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March / April 2018



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New Actros and Arocs The German diesel ban and its implications Contentious change - speed limiters for trucks How self driving cars will change insurance




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March / April 2018 WWW.AUTOFORUM.CO.ZA

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March / April 2018



Autoforum Online





Cover Stories New Actros and Arocs


The German diesel ban and its implications


Contentious change - speed limiters for trucks


How self driving cars will change insurance


Automation: revolutionising repair processes


New Actros and Arocs


cOnTenTiOus chanGe - sPeeD limiTers fOr Trucks hOW self DriVinG cars Will chanGe insurance

BODYs hOP ne Ws

Daimler launches inTO miDDle easT anD africa The German Diesel Ban anD iTs imPlicaTiOns

auTOmaTiOn: reVOluTiOnisinG rePair PrOcesses

Editorial As predicted, the emissions testing saga continues to grow, and I am not sure it will end any time soon. With some of the most respected automotive brands in the spotlight for altering test results, how can the public be convinced to trust them in the future?

Trade Talk Mazda launches airbag recall awareness campaign


Goodyear awarded for soya bean tyre technology


BMW world dealership awards


Geely announces its 9.7% stake in Daimler


New Zealand and Australia announce massive Takata airbag recalls


In memoriam – Amedeo Vitale


Volvo Car dealer network awarded


Amazingly, public confidence does not seem to as yet be dented, with sales of diesel cars still high despite all the negative press. But that looks set to change, with new court rulings that could imapct heavily on how vehicles with high emissions are allowed to access major global cities. But should the consumer be punished for purchasing such vehicles, with lowered trade-in values and potentially the inability to sell their cars in future?

Mahle strengthens its sales force for the SA market with new key account managers


All of these questions will be answered in due time - keep watching these pages, and our website, to ensure you are in the loop.

The German diesel ban - implications


SA still chooses diesel, despite global shift


Self driving cars and insurance premiums


Why auto manufacturers need to re-invent their businesses


Bosch acquires the remaining shares in Hytec


BMW sued over emissions test cheating


Yes, EVs really are coming. Even to SA


The aftermarket telematics debacle


Tenneco buys Federal-Mogul


Understanding suspension - Part 4


Enjoy the read.


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Industry News 32


Showtime AMR Beijing 2018, still growing


Automechanika Dubai – 1-3 May 2018


2018 WesBank South African COTY is the Porsche Panamera


Vermont Sales open days - a successful formula



AutoForum - March / April 2018


Commercial Vehicles Daimler launches new Actros and Arocs for Middle East and Africa


Isuzu Motors South Africa is officially “open for business”


What will happen to trucks & buses?


A contentious cultural change – Speed limiters for trucks




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How to avoid misuse of collision repair products


Burning down the house


Snap-on Equipment Silver Falcon / Hurricane Wheelquip

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Automation to revolutionise repair processes


BASF launches resource-saving refinish product line


Celette training days


New heavy-duty oil for enviro friendly engines from Q8


BodyShop News Axalta brands awarded “Best in Class”

Don’t Know what this is?

Download a QR code reader for your Smart Phone or Tablet from the Apple or Android app stores, and you can use it to scan this code & go direct to our online edition at – it is free and updated DAILY! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: AutoForumZA While reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the advice and information given to readers, neither the editor, nor the publishers, can accept any responsibility for any damages, injury or loss which arise there from. The opinions expressed by contributors to this magazine are not necessarily shared by the editor or the publishers.




Trade Talk

AutoForum - March / AprilAutoForum 2018 - March / April 2018

Mazda launches airbag recall awareness campaign Mazda South Africa recently commented that an estimated 28 000 Mazda’s in SA are affected by the global airbag recall. These include Mazda2, Mazda6 and RX-8 vehicles produced between 2002 and 2014. Despite the carmaker’s press releases, website information, print advertisements in several national and regional newspapers – all urging Mazda customers with possibly affected vehicles to take their vehicles to their nearest dealer for an airbag inflator replacement – the response rate has been a rather sad 9%. Not surprisingly then, the carmaker is concerned that the majority of its customers have not sought replacement fittings. This means that Mazda owners are still driving around with possibly defective airbags. For this reason, the company is embarking on a recall awareness campaign and reaching out to drivers with possibly affected vehicles, via the radio and digital platforms, encouraging them to establish if their vehicle is affected. Customers can then visit their nearest dealership to have their vehicle airbag(s) inflator replaced. As repairers – independent or not – it would be wise to ensure

that your customers are aware of the recall and understand the implications of not responding. Mazda customers have three options to check if their vehicle is affected: They can check the Mazda website - - and enter their unique VIN number; By calling the Mazda SA Customer Care Centre - 0860 983 000 /; Or by simply visiting their nearest Mazda dealership. The Takata airbag recall is a massive one, affecting a number of manufacturers and millions of vehicles globally. The recall is due to the inappropriate production conditions and storage of the propellant in the inflator unit. The density of the propellant may be insufficient in the inflator. This might cause the propellant to ignite abnormally at the time of airbag deployment and potentially result in extremely high inner pressure of the inflator, causing a rupture of the inflator case. In the case of a rupture, the airbag might not deploy as designed and may lead to injury. Mazda points out that there has not been a recorded incident in South Africa and that they are conducting this recall as a precautionary measure.

Goodyear awarded for soya bean tyre technology The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company has been awarded the prestigious Tyre Technology International Award for Innovation and Excellence, in the category “Environmental Achievement of the Year”. The awards took place during the 2018 Tyre Technology Expo in Hannover, Germany.

