. Da Silva plans to open further branches in Polokwane and Nelspruit during 2010, and then to expand to other major cities in South Africa. “All of my branches are certified to SANS 10240:2005, and all of the new branches will undergo certification as well. Of approximately 500-600 vehicle glass fitment centres in South Africa, we are proud to be the first and, so far, the only fitment centres to be certified,” explains Da Silva. The truly inspiring story within the story is that Da Silva is not afraid to lose his unique competitive advantage when it comes to glass fitment. He encourages other glass fitment centres to follow his example and seek certification. “I’m all for it, in the bigger picture of national safety,” says Gilo. “In fact, I’ll go further and help them by advising them, based on my own experiences and learning curve during the certification process. More fitment centres becoming certified means better service that we, as an industry, will be providing to the South African public. That’s good for everybody. I’d also like to see insurance companies making SANS 10240 certification a requirement. Currently, they insist only on certified glass being used. But the best quality windscreen also needs to be fitted correctly. Quality management must apply throughout the whole process.” Leading from the front, Commercial Auto Glass successfully renewed its SANS 10240:2005 certification during August 2009. “The SABS congratulates Commercial Auto Glass on its commitment to quality management. The SANS certification offers customers the assurance that they are receiving not just a safe and approved product, but a quality service as well,” Gerrie Kriek enthusiastically states. For further enquiries regarding SANS 10240:2005 certification, interested parties may contact Desmond Govender, Manager Transportation Certification, SABS at 012 428 6697. Cell 083 789 8834, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
by Roger McCleery
RENEWED VIGOUR AT PEUGEOT
The oldest surviving motor company in the world is Peugeot. Peugeot has built cars since 1889. It has survived many wars and world recessions, including the current one. The company has exported cars from the start and is well established here in South Africa. They have been selling cars here since the late 50’s and early 60’s through dealer groups. Peugeot as a company has now established themselves in South Africa, bringing their latest very chic, distinctive and elegant models into our market. They have also brought a whole new feel and energy to the brand. Heading the renewed vigour at Peugeot in South Africa is Jean Francois Bacos,
the MD of the company.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE PEUGEOT IN SOUTH AFRICA? We want to increase the share of business we have in this market place. Not only with our range of innovative small to medium size cars but with our growing number of commercial models as well. Our prices in a price sensitive market are realistic and offer good value with renowned Peugeot quality. We will be launching three new cars this year. Improved customer satisfaction and aftersales support for customers and dealers is top of our list. This will be a key part of our strategy now and into the future. To this end we have 8000m² of parts warehousing. The price of our parts is very competitive in the country compared to other manufacturers. We are also providing ongoing service training to mechanics. The intention is to increase our dealer organisation from the current 26 dealers to 31 in key areas of South Africa. Customer satisfaction will be surveyed and monitored on a regular basis to see if we are achieving our goals. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN SOUTH AFRICA? Since April 2009, when I saw the country for the first time. I must say I appreciate everything about this country and feel it is easy to be motivated here and to do well for our customers and products. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH PEUGEOT? Thirty years. WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO PEUGEOT? It is a successful company with employees and colleagues who have a passion for their products. They are also innovative and not just a run-of-the-mill motor company. WHERE DID YOU WORK BEFORE? After obtaining my degree at a French Business School I worked at Air France with my father who was in Sales and Marketing. WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE AT SCHOOL? Funnily enough, I wanted to be involved in economics and sales and marketing. That is all I ever thought about. SPORTS? Soccer and now getting into golf and getting my handicap down. YOU HAVE GAINED GREAT EXPERIENCE AT PEUGEOT? Yes. I ran a large dealership in France for three years where we sold 2000 cars a year and a spell as Fleet Sales Manager to big fleet owners, rental companies and Government Departments in France. After that I was Export Manager for Northern Europe where 70% of our exports are sent. Then back to Head Office as Product Manager for mid-size and luxury cars. WHAT DOES A PRODUCT MANAGER DO? At Peugeot he feeds Engineers and Designers on worldwide customer requirements for our products and the market as we see it in the future. Cars of course start their design four years before they see the market place for the first time. It is a very complicated business and involves a lot of input from a huge number of people. MARRIED? Yes. To Marie Pierre, who has been supportive and an inspiration to me. We have two children. A daughter, Fanny, of 22, who lives in France and is going to teach handicapped children. Our son, Niels, is 18 and has just finished school, and will be going to University. HAVE YOU HAD A MENTOR IN YOUR CAREER? Yes. Bruno de Guibert, one of the passionate top product people at Peugeot, now retired, who had a long history at the company and had far-reaching vision. He was the man in charge of the 205 and 206 models and was “Man of the Year” in Peugeot for his successes. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU RETIRE? I have been too busy to give it a thought and too involved with Peugeot and getting things in top shape. My feeling is, although you need more youngsters coming in to the motor industry, you must not let the experienced people go too easily.
by Roger McCleery
Roger McCleery asks the questions
See how many of these 20 Questions you can answer.
1. Which company published RMI 101? 2. Where was South Africa’s first International Airport? 3. How old would Elvis Presley be this year (if he lived)? 4. Which South African came 2nd in the 2009 Dakar? (He was a navigator) 5. Who invented the pneumatic tyre? 6. What make of car won the 2007 South African Production Car Championship? 7. Who has won four WesBank V8 Championships in a row? 8. Who designed the VW Beetle? 9. Which lady racer competing in South African today had an uncle who won Le Mans in 1924 in a Bentley? 10. Who is the only man to have won World Championships on 2 and 4 wheels? 11. Name the MD of Volkswagen South Africa. 12. How many finalists are there in the 2010 Car of the Year? 13. Greece produced a famous car designer. Who? 14. Who heads up Toyota’s Motorsport in South Africa in 2010? 15. Who made the first gas turbine car? 16. Name the only American rider to have won the 250 and 500 World Motorcycle Championships in the same year. 17. How many Formula 1 Grands Prix are on the 2010 calendar? 18. What does CKD mean? 19. Name the MD of Nissan South Africa. 20. Who makes the i20 model of car?
