BMW April 2022

Latest international motorsport news is that there is rumoured to be a Formula One GP at Kyalami in 2023.This means it will have been 30 years since we last had a World Championship Formula One race at this iconic circuit.

The AA has gladly managed to reopen up all their branches once again – after the terrible looting that went on recently in KZN and Gauteng. They also are going to give out a list of past prices shortly comparing all the makes with a package of current prices. This will be similar to the famous Kinsey Report where Malcolm used to compare prices by going around to dealers and asking them for their retail prices. Malcolm is a very much sadly missed top-drawer journalist.

Jaguar have shot themselves in the foot overseas, it seems. They are going to sue a Swedish car restorer who built a Jaguar C Class replica. If this happens I should imagine restoring Jaguars will stop altogether. Old cars these days, or replicas – are generally better built than the original – thanks to the use of the latest in materials and technology.

Lexus Internationally has just completed selling two million of their electric cars.

The President of Toyota and grandson of the founder, Akio Toyoda – and let’s remember they make petrol cars, diesels, hybrids and hydrogen-engined cars, etc. – has told his government and the motor industry in general not to get too carried away by having electric-powered cars only. “It’s still a long way into the future,” he reckons.

Nissan has been in this country since 1963. Besides the huge investment they made in their assembly plant in Rosslyn, their whole range has been updated and refreshed. New models also now feature in their line-up – such as the new Nissan Navara bakkie which has been in the making as a South African made bakkie for the last couple of years. The plant and Navara line was opened by our President, Cyril Ramaphosa. 

One of the latest cars in their line-up for the small car market is the Nissan Magnite which is one of the best specced small cars with a 1000cc turbo-charged engine. The performance and specification are most impressive in this range of cars.

New models of bakkies are all the rage at the moment. Besides the new Nissan Navara in single cab and double cab configurations has now entered the burgeoning marketplace to challenge the leaders, ie: Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Isuzu along with the all-new Mazda BT50.

Mazda has had a range of bakkies for many years. They have brought out a new BT50model based on the soon to arrive D-Max Isuzu. These are manufactured in Thailand. Boasting an all-new new 1.9 litre diesel engine, with automatic or manual gearboxes or a three-litre engine with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Prices start at R612 000 to R759 400 for everything that opens and shuts.

You thought you earned a great salary till you hear the earnings of this year’s Formula 1 drivers: Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes tops the list at $62m, Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing gets $42m, Fernando Alonso in the Renault Alpine who’s making a come-back to Formula 1 Racing gets $25m, Sergio Perez also of Red Bull Racing $18m, and Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin $15m. In 10th spot is Carlos Sainz, racing for Ferrari, gets a mean $8m. Time to ask for a raise, we reckon!

Mazda has just celebrated its 100th anniversary since its founding in 1920.They started producing cork and then went on to manufacture automobiles. Mazda is sold in over 130 countries. They were the oldest and only Japanese manufacturer to ever win the classic Le Mans 24-Hour race with their 4-rotor rotary engine. Last year Toyota took the Le Mans Classic at record speeds. 

Talking Mazda, the Mazda 3 was named the World Car Design of the Year by Autocar.

The Brand Ambassador for Mitsubishi in South Africa, Francois Rousseau, who travels all over in his Pajero Sport, has taken groups off-road all over Africa, Europe. Russia and everywhere inbetween. Since founding his company he has hosted 100 000 people enjoying off-road adventure.

Mercedes-Benz has started production of their new C-Class in their plant in East London.

Honda, after a long gap, has launched the Honda Fit, a Hybrid model to the market. It replaces the Jazz which was one of their compact hatches. It demonstrates that hybrid technology is the way to go and maybe not the electrical route – although manufacturers are virtually besotted with electric cars. Hybrids, if you weren’t sure, are self-contained as the battery runs the car with a built-in engine that keeps the battery constantly topped up.

The Mille Miglia was held this year. It is a race for cars from Brescia to Rome and back on open roads. There has been almost a 100-year relationship between Alfa and the Mille Miglia and this brand still leads all the other manufacturers with 11 wins between 1927 and 1957. Alfa Romeo entered cars from their Museo in Aresa this year.

With their promise of making more exciting cars that really get along, Toyota has just produced a luxury upgrade to their Toyota C-HR. There is also a new Toyota TR Yaris high performance coming soon for the select few – and if you remember the old Toyota Coaster bus is available with a capacity from 17 to 26 people. Great for Tour Operators.

The Chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, Eiusun Chung, was honoured with the highest accolade by a British Auto Magazine.  Each year it is presented to the stand-out individual in the global automotive industry to have delivered an exceptional level of success. That is Hyundai.

Haval South Africa sold 1 782 models in May. Started originally here as GWM (Great Wall Motors) bakkie from Durban at the turn of the century it has developed into a major force in the South African Motor Industry. There is more to come from China with their well-made performance vehicles.

The Toyota factory in Durban is making a Corolla Cross for that end of the market. It costs R2.43bn to produce this new passenger vehicle.

Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio are going to be discontinued from the Alfa Romeo range now it is under the control of the Stellantis Group.

Winston Churchill said: “You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.”

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

by Roger McCleery