The award was based on a breakthrough by Goodyear, which has seen the company successfully apply soya bean oil in the tread compound of tyres, as a replacement for traditional petroleum oil. Following extensive analysis and road testing, this new technology is now being used in new Goodyear tyres and follows collaboration with the United Soybean Board to develop soya-based technology to enhance tyre performance. “Our work with the United Soybean Board presented a unique challenge and opportunity for our material scientists and tyre engineers to employ soya bean oil in the development of superior performing tyres,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s chief technology officer. “It is exciting to see that work payoff with commercially successful products, and an honour to be recognised by the industry for the environmental achievement.” Goodyear discovered that soya bean oil could improve tyre flexibility at low temperatures, helping the rubber to remain pliable in cold weather and enhancing traction in rain and snow simultaneously. Additionally, Goodyear discovered that the bean’s oil mixes more easily with rubber compounds and reduces energy consumption, therefore improving tyre manufacturing efficiency.



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Trade Talk

AutoForum AutoForum -- March March // April April 2018 2018

BMW world dealership awards BMW has honoured its best dealers from around the world at a celebratory awards evening in the BMW Group Classic. Pieter Nota, BMW AG management board member responsible for Sales and Brand BMW, handed out the awards to the 41 top dealers. Nota said they were a thank-you from the company to its international dealer body, which had worked so hard to make 2017 yet another successful year.

Best Retailer in Aftersales Fuenteolid, Spain Schomp BMW of Highlands Ranch, USA Geelong BMW, Australia Northcliff Auto, South Africa Shenzhen Southern Baozen, China Gottstein, Germany

“2017 was the seventh year in a row where we achieved a new sales record. This consistent success is only possible with strong partners in the dealer organisation,” said Nota. “Satisfied customers are what we all strive to have. We are all working with the common goal to become even more customer-focused and service-oriented. Today’s winners are setting a great example and the Excellence in Sales Award is our thank-you to them, recognising their achievement.”

Best Retailer in Luxury Class Auto Palace, Slovakia South Bay BMW, USA Bavarian Motors Incheon, South Korea Avilon, Russia Foshan Shenbao, China Mulfinger, Germany

In total, 3,100 dealers from 85 countries entered the competition. “We are currently in the biggest model offensive in our company’s history. With exciting new models like the BMW X2 and the BMW X3, together with the BMW X4 and BMW 8 Series Coupé coming later this year. I am sure that together with our partners and investors in the dealer body, we will make 2018 another record year,” added Nota in the course of the event. The winners in the various categories included South African Northcliff Auto. The full list follows below: Category – BEST RETAILER IN SALES Peter Vardy, United Kingdom BMW of Westchester, USA Kolon Motors Uijeongbu, South Korea BaltAvtoTrade-M, Russia Hangzhou Hecheng Zhibao, China Reisacher, Germany Jury Award – Best Retailer in Sustainability Bayern AutoGroup, Denmark Autogermana, Colombia Bavaria Motors, India Nanjing Ningbao, China Schmidt, Germany



BMW i & iPerformance Bilia, Norway BMW of Honolulu, USA Toto BMW, Japan Abu Khader Automotive, Jordan Shanghai Baozen Zhonghuan, China AHAG, Germany Customer Care Kohla-Strauss, Austria BMW of Gainesville, USA Balcom BMW, Japan Al Fardan Automobiles, Qatar Luohe Luodebao, China Freese, Germany Manager of the Year Arie Verschoor , Dusseldorp, The Netherlands Gonzalo Bosque, Carmen Motors, Mexico Oleksandr Tymofyeyev, AWT Bavaria, Ukraine Jeffrey Gan, Sime Darby Auto Bavaria, Malaysia Zuming Zhang, Shaoxing Baoshun, China Jörg Felske, Procar, Germany


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Trade Talk

AutoForum - March / AprilAutoForum 2018 - March / April 2018

Geely announces its 9.7% stake in Daimler The photographer-turned-tycoon wants Geely and Daimler to cooperate in the areas of battery-powered cars, online services, trip-sharing, and digital technologies.”

Geely Group revealed in March that it had purchased a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler, following a report in Bloomberg that the Hangzhou-based company was poised to become the largest investor in the German automaker. According to Bloomberg: “the collar trades – which are used in a hedging strategy that requires puts and call options of the same size and with the same expiration - allowed Chinese billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely Group to build up the stake quickly, while potentially avoiding breaching German rules that require shareholders to disclose holdings exceeding 3 percent”. The report also confirmed that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel had told the press that Bafin, a financial regulator, was reviewing whether there were “any gaps in the transparency of Geely reporting requirements” tied to Li’s stake in Daimler. “Beyond that, we’re open to trade partners and don’t immediately see Volvo Group any violations,” she said.


“The collar trades reduce Li’s potential losses from a decline in Daimler’s price, but may also cap prospective gains if the stock climbs. Buyers in such transactions typically pass on the risks of the stock falling to the banks, which get lucrative fees in return.


London Taxis

Li Shufu

Li’s acquisition of the stake in the ownership of Mercedes-Benz, which marks the biggest investment in a global automobile manufacturer by a Chinese company, boosts the prospects of his carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company in the global market.

Bloomberg’s report continues: “The Chinese company already owns Volvo Cars AB, whose refreshed line-up of vehicles have made it a popular alternative to the German luxury stalwarts. And in December, Li became the biggest shareholder in Sweden’s Volvo AB, the world’s second-largest truckmaker.”

AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie comments: “South Africans are loyal and traditional car buyers, favouring the German brands. We have seen this for many years – it’s reflected in AutoTrader search statistics – the most searched-for vehicle Lynk in 2017 was the BMW 3 Series, followed by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Volkswagen Golf.” Volvo

“However, given international trends – and the fact that Saxo Bank Daimler, the world’s most prestigious vehicle manufacturer, now has Li Shufu, chairman of Chinese automaker Geely, Zhejiang Terrafugia as its largest shareholder Geely (flying cars) – we could see a shift in Holdings buying preferences, with South Africans aspiring to own Chinese vehicles.” Mienie adds: “Although Proton I don’t think that this will happen anytime soon, this scenario is not as far-fetched as some industry commentators may think.” Manufacturers of any number of different products have written off Chinese Lotus competitors in the past - much to their detriment. Daimler Here is proof that the Chinese companies are still on the move.

New Zealand and Australia announce massive Takata airbag recalls

NZ Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi added that over 250 000 other vehicles with non-Alpha type airbags would be intensely monitored. He also said at a media briefing that the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) would introduce new measures prevent affected vehicles from being imported.

“We’re still in a position where 307,000 vehicles are still on the road in New Zealand, being used by everyday families with safety risks known to the previous government since 2013, which have not been sufficiently addressed,” he said. “Further, because I am not satisfied that enough progress has been made on other non-Alpha Takata airbag recalls, I have set up a monitoring group that will report monthly on this. “If enough progress isn’t made, I will enact a compulsory recall across the board because I am not willing to compromise on the safety of New Zealanders,” he said.

While the recall has since 2013 been voluntary in the country, and as yet no injuries or fatalities have been noted, the Minister said it was not worth taking the risk.

In total more than 450,000 vehicles are affected by the issue in New Zealand - those at highest risk are the 50,000 undergoing a compulsory recall.

The New Zealand government has announced a compulsory recall of 50 000 cars that it says contain faulty Alpha-type Takata airbags, just a month after the Australian government announced its own recall in February.


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Trade Talk

AutoForum AutoForum -- March March // April April 2018 2018

In memoriam – Amedeo Vitale An industry icon, the passing of Amedeo Vitale on March 28th leaves an industry sector much stronger for his influence, whilst at the same time all the poorer for his loss.

relishing the opportunity to take a client with a negative experience and create a loyal customer, with a positive experience.

Born in Tunisia on the 7th of November 1955, Amedeo Vitale immigrated to South Africa in 1974 and spent his first 12 years here working in various positions. With no panelbeating experience and little knowledge of towing, insurance, labour law or OEM approvals, Amedeo - along with his father Guiseppe - bought Inter Panelbeaters.

The early 90’s saw Amedeo working tirelessly with then SAMBRA Chairman, Guiseppe Bertasso and Director Neal Jackman, to introduce a grading system into the member shops based on standards, which included levels of approved equipment and training.

He was introduced to an industry that, despite being heavily regulated, was not held to a fair set of standards in his opinion. Amedeo found an sector suffering from a poor reputation in the eyes of the public. Finding it difficult in the early days, he heard stories of some panelbeaters becoming wealthy and was determined to understand what made some shops more successful than others. With this in mind, he decided to attend his first SAMBRA meeting. Within a few years, Amedeo had built the respect of his peers and was elected to the position of Vice-Chairman and then subsequently Chairman of SAMBRA. Amedeo was committed to changing the negative reputation of the industry and believed the industry had a responsibility to improve on itself. To his way of thinking, the relationship with the customer was key and he would personally attend to the most difficult customers,



According to his family, countless late nights and weekends were devoted to this project, which resulted in South African bodyshops benchmarking standards in the collision repair experience. Believing implicitly in car safety, the member shops were encouraged to embrace a new era in vehicle technology. Amedeo fought hard for change when he recognized the need and his challenges to the insurance industry were common. He incouraged the industry to seek a win/win perspective, whilst searching for solutions to ensure profitability to the business. As a leader in the fight for increases in the labour rates that were in line with increased levels of artisan expertise, Amedeo also pushed the ‘repair rather than replace’ philosophy and was at the forefront of the speed or express shop concept. Amedeo was renowned both locally and internationally for his role within the South African refinish industry and Autoforum staff members fondly remember the interactions, especially in Bologna, with this gentleman. Rest in Peace Amedeo Leonardo Vitale.

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Trade Talk

AutoForum AutoForum -- March March // April April 2018 2018

Volvo Car dealer network awarded Volvo Car South Africa has also recently held its Dealer of the Year Awards, which honoured its dealer network for its 2017 achievements. Tom Campher Volvo Cars Johannesburg walked away with the awards for both ‘Aftersales Dealer of the Year’, as well as ‘Overall Dealer of the Year’ for the second year. Volvo Cars East London was named ‘Sales Dealer of the Year’, whilst Auto Baltic Nelspruit received the ‘Most Improved Dealer of the Year’ award.

Most Improved Dealer of the Year 2017 Auto Baltic Nelspruit Sales Dealer of the Year 2017 Volvo Cars East London Aftersales Dealer of the Year 2017 Tom Campher Volvo Cars Johannesburg Overall Dealer of the Year 2017 Tom Campher Volvo Cars Johannesburg

Greg Maruszewski, VCSA Managing Director commented: “These awards are well-deserved and we’re proud to see our dealer network raising the bar higher each year. Everincreasing standards across the entire network show that our implementation of enhanced customer care programmes, service targets and sales incentives are effective. Congratulations to the winners - you deserve this recognition for your outstanding performance and dedication to keep improving the level of service in all aspects of the Volvo ownership experience.” Each of the Dealer of the Year awards are calculated using various criteria relevant to the category, including year-onyear results, sales achievements, accessory penetration and Customer Experience Management (CEM) scores.