Answers on page 68
A series of articles on the versatile FSA 720/740/754 series
The Golden Triangle – KTS, ESI[tronic], and FSA
In the October and November 2009 issues of ABR, we followed in the detective wake of Carlo du Plessis of Cencar, Centurion, as he applied the golden triangle procedures to identify why a five year old BMW 535i (e39) had hard starting and lack of power. Carlo had at his disposal the KTS Compact Control Unit Diagnostic Tester, the ESI[tronic] Service Information System, and the FSA Engine Management System Analyser. Our apologies for skipping a month, but the December 2009/January 2010 issue was jam packed, so we decided to leave out the Workshop Diagnostic Feature, and to renew it from the February 2010 issue.
his particular BMW was proving to be a hard nut to crack, because Carlo had already tested the power supply, gone through the trouble code procedures, and had confirmed that the fuel pressure was okay. Even the lambda sensor signals to the ECU had passed muster, so Carlo had a real head scratcher on his hands. This is where the senses and skill of the technician come into play. Something unusual was on the go, and Carlo had to dig deep to find the problem. It was Carlo’s olfactory functions that gave him the clue – there was a strange smell emitting from the exhaust!! Carlo brought out the big gun, in the form of the FSA Engine Management System Analyser, to do the final test. Unscrewing the lambda sensor, and utilising the custom made adaptor, Carlo hooked up the FSA to the exhaust and tested the pressure. The well trained technician will even take altitude into account with this test, and Carlo knew that in Pretoria the correct pressure would be in the region of 850 kPa. The FSA was giving a reading of over 1000 kPa, so now Carlo knew where the problem lay. The exhaust was blocked! The funny smell that Carlo’s nose had picked up was the unusual odour of a “burning” catalytic converter, caused by the back draft of hot air and fuel mixture. The simple procedure of cutting the exhaust pipe with a hacksaw confirmed the prognosis, with the pipe blocked with soot. Problem solved, through a combination of the golden triangle and Carlo’s cognitive skills, which he says is the secret to solving all problems. He even goes as far as to say that a good technician will always have a sense of pride in his equipment and in his abilities, and that this attitude is what is needed to be a top rate technician. A happy Carlo with his big gun, the FSA Engine Management System Analyser
This is what a blocked catalytic converter looks like, next to the lambda sensor to indicate relevant size.
At 3 Kykoedie Street, Valencia Industrial, Nelspruit, you will find a professionally run, fully BEE compliant establishment run by Wayne and Stella Masher. Wayne is the technical mastermind at Performance Auto, while wife Stella is the administrative boffin.
ayne Masher is a BMW trained technician, who had the good fortune to be mentored by BMW in all the aspects of an automotive dealership, from sales to parts to service, the whole gamut. It was on this solid foundation that Wayne started his own business in 2000, building up a formidable reputation as a one stop shop in Nelspruit, with various divisions complementing each other and in many cases adding value for the customer. Performance Auto’s workshop area has 23 work bays, and yet is just one facet of an impressive array of services, offered by a dedicated team that in turn is mentored by Wayne, who has learnt from the BMW experience. This ensures an excellent working Performance Auto’s welcoming environment, buttressed by extra curricula support reception area such as adult education, plus subsidised housing. Despite being a household name in Nelspruit, Wayne realised that to replicate the OEM dealership model, he needed something extra to offer his customers. The e-CAR workshop concept fitted the bill like a glove, because it is nationally recognised, and thus very similar to the OEM model. Wayne can now offer the Lowveld community a national warranty and provide the same familiarity that a new vehicle owner experiences, at “a lesser price and equal quality”. Wayne is a meticulous man who likes to get his house in order and his ducks in a row before shouting from the rooftops. Thus he has held back on an e-CAR launch whilst he has been dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Everything is now in place, and an official e-CAR launch will shortly take place, with the requisite pomp and ceremony. Wayne also has other expansion plans in the offing, so watch this Lowveld highlight take to the stars. Performance Auto has all the equipment to offer a one-stop shop experience
The dedicated Auto Performance Team
THE BIGGER THE VOICE THE BETTER THE OFFERING
Capricorn Society Limited is fast becoming a southern hemisphere automotive aftermarket icon and is no stranger to regular ABR readers. The organisation, launched in 1975 as a co-operative to service the automotive repair and servicing industries now has over 12 000 automotive enterprises as members, including paint and panel shops, mechanical workshops, auto electrical and auto transmission workshops, mobile mechanical services and tyre and suspension stores. In Cape Town, two auto service centres are riding the recession trough with confidence, thanks to the business benefits Capricorn unlocks, reports Paul Collings.
“Capricorn members are able to source the necessary auto parts and workshop equipment at discounted rates from over 1300 preferred suppliers in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. This is because Capricorn has the buying power to negotiate competitive prices for bulk purchases from its suppliers,” says Rob Mildenhall, South Africa’s business development manager, Capricorn Society Ltd. But price is hardly an issue for service orientated businesses, and it is the other range of benefits available to Capricorn members that appeals to two Cape-based Capricorn members, Mace Group and Disa Auto Services. These members focus on offering quality service to their customers before punting lower prices on labour and spares. For Mace Group boss, Hammy Goode, Capricorn membership augments a highly skilled and specialist team of technicians who service everything from passenger cars to light delivery petrol and diesel workhorses to racing cars. “We’ve been in operation since 1995 and are now one of the leading high-performance auto service centres in the Western Cape,” says Goode. “Mace’s workshop services five to six cars a day and employs seven qualified mechanics and three apprentices. Our combined staff totals 25 people. Our workshop has all the latest diagnostic equipment and we specialise in turbo conversions, dyno tuning and the supply of high-octane racing fuel.” Both Disa Auto Services and Mace Group are able to offer quality service to their customers because of Capricorn’s streamlined approach to parts sourcing and consolidated invoice management. “Apart from instant credit and great prices on spares and equipment, being a Capricorn member cuts out a lot of our admin work which enables us to focus on what we do best - execute first-rate auto servicing with an integrity that keeps our customers coming back for more,” says Goode.
Disa Auto Services’ slick shop-front in Strand, Cape Town
Doné Thompson, Disa Disa Auto Services was established in Auto Services’ co-owner 1994 and services around 170 vehicles per month. “We employ five fully qualified auto technicians, four workshop assistants and an additional eleven staff members. Our workshop is equipped with a comprehensive range of up to date diagnostic equipment, such as Bosch, Launch, Autoboss, and includes a Mercedes-Benz HHT Tester,” says Pieter Oosthuizen, Disa Auto Services’ Disa Auto Services’ co-owner (along with Pieter Oosthuizen Doné Thompson). “We do exactly what the customer asks for and do precisely what the customer needs. We became a The best workshop equipment and skills keep Disa Auto Services on top of its game Capricorn member in February 2004 and have never looked back. We get a better price on spare parts for our customers and when we have problems with supplier accounts, Capricorn comes to our aid,” says Oosthuizen. “We only use tested quality parts to prevent negative comebacks. With the help of Capricorn, we are looking forward to growing our business in 2010 without compromising quality. It really is a matter of the bigger the voice the better the offering”.
To join Capricorn Society Limited call Rob Mildenhall on 083 654 2094 or e-mail him at email@example.com or visit their website on www.capricorn.com.au
erlemann’s gears up for growth
erlemann’s Gearbox Engineering has been focusing on all things transmission since its establishment in 1972, and today it is a thriving business, situated at 33 Laub Street, New Centre, Johannesburg. To mark the implementation of its Automatic Transmission Programme, erlemann’s held an official launch function on Thursday 10th December 2009.
