BMW April 2022

Hats off to the Binder family of Krugersdorp. Firstly we had Brad Binder getting his first MotoGP win in Brno in the Czech Republic and then soon afterwards his younger brother, Darryn, took the Moto3 Grand Prix in Barcelona, winning it by coming through to the front on the last corner of the race.

Well supported by his parents, Trevor and Sharon, they are both KTM riders and have done well for the brand. There is no better racing in the world than the 30 to 40 riders all going for a win in close company in a Moto3 GP.

Johnny Rea is well on his way to his sixth World Superbike title – all on Kawasakis. There is lots of competition in the World Superbikes with Kawa’s, Yamahas and Ducati’s all going for a win. Racing is dominated jointly by the Brits (Rea is a Northern Irishman), the Dutch and the French.

Everywhere you look somewhere a Toyota Gazoo Team is winning. Toyota recently cracked a hat-trick in the 24-hour race at Le Mans with the driver Kazuki Nakajima driving in each of the three winning cars over the years.

Then of course there has been the wins at Dakar, the FIA World Off-Road Championship, our Off-Road and the Rallying Championship in South Africa. Now Mike van Rooyen from Rustenburg had a win on his maiden outing in the GT Class of racing in South Africa in his Gazoo Corolla.

Incidentally, Toyota has also led the Vehicle Sales Charts in South Africa for the last 40 years or so. Asked where they go from here, their former sales director, Calvyn Hamman, reckons “stay humble”, and that has been their winning formula down the years.

Toyota in Japan announced that even with the Covid lock down all over the world they are still managing to sell 90% of their forecast this year.

There is a war going on in the world rally championship which unfortunately is not being televised here in South Africa. Toyota is just nine points ahead of Hyundai with just a couple of rounds left. The toughest rally of all, the Rally of Turkey on the worst roads imaginable went to the Yaris of Evans with Thierry Neuvile in the Hyundai just a half a minute behind him. Third was Sebastian Loeb, nine times World Rally Champion, who gave up his Hyundai seat after the Turkish Rally.

A new sales record for a company has seen Suzuki set a new record and jump to sixth place overall amongst all the 40-odd manufacturers represented here in South Africa. They retailed 1 787 cars, SUVs and commercials during September. Plus an all-time share of the passenger market share record of 7.46%. In the passenger vehicle only class they are now in fourth place overall.

Mahindra has just turned 75. They opened on the 2nd October 1945. To celebrate this, employees pledged to contribute 750 000 man hours of free labour to increase the wellbeing of the community with the Covid 19 virus rife in India. Mahindra started business with the American Jeep which made the American Army so mobile during World War II.

Celebrating the Ford Mustang’s birthday – which was first sold in 1964 (56 years ago) – they have remembered the magic movies where Mustang’s have featured. Some of you might remember James Bond driving a Mustang in “Goldfinger”, “Thunderball” and “Diamonds are Forever”. Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” created the most iconic movie car ever with a ’68 Mustang GT Fastback featuring an 11-minute chase through the ups and downs of San Francisco. Steve McQueen wanted to buy this particular car. The original vehicle was sold on auction in 2020 for R70m.

Incidentally, the first ever Mustang sold of the 10 million that have been made was to a Gail Wise. So the girls beat the guys to it!

Honda Motorcycles have just brought out an electric model which won a “Best of the Best” Award plus a new CBR1000 RR-R (quite a mouthful) but won the design awards in the Red Dot Award Contest for 2020. Honda is still the biggest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world at 18 million plus every year.

Peugeot was awarded the Red Dot Design Award for their all-new 208 and 2008 SUV. They beat 6 500 other products that had been submitted to the competition.

Top exports in South Africa were Ford Motor Company with nearly 7 000 vehicles shipped out. They export to more than 100 global markets. This was an 11.3% increase.

Ford supports over 50 000 jobs in the daily chain of the motor industry in South Africa. They employ 4 300 people themselves.

The Ranger Thunder is the latest addition to the line-up and is a popular Ranger Wildtrak boasting even more luxurious features.

Nissan is in the news with a new vehicle called the Re-Leaf Techna based on the normal Leaf passenger car – the world’s first mass production electric vehicle. The Re-Leaf features waterproof plug sockets on the exterior of the vehicle providing power to people in disaster or emergency situations such as medical communications, lighting, heating and other life supporting equipment.

Toyota has brought back 60 models of their popular Land Cruiser Namib. All 60 units previously were sold out by January 2020. They have also added a single cab derivative.

112 years ago Ford Motor Company was launched on 1st October 1908. Over 15 million Model T’s were sold between 1908-1927 which put them on the road to success and start the U.S. Government building roads all over the United States. 19 000 were sold in RSA. In South Africa 45 Model T Owners got together to form a Club in 2016.   So we are certainly part of that rich history.

Killarney always comes up with different ideas. They had 40 trucks and heavy duty rescue vehicles, escorted by motorcycles, gain access to the International Raceway in Cape Town – with lots of toys for the charity ‘Cancer Association for Children with Cancer’.

Talking of the Red Dot Award, “Best of the Best Award for Product Design” went to Ferrari for their new SF Stradale. Ferrari have won 17 Red Dot Awards since 2015. Commissioned by a discerning European client the latest offering in Ferrari’s line up is the unique with all the usual values that define Ferrari’s relationship to GT racing.” You have got to have serious money to get a one-off built by Ferrari to what you think a car should be.

Talking Mustangs, a new all-electric GT Model does 0–100 kmh in 3.7 seconds.

Also in the electric car business Hyundai has electrified a Midship Sports Car for racing boasting nearly 600kW.

Don’t forget to listen to Roger McCleery to hear  more inside stories every Tuesday afternoon on his Motoring programme on Radio Today (1485 AM, or on DSTV Audio Channel 869, on social media and podcast around the world.

Don’t forget to listen to Roger McCleery to hear  more inside stories every Tuesday afternoon on his Motoring programme on Radio Today (1485 AM) or on DSTV Audio Channel 869, on social media and podcast around the world.

By Roger McCleery