Mahle strengthens its sales force for the SA market with new key account managers After their record year in 2017, Mahle Aftermarket Sub-Saharan Africa have added 3 Key Account Managers to their SA / SADC sales team. Derek de la Rouviere, Junior van Wyk and Wayne Kreunen will be responsible for their key accounts on a national scale, allowing MAHLE to focus by account. It also allows the



company to create face to face relationships on a larger scale than ever before. Richard Clarke, Head of Mahle Aftermarket SSA comments: “This is a very exciting time for us all, for Mahle having a sales force in the market constantly, creating the demand and pull-through via all segments from Workshops to independent retailers, growing the sales for our set distribution channel”.

: Front Row L-R: Vic Campher, DP Tom Campher Volvo Cars JHB; Christo Leeuwner, DP Auto Baltic Nelspruit. Images 2-4: Derek de la Rouviere, Junior van Wyk and Wayne Kreunen


AutoForum - March / April 2018

The German diesel ban - implications Reuters has reported that a new court ruling in Germany will see cities in that country able to “ban the most heavily polluting diesel cars from their streets”. Analysts believe the move could force a more rapid shift away from the combustion engine and at the same time, compel manufacturers to pay for improved exhaust systems. According to the report: “The court said Stuttgart, which styles itself the birthplace of the modern automobile and is home to Mercedes-maker Daimler, should consider gradually imposing a year-round ban for older diesel models, while Duesseldorf should also think about curbs.” In addition, the Reuters’ article commented: “Many other German cities exceed European Union limits on nitrogen oxide (NOx), known to cause respiratory disease. After the ruling, the northern city of Hamburg said it would start to implement limits on diesel vehicles from the end of April. The ruling is a further blow to an already damaged sector reputation and could threaten many thousands of jobs, thanks to Germany’s backing of diesel engines as a solution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The global move away from diesel engines started over 2 years ago, with the admission by Volkswagen that it had falsified results in U.S. Emissions tests. The furor has continued and boosted acceptance of electric powered vehicles as increasingly such admittances have come to light. Germany is not the only country to be looking into diesel engine bans - “Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have said they plan to ban diesel vehicles from city centres by 2025, while the mayor of Copenhagen wants to ban new diesel cars from entering the city as soon as next year. France and Britain will ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.”


But the ruling has not only angered carmakers. Reuters highlights that while the ruling was praised by environmental groups, numerous politicians and business lobbies have said that millions of drivers might end up unable to use or sell vehicles they bought in good faith. “Driving bans have a massive impact on our ownership rights, on mobility and on our profession,” said Hans Peter Wollseifer, president of the association of German tradesmen. “The carmakers are to blame for the diesel problem, not us tradesmen.” German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is quoted as saying that the government would discuss with regions and municipalities how to proceed, while her ministers said they still hoped bans could be averted by steps to bolster public transport and get automakers to improve emissions systems. “We must do everything possible to prevent the loss of personal freedom and the reduction in value of cars,” Transport Minister Christian Schmidt told a news conference. According to Reuters, the court ordered Stuttgart and Duesseldorf to amend their anti-pollution plans, saying city bans could be implemented even without nationwide rules. “It will not be easy to implement,” Stuttgart mayor Fritz Kuhn told a news conference, adding that the regional government would probably agree on a new plan within six months. Germany’s police union warned it did not have capacity to enforce any bans.


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AutoForum - March / April 2018

SA still chooses diesel, despite global shift The diesel powered car and truck is soon to be history. Well, that is certainly what it looks like when one considers the emissions scandal over the last few years, the new scandal of human and animal testing by VW, the fast paced electric vehicle sector and the environmental focus globally. In addition, the court ruling in Germany that could see cities banning diesel vehicles from its streets is expected to have far reaching effects in that country and indeed, across the globe. But according to the sales figures of diesel powered vehicles, the shift away from diesel has not happened in SA quite yet. A survey by the AA of SA found that 37% of South African motorists will still choose diesel vehicles over petrol vehicles – that’s despite recent studies show up to 38 000 people die prematurely as a result of diesel engines exceeding their stated emissions standards. According to the data, 56% of respondents say they prefer diesel over petrol engines, only four percent say that knowing of the deaths related to exceeding emissions standards will change their minds. “South African motorists must, however, begin to realise diesel engines may be on their way out. Internationally car makers are being forced to adhere to stringent emissions standards, or face hefty fines. “These car makers are grappling with tough choices to either re-engineer existing (diesel) engines at huge costs, restrict sales of some profitable models, or risk hundreds of millions of euros in penalties. While this is not yet a big debate in South Africa, the impact of these decisions will have far-reaching consequences for the local market,” notes the AA. Sales of diesel cars in Europe were sharply down in 2017, sparking concern that the decline in second-hand values would lead to a total collapse of the diesel vehicle market.


Mounting pressure on international car makers to meet imminent European emissions standards for new vehicles is also foretelling the fast-tracking of the demise of these engines. “While the results of our survey still indicate a diesel favourability, we would urge motorists to carefully consider their options when buying new or used diesel vehicles. If European car makers begin reducing production of these cars, the effects will be felt on after-sales servicing and parts. Local motorists can no longer ignore these signs, which are coming through strongly from the European market,” says the AA. Among the other results is that 60% of respondents say having full electric vehicles available locally is a good idea, this despite the fact that these vehicles are still relatively new to the South African market. The AA says this is a good alternative for motorists, but warns charge stations, and the availability of clean, reliable electricity, may play a role in decision-making. “Electric vehicles are certainly an option, especially for those conscious about the environment. However, South Africa still lags behind other countries in making charging stations readily available everywhere, especially on the scale which meets demand. And, while electricity supply seems stable for the moment, sustained availability remains a concern,” says the Association.