Stan Roberts, General Manager (left) and Richard Erlemann, Managing Director, say that erlemann’s is now in a position to expand and diversify, which is good news for the automotive aftermarket n its 37 years of operations, erlemann’s has focused on VW and Audi exclusively, which resulted in it becoming an accredited supplier to Volkswagen South Africa of reconditioned gearboxes and differentials. erlemann’s is also the only company nationwide which can service and supply all types of VW and Audi gearboxes and differentials for all local and overseas models of these motor vehicles, with the unique ability to supply 172 out of a variety of over 250 different types of gearboxes, ranging from the 1954 Beetle to the latest Audi electronic gearbox. But the times they are a changing, and the demand from the market for this expertise to be applied to all the other brands available has forced erlemann’s to rethink and diversify. But it was not a decision taken lightly, nor was it a Quixotic rush to muscle into other markets. It took three years of research and development, investigating, intensive feasibility studies and rigorous testing before the management of erlemann’s was ready for its foray into non VW brands. It’s going to be an exciting year, with the Inglestone Road operation At the launch to present and discuss the new Hydra Test Equipment being readied for non VW brands, whilst the Laub Street operation was Dr. William Henney PHD F.I.M.I., an internationally will remain as the VW and Audi hub. renowned transmission specialist. Bill Henney (on the right) also had the opportunity to catch up with old friends, such as Rob Mildenhall of Capricorn Society. More on this in future editions of ABR.
A tour of the facilities with relevant demonstrations was conducted by
A very important certificate
Wynand Cronje, Trainee Gearbox Technician (Valve Deflection Vacuum Testing) Werner Vickers, Workshop Foreman (Diagnostic Equipment) Martin Hoffmann, Senior Foreman (Hydra Test Equipment)
Behind every successful function are some ladies
SA FUEL SUPPLIES WILL BE ADEQUATE DURING THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
The South African petroleum industry will be ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup when demand is expected to spike significantly across the entire supply chain of petrol, diesel, and particularly, jet fuel. That’s the assurance from Maurice Radebe, incoming chairman of the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), the representative body of manufacturing and wholesaling companies in the petroleum industry. Radebe says a major programme is being developed by a World Cup Fuel Task Team chaired by the Department of Energy to ensure that about 2.7m spectators are able to travel to the 64 matches scheduled over the approximately 40 day period beginning on June 11 at stadiums around the country. “Visitors and teams will start arriving two to three weeks prior to the tournament and many will stay on afterwards to holiday in the country, so from a fuel supply perspective, this will be a major logistical exercise, the likes of which we may never see again” says Radebe. SAPIA, Transnet, ACSA, the Department of Energy and various other stakeholders are co-operating to ensure all petroleum products will be available he said. “Stock levels are the key. Refineries will be producing at top capacity ahead of and during the event and import, distribution and storage facilities will all be optimally utilised. “We will be ready to meet the needs of transport operators, airlines, tourist destinations, industry and commerce in the run up to the FIFA World Cup and beyond when South Africa will be showcased to the world.” The massive fuel supply build-up for the event also focussed attention on the issue of continuity of supply in the fuel industry into the future he said – something to which he would give considerable attention during his tenure as Chairman. “Importantly the FIFA World Cup has provided a basis for co-operation by all stakeholders in the petroleum industry which will be invaluable over the next five to ten years as critical supply and production issues are tackled. It is for this reason that the industry has applied for exemption from the Competition Commission. This exemption will allow the necessary co-operation. “Supply disruptions have probably been avoided to date and in part, because of the economic slowdown and the inland areas, the industrial and economic heartland of the country, are the most vulnerable in this respect. “There is a close link between the petroleum industry and economic growth. In order to increase production to fuel South Africa’s growing economy and meet the demand for cleaner burning, more efficient fuels, large investments will be needed by the industry. Issues of timing, funding and cost recovery mechanisms for the refineries and other stakeholders to meet the multi billion Rand cost of these developments have to be taken into account.”
“The basis for working together in preparation for the FIFA World Cup should be taken forward to meet these challenges, working within the framework of the Energy Security Master Plan agreed to by Cabinet in 2007.”
DATES SET FOR NEXT AUTOMECHANIKA TRADE FAIR IN SA
he organisers of Automechanika South Africa , Dogan Trading, have agreed on dates with brand owner Messe Frankfurt for the second staging of this world-renowned international trade fair for the automotive aftermarket. It will take place from March 9-12, 2011 at MTN Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg. The city last year became the 13th in 12 countries in the world to stage an Automechanika trade fair. The first local expo was held in March last year and the intention was to stage the the event annually. However, the economic downturn and the World Cup Football tournament, which will be making use of Expo Centre for its International Broadcast Centre, has meant a postponement of the second event until 2011.
“This means that the second edition of Automechanika SA will benefit from being staged at a venue that has undergone a R30-million rand revamp, with muchimproved facilities to the benefit of both exhibitors and visitors,” said show director Philip Otto.
”We have once again received support from major industry organisations for the 2011 fair, including the National Association of Automobile manufacturers of SA (NAAMSA), Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI), Automotive Industry Export Council (AECI) and the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers’ (NAACAM), while we now also have backing from Automechanika’s global partners, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and the European Garage Equipment Association (EGEA). “We have already updated the local website – www.automechanikasa.co.za – and this includes an attractive, downloadable calendar featuring photographs taken at all 13 of the global Automechanika trade fairs; the calendar goes from January 2010 – where three South African models, posing at the MTN Expo Centre, are featured – to January 2011,” added Otto.
SPECIAL AWARD FOR INAUGURAL AUTOMECHANIKA SA
The achievement of loc al exhibition organisers, Dogan Trading, in successfully staging the inaugural, int ernational Automechanika South Afr ica trade fair for the aut omotive aftermarket has been rec ognised by the Exhibitio ns and Events Association of SA (EXSA). The event was rec ognised with a Certificate of Excelle nce for 2009 trade shows of more than 12 000m2 floor spa ce at EXSA’s recent annual awards function, held at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand. Automechani ka SA show director, Ph ilip Otto, said he was delighted to hav e the event honoured by EX SA as it had been his long-held dream to bring the intern ational Automechanika trade fair brand to South Africa, “Johannesburg is now the 13th city in 12 global cou ntries to stage one of these events and we are proud that the success is another boost for the city that will be in the world spotlight as it plays host to the ope ning and closing games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup”.
ABR gives its r MTN Exp eaders a sneak previ ew o Centre – a stunning of the new renaissanc e
WEBSITE EW INTERNET N CHANIKA FOR AUTOME FRANKFURT tomotive after-
for the au e global trade fairs before the Automechanika, th bsite, almost a year launched a new we r 14-19, market, has urt from Septembe gship fair in Frankf visitors to: start of its fla e eyes and ears” for are “fireworks for th t/en The 2010. There kfurt.com/frankfur echanika.messefran through a http://autom teractive road show the viewer on an in ual for site will take the new key vis of mobility – music. The metropolis mpaniment of rock nika – to the acco – has been Automecha opolis of Mobility – known as the Metr d items of stylised city cle components an various motor vehi built from ve.” t which all “come ali workshop equipmen
Brityrex News Brityrex reaches 70% of floor space sales with 9 months still to go!
Event organiser ECI International has confirmed that Brityrex International 2010 is already 70 per cent sold in terms of stand space at Manchester Central. Confirming the positive take-up from exhibitors, ECI managing director Paul Farrant says: “We continue to make very good progress with the exhibition and I can put everyone’s mind to rest by confirming that Brityrex will definitely be taking place as planned in Manchester in October. “Reaching the 70 per cent milestone at this relatively early stage means we go forward with confidence and in the knowledge that the industry is firmly behind the exhibition.” Since the turn of the year ECI has continued to register a wide variety of international exhibitors for the UK’s only dedicated tyre and equipment show of the year. They include companies from the UK, Europe, south Asia, China and New Zealand.
