BMW April 2022

Peugeot/Citroën South Africa has taken over distribution of Opel vehicles in South Africa from Williams Hunt. They will be responsible for the marketing and distribution of Opel which of course they own internationally. First reveal will be the long-awaited official launch of the new Corsa which has done Opel so very proud down the years.

Mercedes-Benz Truck continue their position as market leader in the South African heavy duty truck segment. Mercedes-Benz is once again South Africa’s top selling luxury car brand in 2020.  Globally Mercedes-Benz ended the year as No. 1 luxury car brand with the Stuttgart-based factory selling a total of 2 164 187 units – 7.5% down on 2019.

Billy Rautenbach who brought Hyundai to South Africa in the 90’s and Conrad, his son from Zimbabwe, are back into motorsport action signing up with the Red Line South African Nissan Cross Country series team belonging to Terence Marsh. Over the years Conrad has competed in South Africa successfully and in 56 World Rally Championship events where he finished in the top 10 many times in 2008 and 2009. Amazingly, they have started to call him a “Veteran!”

Volkswagen in South Africa sold 63 482 vehicles in 2020. They had a market share of 21.6% which is the highest in history of the brand in this country. Audi had an improved share of 15.5% in the Premium Car market. VW’s commercial vehicles have a market share of 3.7%. So it wasn’t all doom and gloom for VW in 2020.

NAAMSA reckons that 2021 won’t be much different from 2020. It looks fairly bleak despite the motor industry doing its level best to bring great deals to the marketplace. Good time to buy new.

Fiat Chrysler/PSA are now the world’s fourth largest vehicle manufacturer.

MAN Trucks, who have been in South Africa for such a long time, saw their new TGX model voted 2020 International Truck of the Year by a jury of 24 truck journalists representing Europe’s major trucking magazines.

Volkswagen has been in South Africa for 70 years. The first VW rolled off the production line in Uitenhage in 1951. This year they are bringing out no less than six new- or updated models to add to their top selling range.

BMW had record sales of their ‘M’ model despite the impact of the pandemic. These models dominated their market. South Africa is the third biggest buyer of BMW M models in the world. Goes to show you we are a sporting nation.

There are eight new Audi RS models due to hit South Africa in 2021. There is talk of Renault introducing a new double cab bakkie for 2022. They will call it the Oroch.

Suzuki in South Africa says that 2020 was their best sales ever year. They put it down to a good dealer organisation, good marketing and models in their range that suit the market.

A new Navarra continues Nissan’s 60-year investment in Africa and will be up for sale in the not too distant future.  It came after a massive investment of R3.5bn. The assembly line was opened by our President.

Whether we like it or not, Porsche continues to bring in more and more electric sports sedans and sports cars. The latest is a Taycan Turbo S. Make no error; it will go particularly well, even though our government doesn’t actually encourage people to buy electric vehicles as they still charge maximum duty on all imported cars.

South Africa has always been involved with Bentley (owned by Volkswagen over the years) in the 30s it was the Barnato brothers from Kimberley, highly involved in the diamond business, that kept Bentley going and away from liquidation and then built up that famous racing team that won the Le Mans 24-Hour a few times.

Now South African sports car star, Jordan Pepper, was named the 2020 Bentley Driver of the Year.  He has also signed up to race Bentleys wherever they appear.

There is plenty of potential for selling vehicles in Africa.   The world average of sales is 203 vehicles per 1 000 people of the population.  In Africa it is just 40 vehicles per thousand.

If you want to get onto an electric motorcycle – take advantage of new price drops of the Energica Super Bikes which is imported by Enerital in Vanderbijlpark. They have given a R50 000 reduction in price for their 2020 range.  One thing electric bikes don’t do is lack performance when compared to their petrol driven brothers.

The price of petrol say the experts could reach R20 per litre.  That is why every manufacturer in the country makes fuel economy of vehicles a priority.   Motor companies certainly will keep this in mind for any new models to arrive here.

Despite Covid, lockdowns etc, Jaguar Land Rover continue to recover in the sales charts in North America and Europe and in the South African market as well. They certainly bring in mouth-watering motor cars.

Only four manufacturers in the world increased their sales in 2020 compared to 2019. Alfa Romeo was up about 300 units, Bentley were 20, Mazda 500 and Tesla Motors 44 000.  That is amongst all the manufacturers of cars in the world.

Datsun with their GO and GO Plus CVT are now offering automatics with smooth gear changing, less noise and fewer emissions.

Lotus has appointed Daytona Motors as its sole distributor in Southern Africa.

Opel Adam and Mokka have been dropped from the South African Opel range.

Its official – the Volkswagen Group, previously thought to be selling off Lamborghini, Ducati and Bugatti. They’ve changed their minds. Although I am not sure about Bugatti.

Nissan has done something unique. They are using their electric cars to power disaster areas by energy stored in the cars’ batteries for people hit by earthquakes, typhoons and other emergencies. Well done.

A survey by IPSOS found that the majority of people in their own businesses in South Africa would like the following to happen:

  1. a) Remove red tape and get rid of trade union interference and strikes
  2. b) Stop fraud and corruption by incompetent officials
  3. c) Sort out ESKOM and get law and order right
  4. d) Provide tax relief. We pay a huge amount in taxes and receive very little in return for our money
  5. e) Pay on time to reduce our cash flow problems.

Sounds about right to me!

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