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AutoForum - March / April 2018

Self driving cars and insurance premiums We know that self-driving cars look set to change the way people commute in the very near future, an idea that elicits both extremes of views in the motoring public - from excitement to total trepidation. Regardless of how you feel about it, the reality is that its is going to happen, and by all accounts, really soon. As Vera Nagtegaal, Executive Head of points out: “In the near future, we expect to see manufacturers eventually release cars that will drive themselves.” But what does this mean for the vehicle insurance industry and how it assesses client risk? “Where previously insurers priced their premiums according to a driver’s history – what happens when there is no driver?” Questions around risk and liability will shift, she adds. “If your car hits another car – are you liable for the damage caused?” A report by EY titled ‘The evolution in self-driving vehicles’ points out that insurers will have to think carefully about five major challenges:


• What risks will remain – and will new ones arise? • Who is the customer and how will insurers do business with them? • How will insurance products have to change? • How will insurers price their models so they’re still profitable? • The impact of regulation and legislation around road use and insurance. As recently as December last year, Google’s self-driving technology company, Waymo, announced that it was partnering with on-demand insurance company Trov to cover driverless cars. With the company’s vehicles being tested in Arizona and three other cities in the United States, Waymo plans to launch a driverless ride-hailing service to rival Uber and will need to ensure that its cars are adequately protected against any risk.

Nagtegaal says a shared manufacturer and owner model may be what insurers could look at when assessing the risk implications of self-driving cars. “With this model, the manufacturer would assume all the risk related to software malfunctions that may cause accidents. The consumer would be responsible for other things such as the areas in which the car is driven or parked, what the car is used for, weather-related damage, and vandalism.” “Self-driving cars also present a cybersecurity problem for manufacturers because, like any other computerized system connected to the outside world, they are susceptible to hackers,” Nagtegaal points out. “To mitigate this risk, manufacturers will have to take steps to insure their vehicles against hackers. Theft would be an interesting risk to assess, especially during the claim assessment process, as a manufacturer would have to prove that the car’s system was not compromised in a way that made it easy for hackers to take control of a vehicle.”

The World Economic Forum anticipates that assisted driving will improve the economic benefits of consumers by over $1-trillion over the next decade, due to fewer accidents and lower insurance premiums. Features such as advanced driver assistance could reduce collision rates, which is expected to see consumers racking up monthly savings in the future thanks to lowered insurance premiums resulting from the overall reduction of accidents. Apart from the economic benefits of enhanced driving features, the report states that around 900 000 lives could be saved through these technological advancements. In addition, autonomous vehicles could mean people spend less time stuck in traffic – thus further reducing the risk of being involved in an accident. “The biggest challenge for manufacturers and regulators will be to convince current drivers that self-driving cars will allow for safer and more controlled driving on the roads,” Nagtegaal adds. This is going to be a fascinating one to watch.


AutoForum - March / April 2018


Why auto manufacturers need to re-invent their businesses - Morne Bekker

Automotive industry executives are watching with alarm as consumer-focused sectors are disrupted by new entrants, encouraging individuals to share goods and services with each other. Manufacturers who embrace this change open up new business models, which can lead to competitive advantage. The way we live, consume and communicate is increasingly shaped by three global trends: Globalisation and booming populations lead to much denser urban areas, diminishing resources increase the focus on sustainability, and mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean people are more connected than ever. These three factors combine to spark fundamental change in the things consumers place value on. There has been a huge priority shift from ownership to access – and things that used to be seen as status symbols are no longer prioritised in the same way. A good example of this is the car. The maxims of the sharing economy have reached one of our most loved status symbols, as the meteoric rise of car sharing schemes like Uber are already impacting the automotive and transport industries. A study at UC Berkeley showed that vehicle ownership among car sharing users has halved. As a consequence, sales of new cars on the one hand might stagnate and force companies to refine their business models.On the other hand, the on-demand business model of car sharing creates opportunities to reach new target groups: People who mainly used public transport in the past due to cost reasons might now occasionally appreciate the freedom of a car ride.

That means essentially, that now everyone has access to a car. How can the automotive industry benefit from these disruptions? Similar to the music industry, car manufacturers in the future will not make money by selling the product, but through value-added services. And when we look at the car of the future – the driverless, autonomous and connected car - services will become even more important, with car manufacturers increasingly turning into service providers. They will be able to answer questions like: Where is the next parking lot? How environmentally friendly is my driving style compared to the average driver? Modern vehicles are rolling computers. They constantly collect data from the environment and their inner life. Data sets such as tyre pressure, GPS position, and motor temperature are sometimes more, sometimes less visible to the driver. The smart and reasonable analysis of this huge amount of gathered data can provide new insights to the fleet operator. Big data is as relevant for the automotive industry as it is for any industry. Based on the data gathered by the car, fleet operators can forecast, when to order which wearing part and early plan the next workshop visit. The use of vehicles in a short-term rental model provides high value for car manufacturers, too.

PRIORITY SHIFT IN AUTO CONSUMERS New usage patterns drives sales down


GLOBAL TRENDS SHAPING ALL SECTORS Globalisation Focus on sustainability Connectivity and IoT



Morne Bekker is the new country manager for South Africa at NetApp.