KenKen 3 x 3
How to Play: Like Sudoku, even though difficulty may vary from puzzle to puzzle, the rules for playing KenKen are fairly simple: For a 3 x 3 puzzle, fill in with the numbers 1-3.
• 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 68
Latest CV-joint technology in SKF drive shaft range (VKJ) for Renault Megane and Grand Scenic
SKF has extended the drive shaft range with the latest CV-joint technology based on an eight ball design that reduces the weight and the volume of the transmission, striving for reduced fuel consumption.
The latest design innovation consists in CV-joints with eight balls instead of six which allows for the usage of smaller balls resulting in a more compact unit with a higher level of performance than the traditional six ball design. This evolution is in line with the car industry’s requirements for solutions that reduce consumption. Most new applications, mainly on the wheel end side, are now equipped with the eight ball construction. The range extension covers 25 new items for Renault Megane and Grand Scenic . For more information, see SKF’s Vehicle Service Market website: www.skf.vsm.com.
Finger in the Wind
The CEO of McCarthy Limited, Brand Pretorius, in his annual state of the industry presentation to the media at the OR Tambo Airport in the first week of the year, said that 2009 was the most dramatic year he had ever experienced in the motor industry, and that any prediction he made for 2010 was akin to licking his finger and testing the wind.
retorius is not alone, and most economists would admit that forecasting vehicle sales for 2010 is an extremely difficult exercise, and mostly in thumb suck territory. Now that we have got all the digit references out of the way, let us turn our attention to what the sage of Northcliff had to say. Despite the “wrenching” emotions that he experienced in 2009, Pretorius lifted the mood by saying that he “is filled with excitement for the new year. As a committed South African I look forward to the 2010 World Cup.” Pretorius also admitted that the downturn of 25,9% in 2009 was significantly worse than his prediction of a 10% slump, but added that most economists had not even predicted a 10% decline. Pretorius also added that this was the biggest year-on-year decline in history, with the previous low point having been a 24,8% fall in sales between 1984 and 1985. He said there were a number of reasons for the decline over and above the main reason, namely the South African economy going into a recession for the first time in 17 years. Pretorius said major contributors to this situation were low levels of business and consumer confidence, the ratio of household debt to disposable income being close to a record high. Pretorius expects an increase of 7% in total vehicle sales to 422 800 units this year, with all segments showing an upward
trend. His forecast will still make this year’s expected vehicle market the smallest since 2003, apart from 2009. Pretorius
used vehicle market and more added value from manufacturers and dealers. The relatively favourable interest rate environment should also assist on the affordability front. Other positive factors include a projected GDP growth rate of at least 1.5%, an anticipated higher credit application approval rate and the positive impact of the Soccer World Cup on both consumer and business confidence. Stronger buying by the rental companies in the first quarter in preparation for demand during the World Cup should also boost the market, as well as improved vehicle supply and the fact that fleet-owners should start renewing their fleets this year. However, Pretorius cautioned that there were several negative influences that could affect vehicle sales this year. Pretorius summed up by saying that there are a number of key issues that will affect vehicle demand this year. These include the sustainability of the global and local economic recovery, the levels of business and consumer confidence, and the willingness of financial institutions to extend credit to corporate and private customers as well as the question of vehicle affordability.
said he anticipated that sales of passenger cars will rise 8% to 278 800 units, with light commercials up 4.9% to 124 000 units, medium commercials growing 4.0% to 7 500 units and heavy commercials increasing by 6.7% to 12 500 units. “We see 2010 as a year of consolidation for the local motor industry as it recovers from last year’s financial crisis which saw the biggest year-on-year drop in sales in history”. He said there were a number of factors which should influence sales positively this year. These included enhanced vehicle affordability through price stability, higher trade in prices due to a strong
“We are not expecting any fireworks, but rather a period of consolidation and modest growth in sales of both new and used vehicles,” he concluded.
by Fingal Wilde
On Your Marx, Get Set, Do Not Pass Go
During a recent sojourn in the UK, I did my customary cemetery visits, with West Brompton and Highgate Cemeteries in London on my itinerary. Ever since my namesake was interred in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris in a hideous Eastern Bloc type mausoleum, I have developed a morbid interest in cemeteries, headstones and the like, which South Africa does not sate one iota. The first thing that strikes you when comparing old cemeteries in South Africa to their Europe equivalents is the markedly different approach to maintenance. South African municipalities tend to let cemeteries go to the dogs, whereas in Europe everything is kept in pristine condition. All about culture and civilised behaviour, I suppose.
est Brompton Cemetery is really beautiful, with delightful Victorian architecture, which has made it the cemetery of choice amongst filmmakers. Highgate is not so grand, but what distinguishes it is the fact that it is the resting place of one Karl Marx, the great promoter of communism, and one of the most hypocritical fellows to “grace” our planet. This parasite on society hardly ever did a day’s work, unless you define journalism as hard labour, leeching off handouts from fellow freak Friedrich Engels’ family business and an inheri-
for posterity, the paper on which it was written perfect for the posterior, “Capital is dead labour, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.” What absolute drivel, exemplified and amplified by the behaviour of our modern Marx clones. This came home to me when on New Year’s Day I complimented the rubbish removal “wukkas” for working on a public holiday. They complained that they were having to play catch-up on a backlog; obviously selfinduced; but my generous compliment on a work ethic opened the door to strenuous entreaties for additional payment from
The beautiful West Brompton cemetery tance from his wife’s uncle. Interestingly, these sources of income came from capitalist swine, but why look a gift horse in the mouth, even when your whole philosophical being is dead set against the basic tenets of this gift horse. Irrespective, Herr Marx spent his waking hours procreating (even putting his housekeeper – a communist having a housekeeper!!! – up the communist pole, or more indelicately, hoisting her on his own petard), writing, philosophising, politicising, pontificating, stealing oxygen, and when capitalist funds were available, bourgeoising. Thus, the following quote must go down in the annals of history as the biggest load of hypocritical and self-serving crap ever to be kept
The grandest tombstone at the Highgate cemetery belongs not to an industrialist, but a communist. Tony Twine of Econometrix reminded me of the old chestnut that this particular site is a communist plot. good old gullible me, based on hand wringing and heart wrenching cries of poverty. But hold on. These guys are being paid for this, and most probably double time, but are still looking for extra moola. Not the behaviour of wukkas, rather capitalists, which obviously explains the behaviour of the razor sharp Blade Nzimande, who if offered a twenty million Rand jet, to be paid for by the taxpayers, would accept with alacrity. The conclusion is that fundamentally there is no difference between capitalists and communists. Human nature is an all encompassing blanket, of many hues. The communists are just a little more hypocritical than the others.
