South African Crash Test for Dummies

The Steed 5 pickup, Haval H1 five-door SUV, and the Renault Kwid five-door compact, all achieved poor levels of adult and child protection in crash tests conducted by Global NCAP and AA South Africa yesterday.

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GM to Pull Out of World's Second Most Populous Country, Sell Off Other Operations in Quest for Cash

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.

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Freaky Friday: Russian Truck Escapes From Human, Vermont Pants Disaster, and Lawmen Love Sentras

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.

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Could Africa Support Its Own Auto Industry?

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.

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Datsun Is Go In South Africa
Toyota Looking To Conquer Africa
Datsun Is "Go", Frills Are A "No"

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.

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Labor Unrest In South Africa

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

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Ford Rules Out Low-Cost Brand, Keeps Door Open For Cheap Cars

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.

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New or Used: "Ja-nee" on Short Term Rentals?

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.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: South Africans Buy Into Low-Cost Or Premium

Over the last few weeks we traveled to South Korea, Sweden, Canada 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…

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South African Auto Industry Takes Off
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…
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They Found Gemballa: Shot In The Head

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.

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Toyota, Meanwhile Down In Africa ...

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.

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  • El scotto Most of us have radio and phone controls on our steering wheels. I have no problems pressing a button and speaking.
  • MaintenanceCosts This could either be the greatest car you'll ever buy or an exasperating money pit, and you have no way whatsoever to know before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Arthur Dailey In Ontario 'distracted driving rules apply' . In Ontario while driving or stopped in traffic including at a red light or a stop sign it is illegal to i) use a phone or other hand-held wireless communication device to text or dial – you can only touch a device to call 911 in an emergency, ii) use a hand-held electronic entertainment device, such as a tablet or portable gaming console iii) view display screens unrelated to driving, such as watching a video program or a GPS device. In fact, simply holding a phone or other device while driving is against the law. – Government of Ontario website.Other examples of distracted driving may also include: personal grooming, eating or drinking, tending to children or pets. From Campisi LLP.
  • Theflyersfan $25,000 for an out of warranty VW Golf wagon. Make peace with the deity of your choice and do it soon because the world is set to come to an end any minute now.Being hauled on a flatbed doesn't rack up any miles so I guess that explains the 29,000 mile number. But at least it's a stick shift so would someone brave in the greater Columbus area take a chance? Just keep dry towels in the car to mop up all of the water that is bound to make an entrance sometime soon and wreck the interior. And get a AAA membership.
  • Slap I've got a red 2019 Alltrack S manual. Chose the S so I wouldn't have to deal with the potential leaks from the panoramic sunroof in the SE and SEL. So far it's been a great car - handles well and carries all of my stuff.