The vehicle sees a new driver with a different driving profile several times a day which exponentially increases the volume and the diversity of the data. These vehicles are unlike their privately owned equivalents as they are in continuous operation and lead to new challenges and opportunities for the automotive maintenance and engineering industries.

This brings up the question of how to integrate these cloud resources into the existing environment. It’s a challenging task that has traditionally been a roadblock for companies seeking a simple, seamless and secure entry point to full cloud integration. With its Data Fabric concept, NetApp creators say the product provides a suitable solution for implementing a multi-cloud infrastructure for big data. Companies can use cloud resources from different vendors, by retaining full control over their data. The use of cloud resources will put companies in a position to integrate the most powerful data analysis engines without investing big money in a new on premise IT infrastructure.

The high value of the data demands for high availability and efficient data management. In a rapidly changing business climate, a solid IT infrastructure and the ability to offer performance and consistency is crucial. Seeing a continuous growth of data which needs to be stored and managed, it is obvious that companies need to thoroughly review their existing data management strategy and make it future-proof. To be prepared for both current and future business as well as legal requirements, organisations should consider migrating their data to more cost effective and agile public, private or hybrid cloud-based storage solutions. Not only as this allows faster innovation, but also as data can be managed according to specific business insights. Using cloud services, CIOs have to keep control over the company data to avoid vendor lock-in and to comply with changing data protection regulations.

The technologies on the app support enterprise-wide data management and create a link between on premise systems and resources from the public cloud. This, the brand says, allows businesses to achieve high flexibility in the use of their IT resources and can move data and workloads across all resources. This, in turn, creates the basis for the efficient infrastructure that is necessary for big data projects and car manufacturers can utilise the cloud to future-proof their businesses. CLOUD SERVICES:


Utilise dynamic and agile IT infrastructure

To realise the full benefits of a hybrid cloud strategy, CIOs need to manage the dynamic nature of the environment – seamlessly connecting public and private clouds – so they can move their data where and when they want with complete freedom.



New & growing revenue streams Plus increased usage = increased mainetenace


Disrupt by creating value added services - from existing data



Open new markets: Occasional drivers





AutoForum - March / April 2018

The Bosch Group acquires the remaining shares in Hytec The Bosch Group recently announced that it is strengthening its business in Africa, while expanding its industrial technology portfolio on the continent. As of the end of February, Bosch AG has acquired all shares in Hytec Holdings (Pty.) Ltd., Johannesburg. The latter specialises in the marketing of hydraulic and automation solutions and is the leading company in the field in sub-Saharan Africa. Hytec has 40 branch operations in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Ghana, and Kenya. This is Bosch’s second investment in the company - Bosch Rexroth acquired a 50 percent stake in its marketing partner Hytec, in 2014. “For Bosch, Africa has a lot of potential as a strategic market of the future,” says Uwe Raschke, the Bosch management board member responsible for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Considerable opportunities are offered by the heavy investments being made in infrastructure projects in areas such as construction and power generation. “Together with Hytec, we can take better advantage of the market opportunities in the African growth industries,” says Rolf Najork, the managing director of Bosch Rexroth. The region is characterised by much end-user business, such as servicing and spare parts for users of machinery. With its new subsidiary, Bosch Rexroth hopes to further expand this business.

Hytec has a well-established marketing network in sub-Saharan Africa, and its associates are well familiarised with what local customers want. “We are combining this high level of regional marketing knowledge with Bosch Rexroth’s product expertise and technological prowess. This will be a significant boost to our business on the continent,” Najork adds. Hytec will continue to market the products of other manufacturers as its portfolio includes roughly 30 brands. It will also continue to do business as Hytec, since this is a strong, well-known brand in southern Africa. The same applies to the Hytec subsidiaries TECTRA, HAW, HFT, HYSA, Hytec Engineering and HSA. “The complete acquisition of Hytec gives us a welcome opportunity to extend this successful collaboration and to grow further in Africa,” says Tillmann Olsen, general manager of Bosch Rexroth in South Africa. In May 2018, Bosch Rexroth and its new subsidiary Hytec will move into new joint premises in Johannesburg. The premises will include new marketing and administration offices, as well as an assembly line, a service center, and a training centre for courses in hydraulics and automation technology.

BMW sued over emissions test cheating BMW AG is the latest company to be added to the growing list of car manufacturers sued by U.S. drivers for installing software designed to cheat diesel-emissions tests. Tens of thousands of X5 and 335D model diesel cars built between 2009 and 2011 are the culprit vehicles whose owners are suing BMW and its technology supplier, Robert Bosch GmbH. BMW AG is the latest company to be added to the growing list of car manufacturers sued by U.S. drivers for installing software designed to cheat diesel-emissions tests. Tens of thousands of X5 and 335D model diesel cars built between 2009 and 2011 are the culprit vehicles whose owners are suing BMW and its technology supplier, Robert Bosch GmbH. The lawsuit alleges the company installed algorithms designed to manipulate testing systems, using methods similar to those admitted to by Volkswagen AG. They claim those vehicles are polluting at up to 27 times the legal limit, according to the complaint filed in New Jersey federal court.


Steve Berman, the claimants’ lawyer who has filed similar claims against Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, GM and Volkswagen, said: “At these levels, these cars aren’t just dirty — they don’t meet standards to be legally driven on U.S. streets and no one would have bought these cars if BMW had told the truth.” BMW North America spokesman Kenn Sparks said in a statement: “As a matter of principle, BMW Group vehicles are not manipulated and comply with all respective legal requirements.”Prosecutors have also raided the company’s Munich headquarters and its engine plant in Steyr, Austria, to look into 7-Series and 5-Series sedans, after BMW admitted it mistakenly put the wrong software in almost 12,000 diesel vehicles.