Another prescient quote from the bearded wonder: “Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fairer sex, the ugly ones included”. Unfortunately, over a century later, just a few metres from Marx’ grave, one wife’s death was an afterthought and another wife apparently did not have the universal love that her husband enjoyed. Thank goodness for all concerned that she was not around to correct the oversight.
from page 65
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. TrilogyPublishing Deneysville 75 Ralph Pitchford John Dunlop (an Irishman) Audi Hennie Groenewald Ferdinand Porsche Claire Vale John Surtees Dave Powels 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
From page 57
8 Alec Issigonis (the Mini) Glyn Hall Rover Freddy Spencer 19 Completely knocked down Mike Whitfield Hyundai
For All Rapid Techheads
by Howard Keeg
I had many options for the title of this article, but I plumped for the rapid tech head angle. I could have also used rabid tech heads, but For All Rapid Techheads will suffice. Simply because the Scirocco is designed for those who know cars, and those who like speed. I had this vehicle for a week, and it is an impressive package, but maybe with just too much grunt for an old fart like me.
The new a ggressive S cirocco
raring to g o
The old u nderstated Scirocco
n the seventies Volkswagen went through what we in the VW clique at the time called their flatulent period. It was a juvenile joke about all the cars named after winds during that frenetic era, and many of those names are still with us, like a severe case of colic. Not that the owners of Jettas, Golfs, Passats and Sciroccos would agree, but these cars do tend to give the competition painful indigestion. These are all great cars, and the longevity of their names attest to that. But those of us who worked in Uitenhage but stayed in Port Elizabeth were convinced that all those windy names were a cruel reference to our very flatulent city. Parochial, I know, but you would only understand if you were there at the time.
For those who weren’t around in the 70’s, let me elucidate. Passat is the German word for trade wind, Golf is named after Gulf Stream, Jetta logically after Jet Stream, and the Bora, which did not see the light of day in South Africa, was guess what, named after the Bora wind which whips up the Adriatic. Oh yes, the Scirocco was a nod to the Italians and the hot Sirocco wind which blasts Libya and its neighbours. It is also not confirmed that the Sirocco is responsible for Muammar Gadaffi’s hairstyle. Okay, enough of the windy geography lesson. Let us get back to what has the rapid techheads in a froth. The Scirocco first came out in the seventies, and was based on the A1 Golf (at that stage still in design stage), but in a very clever sports coupe disguise, thanks to that styling genius Giorgetto Giugiaro. It was the replacement for the venerable Karmann Ghia, but unfortunately has never reached the iconic status of its predecessor, but not for lack of trying. The Scirocco has gone through many redesigns, and today it is truly a very impressive car, with space age styling. Its 147kW two litre mill is very aggressive, and even in electronic traction mode, it bucks like a bronco and leaves rubber on the road if you’re not careful. The tricky teutonic tiptronic box, also known as the semi-automatic twin-clutch DSG transmission, tripped me up, and the manual paddle mode just put me into a spin. Perfect for a boy racer or a rapid techhead, but just a little too much too handle for the hirsutely challenged. Not for the old farts, but perfect for the young with strong sphincters.
WATS Exhibitor Registrations Soar in January 2010!
WATS exhibitor registrations absolutely TOOK OFF in January 2010! So much so, that by the third week of January only 30% exhibitor space was left over. The Show is now 70% sold out! It has become absolutely clear that much more optimism & enthusiasm is being felt in our industry and in our country for 2010.
ith a spotlight on Training & Technology in this year’s WATS show and with the Heavyweight Expo taking place in conjunction with the WATS show, together with the extended show hours and an additional day, the feet through the 2010 WATS show is expected to way surpass previous years. The close relationship between WATS & the RMI is clearly evident year on year, but never more than this year where RMI Northern Region Manager Angela Calogero has brought some ground breaking initiatives to the show with the purpose of firstly, proving that “Belonging to the RMI is better business” and secondly putting additional actions to many words spoken on urgently required training in our industry by exposing more students and people interested in taking up a career
in the Motor Industry to aspects of the trade, as well as encouraging FET’s to visit the show. Angela has taken it upon herself to involve the 16 constituent bodies of the RMI to take stands at WATS Pretoria so that each have something interactive on their stand that anyone showing an interest in the trade, visitors, teenage school children and school leavers, can get a hands on feel of what that sector of the Motor Industry is about. Angela has gone so far as to team up with a Panel Beating Company in Pretoria to look into setting up a Demonstration spray booth where visitors and especially students can have a go at actually spraying something, without being arrested for doing graffiti. WATS will hold four 30min short informative talks each evening of 24th & 25th March covering a range of subjects such as: Generic Fuel
Injection, Diagnostic Scanning, Testing & Fault Finding, Importance of using correct brake components, correct testing of new generation Alternator Voltage Regulators & “Introduction to the Electrolog & Electrolog Advanced Training” to name a few. Everyone at WATS is extremely excited to host a Show in 2010 which will mark one of the greatest years in South African History. 24-25th March 2010, Hall L of the Pretoria Show Grounds. 10h00 to 21h30. For further information visit www.wats.co.za where you can register on-line or contact Miranda on: 082 9680 214 & firstname.lastname@example.org or Johann on: 082 5515 061 & email@example.com The WATS Expo’s are fully endorsed by the RMI (Retail Motor Industry Organisation of S.A.)
HeavyWeight Expo To Feature Workshops By Omega Investment Research
Omega Investment Research, a Cape Town-based international trade and investment promotion and event management firm will be presenting workshops tailored to the needs of the heavy vehicle industry over the four days of the inaugural HeavyWeight Expo 2010, which will be held at the Tshwane Events centre in Pretoria West from March 23 to 26, 2010. Established in 1990 by Dr Denis Worrall, Omega has conceptualised, initiated and managed over 200 events in 20 countries and 30 major cities around the world. Omega specialises in business-to-business events with the accent on trade and investment. “We see huge potential for a highly focused event such as the HeavyWeight Expo,” said Denise Spaull, Omega’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy. “The heavy vehicle industry, which serves and supports many sectors that are crucial to the regional economy, is a very specialised sector that has not had its own dedicated event platform in Southern Africa until now.” Apart from the exhibition that will showcase latest products and concepts, the HeavyWeight Show will offer five three-hour workshops that will feature topical and industry specific themes developed in close consultation with independent stakeholders. There will be top class speakers who will discuss current topics and trends relevant to the sector and Q&A sessions will be an important element. The workshops will be of interest to all of the industry’s stakeholders from manufacturers and suppliers to financiers and end users in the construction, mining, agricultural, logistics and transport industries as well as government. “We hope to attract at least 500 delegates to attend the workshop sessions, which will run parallel to the exhibition,” said Spaull.
ASA pulls NACE, CARS shows out of AAIW
utomotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) 2010 will take place Oct. 11-13 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas as a stand-alone event, no longer during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), which includes the SEMA and AAPEX shows. 2010 marks the third annual ASRW, which features the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) for collision repairers; the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS) for auto service professionals; and Auto Glass Week for automotive glass professionals. All three shows are sponsored by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), which made the decision to cut ties with AAIW and the SEMA show. ASA said more industry segments might join under the ASRW umbrella. “ASA is very pleased that our plans to produce a dedicated event for all automotive service and repair professionals, regardless of their industry affiliations, business models, specialties, or disciplines, have finally come to fruition,” says Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive. “At ASRW, the shop owner and the technician are welcomed, respected and listened to, because they are the decision-makers”. The relationship between ASRW and the SEMA show has been on the decline for several years and reached a new low this year when SEMA launched a paint, body and equipment section to its show, which runs during the NACE show. The two shows have run concurrently for five years. Paint and body exhibitors are a pillar at the NACE show.
