By on May 18, 2017

General Motors Renaissance Center

In its global push for profitability, General Motors plans to yank the Chevrolet brand out of the hands of Indian consumers.

The automaker announced a wave of restructuring in overseas markets yesterday, a large part of which is the cancellation of nearly $1 billion in investment in India and the pull-out of its only brand. Until recently, GM had hoped to cater to the country’s growing middle class with a new line of region-specific Chevy models.

GM also plans to sell its South African division and cut back on staff in Singapore. The move will help the automaker free up money to funnel towards its biggest markets — North America and China. (Read More…)

By on November 4, 2016

russia

There lived a certain man

In Russia not long ago…

Seemingly ordinary Russian men are prone to incredible — even Herculean — feats of strength and endurance, but the world didn’t know this until cheap dash cams became available in the Motherland. Watch as one truck (or SUV, we can’t tell) challenges its owner to a race.

That, an impromptu pants change leads to disaster in Vermont, and what to do if you spot a police officer driving your stolen Nissan, all after the break. (Read More…)

By on August 19, 2015

media_mobius2_2

Africa may be one of the last untapped continents for automakers and one of the largest growth markets in the future. But the opportunity is now for carmakers such as Uganda-based Kiira Motors, Kenya-based Mobius Motors, Nigeria-based Innoson and Ghana-based Kantanka Motors, they say.

“The automotive industry presents one of the fiercest competitive market environments,” Kiira Chief Executive Paul Isaac Musasizi told the Wall Street Journal. “We need to remain focused, courageous and committed.”

His commitment is shared by other automakers such as Ford, who recently announced that it would produce 5,000 trucks at a plant in Nigeria for sale within the continent. Hyundai said they would invest $22 million to build an assembly plant in Nairobi and expand dealerships.

A cursory look at market penetration for automakers looks promising — no African country cracks the top 50 in vehicles per capita.

(Read More…)

By on June 11, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nissan’s budget brand Datsun is ready to go to South Africa, the fourth market that the resurrected nameplate will either see again or for the first time.

(Read More…)

By on April 15, 2014

Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Bakkie

Though Toyota already has a presence in South Africa, the automaker is eyeing the last untapped market in the world: The African continent.

(Read More…)

By on July 15, 2013

datsungo

 

The wraps are finally off the first Datsun in decades – dubbed the Go, this will be Nissan’s major push into low cost motoring, with a starting price under $6,700.

(Read More…)

By on May 25, 2013

Rubber bullets South Africa - Picture courtesy saudigazette.com.sa

South Africa’s main auto union threatened to “halt production” at a Volkswagen after union members were fired, Reuters says. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2012

 

Ford won’t be following in the footsteps of Renault and other auto makers that have introduced “low cost” brands like Dacia. But the company hasn’t ruled out a model line of cheaper vehicles either.

(Read More…)

By on January 30, 2012

 

Cody writes:

Dear Sajeev and Steve,

I work as a research scientist, and currently we have a visiting scientist from South Africa working with us for six months. Normally visitors stay in university housing and are able to take the shuttle bus to our lab, but our current visitor is bringing her husband with her and staying in a house they found themselves. She should have about a 30 minute 20 mile drive to the lab and just looking for reliable transportation around a medium sized city, and maybe the occasional weekend sightseeing trip. She does already have a rental scheduled at the airport for the first week (probably an Impala), but for more long-term what type of newer car should she be looking for that will retain its value when she goes to sell it at the end of her stay, or would it be more reasonable to rent for six months? I will mention she drives a Land Cruiser most of the time in South Africa and seems to like it a lot.

(Read More…)

By on December 5, 2011

Over the last few weeks we traveled to South KoreaSwedenCanada and Romania. It’s been a while since we haven’t been to Africa, so this week I have decided to stop in South Africa.

If lions, rhinos and zebras are not exactly your thing, that’s ok, I’ve prepared 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, so click away!

South Africa is a production hub, and this has an impact on the best-selling cars there, on either side of the scale…

(Read More…)

By on July 16, 2011

When I think of the South African car industry, I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I first think of the Citi Golf, the ageless Mk.1 VW Golf that was built there from ’84 to 2009 (or possibly armored cars). Of course that’s a grossly inaccurate representation, and the Financial Times recently clued me into South Africa’s booming auto sector growth . Led by screaming exports of Ford’s Global Ranger pickup and the Mercedes C-Class, South Africa will very nearly have doubled its production numbers between 2009 and 2012. And with the government introducing yet another Motor Industry Development Programme in 2013, the plan is to build South African production capacity to 1.2m vehicles per year by 2020. And though South Africa is not immune to the currency, labor and supply chain problems that plague nearly every production location, Mercedes has already promised  to double C-Class production to 95,000 units by 2014. Sounds like a vote of confidence, and another reason to keep a closer eye on South Africa.

By on October 4, 2010

About a year ago, a mutual friend introduced me to Uwe Gemballa. He looked a bit like a pimp from central casting: bleached blond hair, a flashy watch,  gold chain. He tuned Porsches. He wanted to import Gemballas to China, and could I help him? Like many China deals, that deal never got off the ground. And as I read the news today, I think to myself: I’m glad it fizzled. Dodged that bullet. Literally. (Read More…)

By on September 18, 2010

Since the recalls,  hearings, etc. it’s been difficult to gauge what effect this had on Toyota. On the one hand, sales are falling in the US, but globally, sales are up. Looking at it one way, Toyota had to raise their incentives to shift metal; looking at it another their incentives are still below market average and nowhere near GM, Ford and Chrysler. Companies that are committed to lowering their incentives. Well, here’s another story to further confuse us. (Read More…)

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