Yes, EVs really are coming. Even to SA

- Anè Theron

While the world embraces plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, South African car buyers are still opting for vehicles with internal combustion engines – is that in part because they’re perceived to be substantially cheaper? It’s far cheaper to maintain an electric vehicle (EV). So, while the purchase price of an EV may be higher than that of a vehicle with a combustion engine, the total cost of ownership may be quite similar. In fact, a recent study conducted at the Institute for Automotive Research (IFA) at the Nürtingen-Geislingen University in southern Germany concluded that EVs are 35% cheaper to maintain than their internal combustion-engined counterparts. According to the IFA, a typical small combustion-engined car would cost R54 046 (€3 650) to maintain over eight years (assuming the vehicle is doing about 8 000 km a year). In contrast, an EV would cost a mere R34 797 (€2 350). Tesloop, an American company that is offering city-to-city shared-car transportation in Tesla vehicles, has reported similar findings. It recently published a case study comparing one particular Tesla Model S to a typical Mercedes-Benz S-Class. “During the first 300 000 miles, the total combined maintenance and fuel costs of the Tesla Model S were R122 430 ($10 492), with a total of 12 days in the shop. Of these costs, R80 515 ($6 900) was scheduled maintenance. The balance was attributed to headlight damage due to driving through deep water. Had this been a Mercedes S-Class, the scheduled routine maintenance and fuel would have been R1 003 529 ($86 000), with 112 days of servicing,” the company reveals. But why is an EV so much cheaper to maintain? An EV has an extremely simple motor, with relatively few parts - while internal combustion engines are made up of hundreds if not thousands of parts. Anè Theron is a motoring journalist at Autotrader

With an EV, the only maintenance required is brakes, tyres, fluids and a battery health check.While maintenance costs are extremely low with an EV, so too are the running costs. The Nissan LEAF, for instance, requires a mere R19 of electricity to do a distance of 130 km. So, maintenance and running costs are extremely low. But what about the costs of the battery? Yes, batteries are currently very expensive and heavy too. But that’s about to change. According to Marco Bassi, general manager sales and marketing for Europe at Meritor, batteries are about to become lighter and cheaper. “In 2010, a 100 kWh-battery weighed about 1000 kg. Today, that same battery pack weighs about 667 kg. In 2025, that battery pack will weigh about 400 kg,” reveals Bassi. Pricing will follow the same pattern. “In 2009, a 100-kWh battery pack cost R1 400 274 ($120 000). Today, that same battery pack costs R291 723 ($25 000). In 2025, that battery pack will cost R175 034 ($15 000).” As these changes take place, the EV will become an even more enticing prospect. Based on this, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that 35% of global new car sales – 41 million a year – will be EVs in 2040, with one in four of all cars being an EV by then. The message is clear: EVs are coming. They may not be commonplace in South Africa right now, but the tide will turn – as motorists become aware of the benefits that they offer and battery prices come down. Don’t be surprised to see an EV in most parking lots within the next 10 years.



AutoForum - March / April 2018

The aftermarket telematics debacle

- Brian Albright

As telematics systems become part of, and evolve into, a “connected car” ecosystem in new automobiles, consumer privacy and technology security advocates have begun ringing alarm bells about the new vulnerabilities these systems represent. A mix of telematics and other types of connectivity solutions have emerged – dongle-based third-party systems, usagebased insurance (UBI) solutions, smartphone-connected systems, and increasingly advanced (and proprietary) OEM systems. If not properly secured, these systems could be used by hackers to gain access to drivers’ personal information or payment data, or (in a worst-case scenario) gain control of systems within the vehicle itself.

That type of limitation is a threat to aftermarket companies that want continued access to vehicle data, and worry that OEM telematics systems will increasingly be used to control vehicle data and drive more repair business to dealerships.

“This isn’t just security on a phone connected to a vehicle, but the security of the over-the-air updates the manufacturer issues, or security of the data being collected when the car transmits to the cloud,” says Christina Segal, vice president and general manager of connected vehicle systems at Honeywell.

For example, the industry successfully lobbied to have language supporting open access inserted into the AV START Act, a bill targeted at promoting safe development of selfdriving cars. U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) added an amendment to the bill that requires the Department of Transportation in the United States to convene a federal advisory committee to provide recommendations on “with respect to the ownership of, control of, or access to, information or data that vehicles collect, generate, record, or store in an electronic form that is retrieved from a highly automated vehicle or automated driving system.”

Honeywell recently partnered with LG Electronics to develop a cybersecurity solution for connected vehicles. The solution could detect anomalies that indicate an intentional hack of a vehicle while protecting in-vehicle network traffic. Automotive OEMs are increasingly using security concerns as a justification for further lock down of their own telematics systems and access to vehicle data via OBDII ports. In the “Cybersecurity for Modern Vehicles” guidance that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued recently, limiting third-party device access to vehicle systems was listed as a best practice.


The Auto Care Association and other industry organisations are working together to develop alternatives that would ensure aftermarket access to vehicle data.

“We’re hoping that the bill can go out without objection,” says Aaron Lowe, senior vice president of government affairs for the Auto Care Association. “The Inhofe amendment is not in the House version of the bill, though. What the amendment does is begins the discussion of how consumers can control access to data.”

Brian Albright is a freelance journalist based in Columbus, Ohio, who has been writing about manufacturing, technology and automotive issues since 1997. As an editor with Frontline Solutions magazine, he covered the supply chain automation industry for nearly eight years, and he has been a regular contributor to both Automotive Body Repair News and Aftermarket Business World. This article is reprinted with permission from Search Autoparts.