New Owners Breathe New Life into Rand Show
he Rand Show, the 115 year-old South African milestone, will take a new direction in 2010 under new ownership by returning its focus to family entertainment and to provide the largest consumer interaction platform in Southern Africa. New owners, the Johannesburg Expo Centre, have appointed South African Show Services (SA Shows) who pioneered Auto Africa to manage the show after purchasing the brand from Kagiso Exhibitions. "We have already made a considerable investment to ensure that the 2010 Rand Show will be a unique event which everyone will remember. To demonstrate their commitment the owners of the Rand Show have already invested more than R30 Million in upgrading the old Nasrec Show Grounds. "As management of the Rand Show we have further invested over R3 Million to attract world-class entertainment that will ensure an exciting experience for families. The investment by the owners of the Rand Show demonstrates their long-term commitment towards the brand. The 2010 Show serves as the kick-off for a three-year plan to ensure the show becomes a consumer interaction platform that will once again be a highlight on the business calendar," says Ms Pula Dippenaar, Show Director and CEO of SA Shows.
Bridgestone Retail Gets New Head
Bridgestone South Africa has announced the appointment of Romano Daniels as Managing Director of Bridgestone Retail with effect from 1st March 2010. Romano brings a wealth of experience and significant Bridgestone DNA to the portfolio, having joined Firestone in 1996 as Human Resources Development Manager. He was appointed General Manager, Group Training and Development in 2002, GM of Human Resources in 2003, GM of Group Public Relations in 2006 and added the important position of GM Marketing in 2008. He takes over the reins from Gavin Kockott, who has been Chief Executive Officer of Bridgestone South Africa Retail and its franchise system of Supa Quick, Speedy’s and Autoquip since its inception.
TWO NEW APPOINTMENTS TO BOARD OF McCARTHY LIMITED
Two new appointments, as non-executive directors to the board of McCarthy Limited, have been announced by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Brand Pretorius. The new directors are Bongi Thwala, the Commercial Director for Bid Industrial and Commercial Products, and Gillian McMahon, the Group Transformation Executive at the Bidvest corporate office.
HAL FEDER NAMED GENERAL MANAGER, FORD AND LINCOLN MERCURY SALES IN DEARBORN
Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) Hal Feder, has been appointed General Manager, Ford and Lincoln Mercury Sales. The appointment comes concurrently with the announcement of Randy Ortiz’s intention to retire effective March 1, 2010 to pursue other interests. Until his retirement, Randy will work with Hal to ensure the smooth transition of the Field Sales organisation. Feder will report to Ken Czubay, Vice President, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. Feder (quickpic) will be charged with delivering and improving retail sales and market share during a tumultuous time in the industry. He will aim to strengthen the distribution channel and improve dealer profitability for Lincoln, Mercury and Ford while also improving employee and dealer satisfaction. Many challenges lie ahead for Feder in his new role, however he is looking forward to the opportunity. He brings with him a wealth of experience gained through varying assignments with the company. Most Recently Feder made a strong impact on the South African market as President and CEO for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, a position he held from October 2006 to December 2009. He oversaw Ford's entire business operations in the country, including product development, purchasing, material logistics, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and customer service activities. He was responsible for growing the Ford, Mazda, brands, directing day-to-day operations of Ford's manufacturing sites in Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, as well as working with key partners in government, media, suppliers, and the union.
Pretorius says they are both well qualified and experienced executives in the Bidvest Group and he believes they will make a valuable contribution to the ongoing success of McCarthy Limited, one of the largest retail automotive groups in South Africa.
The MINI Countryman
MINI is adding a fourth model to the family, opening up a new dimension of that unmistakable MINI feeling. As a genuine Crossover, the MINI Countryman bridges the gap between the classic concept of the MINI and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle. Boasting enhanced opportunities in urban mobility and beyond, the MINI Countryman offers that unique driving pleasure so typical of MINI to new target groups requiring extra space and flexibility. As the first model in the MINI range with four doors and a wide-opening rear lid, the MINI Countryman provides even greater freedom of space for truly versatile use, a slightly elevated seating position, and optimised driving comfort. Full integration of the passengers within the vehicle creates that driving experience so typical of MINI. And at the same time the MINI Countryman maintains that go-kart feeling likewise so characteristic of MINI, optional MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive offering an additional highlight for the genuine connoisseur. In a nutshell, therefore, the MINI Countryman offers all the characteristic features of the brand in terms of design, premium quality,handling, efficiency and customisation in new, fascinating style.
Mitsubishi Motors' i-MiEV electric car has been voted "Ecobest 2009"
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has announced that ahead of its forthcoming European launch during FY2010, Mitsubishi Motors' i-MiEV electric car has been voted "Ecobest 2009" by the AUTOBEST Jury: a further acknowledgment of its "real life" pioneering technology. Reflecting on the vote, AUTOBEST (quickpic) Jury concluded: "i-MIEV is the first production electric vehicle on sale in Japan and soon to be sold in Europe. ECOBEST award founded by AUTOBEST Jury 10 years ago was one the very first worldwide to prize the efforts in the green field." AUTOBEST's President Ilja Seliktar added his own comments, saying: "For us it is a great pride to award i-MiEV. There are many statements in this exciting sector coming from almost any manufacturer. But - so far - Mitsubishi is the only one with a real EV for any customer." As homage to Mitsubishi Motors' long standing efforts in the area of electric drivetrain and technology, this ECOBEST award also vindicates the long-term strategy MMC and its local partners initiated successfully in the Balkans, Central Europe, Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine from the early 90's. Founded in 2000 in Romania, AUTOBEST is the motoring organization in the emerging markets of Europe. Today, its Jury includes leading journalists from 15 countries, including: Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and the Ukraine: an area representing over 300 million customers. This year, Russia will host the award ceremony, scheduled for February 11th, 2010 and to be held in Moscow.
Positive Energy Gathers Momentum
Ever since ABR’s first issue in September 2008, we have been discussing how one company can be a positive influence and really make a difference not only in its area of business activity, but also in the lives and ambitions of its employees, and even more exhilaratingly, in the lives and hopes of the immediate community. Sparepro has been the role model for this series of articles and after 18 months of observing this with admiration and envy ABR has decided to step back with respect and to reflect on the philosophies behind this motivational approach.
1. “Live one day at a time emphasising ethics rather than rules” – Wayne Dyer 2. “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself ” – Henry Ward Beecher 3. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall” – Stephen R. Covey 4. “If you don’t have integrity, you don’t have anything. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing” – Henry Kravis Each quote is philosophical and thought provoking, but even more inspiring is that all this is sensible and sound advice, which can be acted upon, and put into practice, at very little material cost. It does require
o buttress this argument, we need to ponder on four insightful quotes, lifted at random (but maybe proof of divine intervention) from the 2010 Carpe Diem Business Diary. Before we get to the quotes, let us reflect on the meaning of Carpe Diem, which translated starkly means Seize the Day. To fully appreciate this meaning, we are required to delve into what Horace was really saying in his exaltation, “Even as we speak, envious time is running away from us. Seize the day ….”. This has a very deep and profound meaning, but put simply, it is a call to arms to not waste your time and to grab life by the throat. Procrastination is the thief of time, and if you can put your time to good use, your competitors, your colleagues, your friends, your enemies, and even time itself will be envious. Yes, friends can be envious, but in a more empathetic way than enemies. Now to the four quotes, all in the January section of the Carpe Diem Business Diary:
a moral effort, but what a wonderful return in so many areas of one’s life. The real benefit is that everyone involved in this effort become better people, and each convert starts contributing, and once you have critical mass in a business, you have a powerful wave of positive energy, with everyone working as a team rather than individuals. This equals less conflict and more focus on the important things such as service, efficiency and individual attention to the customer. The end result is loyal customers and revenue growth. It is like throwing a positive stone laden with energy into a pond, and this positive energy ripples in waves right through the pond. This is what Sparepro has achieved, and now the company is ready for phase two, to build on this positive energy and to take this momentum to even greater heights. ABR simply cannot wait to report on the unimaginable.
Formula S Redux
In the previous two issues of ABR, we gave our readers an overview of the Formula S racing competition to be held at the famous Hochenheim race circuit in Germany in August 2010. We also highlighted the fact that NMMU (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) will be flying the South African flag, and we appealed to our readers to get behind the project. Over the next few issues, we are going to give some technical specs and general requirements for this competition designed for students, and to follow the progress of our Port Elizabeth lads and lasses.
peed is not the only element in this competition. Points are also allocated to design, performance, financial planning and sales planning. The students are challenged to go through the whole process, and to deliver on these requirements, from start to finish. The SAE rules and regulations stipulate the following: General Requirements • • • • • Four wheel configuration Wheel base of at least 1525mm Track width with the smaller track front/rear not less than 75% of the larger Minimum chassis ground clearance of 25,4mm Minimum wheel diameter of 203,2mm
Reliability is the name of the game, because the weighting of points is significantly skewed towards this aspect. Therefore, whilst speed does give an adrenaline rush, with Formula S the wise and patient tortoise may have the edge on the foolish and impatient hare. Whilst the adjudicators in Germany may take great care in evaluating the technical aspects of the completed car, they will also seek to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing and sales plans of the competing teams. Thus, a multi-disciplinary approach is prudent, and NMMU has roped in students from many faculties, which makes for a heady mix of science and art. The important thing to remember is that NMMA Racing will be the only team from Africa to participate in August 2010, thus the whole of South Africa needs to put its weight behind these intrepid and adventurous youngsters. Anyone who wishes to assist in putting South Africa on the Formula S map may contact the project leaders of the NMMU Racing team, Howard Theunissen or Trevor Stroud, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Alternatively, they may be contacted at 082 775 8536 or 083 419 3707.
Engine/Power Train Requirements • • Four stroke engine with displacement not exceeding 610cc Throttle body of any size/design via mechanical (cable/rod) actuation using at least two return springs located on the throttle body Intake system restrictor (to limit power capability) between the throttle body and engine of 20mm maximum
Mphathisi Colwana and Alison Richter are two of the student engineers on the Formula S team.
CHANGES IN FORMULA 1 COMING TOGETHER
by Roger McCleery
There is no doubt who runs Formula 1 racing in the world. Not Max Mosley or Jean Todt, the new President of the FIA.
credit. If he wins people will say they expected it. If he loses, they will say he is over the hill and shouldn’t have come back. Wait till you see. Red Bull with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are the same driver line-up and have to be one of the favourite teams for the championship. They work very well together. The Renault engine they used was put to better use than the Works Renaults and their pilots both won Grands Prix convincingly last year. McLaren? Have two world champions with MBE’s. Both Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button are British. Both have grown up in karting and are mates. But as the expression goes “Jolly good friends in the clubhouse until they are put to sea.” One is going to dominate whilst the other one is going to say he has not been given the equipment. Wait till you see this as well. Ferrari? With no Michael Schumacher to look after Massa, the new signing and twice World Champion, Fernando Alonso, who can really sort out cars, will be the top dog. This plus the fact that the Italian team normally are fraught with politics with Brawn gone. With a Portuguese and Spanish driver in the line-up, life could be fun. All have their own temperaments. Renault with a new manager, Eric Boullier, at the helm despite an experienced line-up led by Robert Kubica, will battle - despite a new investment partner. Renault always suffers from top management threatening to pull out, despite winning two titles with Alonso. They took that for granted. Probably did the same with the road cars as far as their similar design for all models went. The CEO thinks it is easy to win F1 Championships as long as you threaten all the time and pay money into the team. Try Toyota – gone without a trace or a GP win in 6 years and billions poured into its existence. Williams? Good driver line-up with Rubens Barricello and von Hulkenburg but we will have to see how the new Cosworth engine performs. As for the others. They will fill the rest of the positions. Having said that, did we expect to see Ross Brawn bring a 2 week old team into Formula 1 and clean up in its debut year? Force India with Sutil and Luizzi and Torro Rosso with Buemi will slide into the top ten during the season. The middle of March in a hot Bahrain will give us all a good idea of who has done their homework during a freezing winter in Europe after limited testing that is enforced these days.
Bernie Ecclestone runs it – that’s who. Months before the end of 2009 Bernie said it would be nice to have Michael Schumacher back in Formula 1. Guess what? He is back in the new Mercedes Grand Prix car (formerly Brawn). When Flavio Briatore was sentenced to a lifetime ban by the FIA from ever returning to Grand Prix racing again after taking the fall for the Nelson Piquet Jnr crashing scandal in Singapore, Bernie said, “The sentence was a bit harsh”. Guess what? Flavio has had the sentence overturned and he will be back in one or another. That is if he wants to join the other schemers in Formula 1 racing again. With Toyota, despite assurances that they weren’t withdrawing, leaving the scene with BMW to join Honda, who had withdrawn the year before from Formula 1 racing, the prophets of doom said that Formula 1 is kaput. Bernie for sure has been changing rules, points scoring systems, getting a new engine supplier on board and stopping refuelling during GP races. There have been a few incidents of fuelling pipes following the car up the track. He has ended up with 13 teams instead of the 10 racing in 2009. Maybe the days of the big manufacturer teams are over. Besides Mercedes Benz there is the regular Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Renault, Torro Rosso, Williams and Force India still in the line-up. In comes Lotus Formula 1, Campos, Virgin GP, the US F1 and Sauber instead of BMW, all using Cosworth 2.4 litre V8 engines. Kimi Raikkonen has departed for World Rallying in a Citroën, which is a shame, but he has his own agenda and has got a goodly little package not to be seen in a Formula 1 Ferrari this year. Kazuki Nakajima, the super-quick Japanese driver, is probably going to Sauber. I am not sure what is happening to Fisicella. Newcomers include some great young talent. Nico Hulkenburg, the German, who shines in a single seater, having won the F2 Championship in 2009, and the A1 GP Series in 2008, is in the Williams, whilst the equally talented Bruno Senna, nephew of the great man himself, is in a new Campos. What is going to happen? We have to start with the top four or five. Mercedes Benzes has an all German line-up, Nico Rosberg has to get used to a team after swopping from Williams where he put in some top drives. Michael Schumacher I reckon will still drill them all. He has nothing to prove or lose with seven world championships to his
Ménage du trios
by Gilbert Hogg
I was recently in the UK, and I thought that I would share some predictions by James Corrigan in his Last Word column in the Independent on Sunday 27th December 2009. All tongue in cheek stuff, and very entertaining:
looking up for the world number one – no mistresses have come forward in the last two weeks. May: Michael Owen named as England’s captain for the World Cup. “He’s always been my number one”, enthuses Capello. June: At Wimbledon, Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in epic final that finishes at 2.32am. Only the Duke of Kent and Amy Whitehouse are still awake. July: France beat Brazil to win the World Cup as Henry punches the ball into the net in the 119th minute. “It was instinctive, FIFA should replay” he says five months later. Tiger Woods announces his return at St Andrews for the Open and also reveals he has a new caddie – his wife Elin. “When it comes to clubbing me, she has no equal” he says. R&A bends its rules to allow Elin to use a distance-finder. Says a spokesman, “Elin has assured us it isn’t for yardages but just to ensure her husband is never out of sight”. August: Woods wins USPGA by 10 shots. “He’s even better than before”, says Phil Mickelson, “he seems to have so much more energy”. September: Usain Bolt becomes the first human to jump more than nine metres in his first ever long jump event. “Er, I was going so fast that I didn’t even see the board. No, I didn’t jump, that’s just my stride”. October: Europe wins Ryder Cup, although Colin Montgomerie’s moment of glory is cheapened by Woods’ nonappearance. “I’m taking a seven day break from golf ”, said the lover of the team format. November: Manchester City resign from the Premier League and join the County Championship. December: England take a winning 2-0 lead to retain the Ashes. David Cameron announces a national day’s holiday, declaring that “cricket is our new national sport”
January: England take the final test in Johannesburg to clinch a 1-0 series win over South Africa. Centuries come from Strauss (born in Johannesburg), Pietersen (Maritzburg), Trott (Cape Town) and Prior (Johannesburg). “What a day for our country” says an evermore desperate Gordon Brown. “It wasn’t exactly a bad day for ours” counters Jacob Zuma. February: In Six Nations Opener, England beaten 25-9 (Wilkinson three penalties) by Wales at Twickenham. Martin Johnson refuses to be despondent, “there were actually positives to take. For starters, I thought our national anthem went better than theirs, and the Welsh boys can really sing”. March: Stablemates Denman and Kauto Star link horseshoes on the run-in and trot over the line together in the Gold Cup. “Life’s not all about winning” says the trainer, “we leave that to Thierry Henry”. April: Tiger Woods misses his first Masters in 16 years, although things are
I noticed that Tiger Woods got four mentions. A cheap shot from Corrigan? Here’s my cheap shots:
• • • • • • • Tiger’s new sponsor is Titlust GUR now means Get Your Rocks off Proshop suddenly has a new meaning Tiger told his wife an unplayable lie Back nine and front nine is the new request at Teasers Nineteenth hole no longer means a drink in the clubhouse Tiger declines to play at Leopard Creek, but he has shown interest in Beavers Creek, and he could be lured to Sun City by describing it as Sin City Forget Mashie Niblick, Tiger wants a Mashie Nibble and a Nip Lick It was the foursomes that first attracted Tiger to golf, and he also wanted to know more about the better ball format
Tiger regularly misspells golf cleats, preferring golf clits • Tiger told his wife that he needed to join a Swingers Club • Forget the history books, Tiger definitely has got his Grand Slam • Tiger actually likes to drive his balls deeply into the rough • Tiger’s female caddie was very confused when Tiger showed her how to select a club • Tiger loves to shout Fore…play • Tiger definitely takes the honours when it comes to club speed and head speed Tiger just hates it when the red flag goes up And finally, Tiger’s behaviour can all be laid at the feet of his late father Earl, who was very possessive, and whenever Tiger sank a long putt used to shout from the gallery, “Who’s Your Daddy!”
by Baron Claude Borlz
ABR readers’ Nuggets:
Some alternative humour:
Jurie Els gaan ook nou 'n boek skryf: "101 Maniere Om Met Klay Te Speel" Brooklax verkoop nie meer in Bloemfontein nie, jy skree net BULLS dan bekak almal hulle!
Why shouldn’t wrote advice columns:
From an American newspaper: Dear John, I hope you can help me. The other day, I set off for work, leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car stalled, and then it broke down about a mile down the road, and I had to walk back to get my husband’s help. When I got home, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbour’s daughter! I am 32, my husband is 34 and the neighbour’s daughter is 19. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted they had been having an affair for the past six months. He won’t go to counselling, and I’m afraid I am a wreck and need advice urgently. Can you please help? Sincerely, Sheila
My bure se kindertjies het my netnou uitgedaag tot `n watergeveg. Ek dog ek laat weet jou terwyl ek vir die ketel wag om te kook! Wat noem jy `n non op `n treadmill? Virgin Active….. Dokter sê vir Koos hy’t hondsdolheid en gaan definitief sterf. Koos vra pen en papier. Dr: Wil jy `n testament maak? Koos : Nee, ek wil `n lys maak van almal wat ek gaan byt!! A teacher gave her class of 11 year olds an assignment: To get their parent to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories. Ashley said, 'My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the car when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs got broken. 'What's the moral of that story?' asked the teacher. 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket!' 'Very good,' said the teacher. Next little Sarah raised her hand and said, 'Our family are farmers too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. One day we had a dozen eggs, but when they hatched we only got ten live chicks, and the moral to this story is, 'Don't count your chickens before they're hatched'.' 'That was a fine story Sarah.' Michael, do you have a story to share?' 'Yes. My daddy told me this story about my Aunty Sharon. Aunty Sharon was a flight engineer on a plane in the Gulf War and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete. She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands.' 'Good heavens,' said the horrified teacher, 'what kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?' 'Stay the %^*$ away from Aunty Sharon when she's been drinking.'
10 Rules for Men
1. It's important to have a woman who helps at home. 2. It's important to have a woman who cooks from time to time. 3. It's important to have a woman who keeps the house clean. 4. It's important to have a woman who has a job. 5. It's important to have a woman who likes you. 6. It's important to have a woman who can be your very best friend. 7. It's important to have a woman who can make you laugh. 8. It's important to have a woman who you can trust, who doesn't lie to you. 9. It's important to have a woman who is good in bed. 10. It's very, very important that these nine women do not know each other!!!!!!! Sincerely, Tiger Woods
Dear Sheila, A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors. I hope this helps, John.
This street leads off White Hart Lane in Tottenham, London. I hear that the ANC has written to the London council requesting that the street be renamed as Tshwane Road.
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