The Auto Care Association always has held that vehicle data belongs to the vehicle owner, a position shared by large fleet owners and rental car companies. Optimally, the consumer would be the gatekeeper as to where the data goes, not the OEM. “We view that as important, because if the owners can decide where the data goes, they will likely direct the data to the independent service industry,” Lowe says. “It’s a big fight, and we need the independent aftermarket to contact their legislators to support this.” However, the bill has stalled in Senate in part because of concerns around privacy and cybersecurity. Last year, the Auto Care Association also rolled out its Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI) model at the AAPEX show, and met with a positive response from the industry. The organisation is working with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), International Society for Standardization (ISO), and other standards bodies to gain industry wide support for the SVI. “We are taking a two-pronged approach,” says Joe Register, vice president of emerging technologies at the Auto Care Association. “We are working through the standards bodies because they have access over new car architectures. We are also working to make sure the interests of the aftermarket are served and the standards are equally applicable to retrofit devices.” OEMS, on the other hand, support what is known as the Extended Vehicle (ExVe) methodology, which gives the

automakers full control of vehicle data access via proprietary, cloud-bases servers. SVI would provide access for both the aftermarket and automakers using shared servers. “The SVI model is a way to make sure that all the information that comes in and out of the vehicle uses the same standard specifications,” Register says. “So if an automaker wants a particular piece of information, they can get it, but in the same way everybody else gets it. Requests can be throttled based on priority. It’s a different philosophy [than ExVe].” The SVI model provides protection via a gateway to the vehicle systems, whether access is through wired or wireless systems. “Right now the manufacturers spend the bulk of their energy trying to protect the OBD port, but that’s not the only part of the vehicle that is vulnerable,” Lowe says. There has been resistance to the SVI model within ISO and SAE, however, which could potentially put vehicle data access at risk. “The problem is really getting the standards groups to move this along so the car companies can adopt it,” Lowe says. “We want to make sure we have the same access to the data that the car companies have,” Lowe says. “If repairers have to go through the manufacturer’s servers to the get the data, that’s not good for the independent aftermarket.” “We think the information that comes from the operation of the vehicle is the customer’s information,” Register says. “Everything we do is from the standpoint of being able to make sure the customer retains their ability to get the data and control their choice of where it’s being repaired.”



AutoForum - March / April 2018

Tenneco buys Federal-Mogul Tenneco has announced that it will purchase global OEM and aftermarket supplier, Federal-Mogul, from Icahn Enterprises, for US $5.4 billion. Tenneco also announced its intention to separate the combined businesses into two independent, publicly traded companies - an aftermarket & ride performance company and a powertrain technology company. Should the deal be granted regulatory and shareholder approval, it is expected to close later this year. “This is a landmark day for Tenneco with an acquisition that will transform the company by creating two strong leading global companies, each in an excellent position to capture opportunities unique to their respective markets,” said Brian Kesseler, CEO, Tenneco. Icahn Enterprises Chairman, Carl C. Icahn commented: “Icahn Enterprises acquired majority control of Federal-Mogul in 2008 when we saw an out-of-favour market opportunity for a great company. During that time, we have built one of the leading global suppliers of automotive products. I am very proud of the business we have built at Federal-Mogul and agree with Tenneco regarding the tremendous value in the business combination and separation into two companies. We expect to be meaningful stockholders of Tenneco going forward and are excited about the prospects for additional value creation.” Aftermarket & Ride Performance Company The combination of Tenneco’s Ride Performance business with Federal-Mogul’s Motorparts business will boast an impressive portfolio of some of the strongest brands in the aftermarket including Monroe®, Walker®, Wagner®, Champion®, Fel-Pro® and MOOG®.


Tenneco Ride Performance

Federal-Mogul Motorparts

Aftermarket & OE

Aftermarket & OE


The company expects its broader aftermarket product coverage, stronger distribution channels, and enhanced channel development to strengthen its position in established and high growth markets (China and India), and drive success through new mobility models and capturing evolving e-commerce opportunities. On the OE side of the business, it believes that the combination creates a portfolio of braking and advanced suspension technologies and capabilities that set the foundation for meeting changing performance requirements for comfort and safety as well as taking advantage of the electrification and autonomous driving trends. Powertrain Technology Company The powertrain technology company will combine “market leaders with reputations for innovation in meeting the changing needs of customers.” The combined business will offer a robust portfolio of products and systems solutions. Tenneco’s South African office is equally enthusiastic about the acquisition. When asked for comment, Philip Lutz, Aftermarket Product / Pricing Manager at Southern Africa Ride Control said: “We are very excited and positive about the purchase. We do not foresee any major changes in the short term.” Lutz added: “Both companies are strong global, product-focused industry leaders and everybody will win!”


Tenneco Clean Air

Federal-Mogul Powertrain




AutoForum - March / April 2018

Understanding suspension - Part 4 In our last segment, we continued the discussion of how essential the preservation coatings used on suspension components are, and the advanced manufacturing processes adopted in the production of suspension products. In Part 4 we will be taking a closer look at OE requirements and the testing of the components. Readers who have been following this set of features would have noticed a recurring theme - suspension products are safety critical items and one cannot and should not compromise on quality. Suppliers and distributors of suspension products have both a moral and legal obligation to supply the highest quality, most reliable suspension products into the market. Consumers should also be extremely vigilant in selecting which suspension brands are fitted to their vehicles. Poor decisions are not only isolated to their vehicles, but impact other road users as well. Don’t ever forego quality to keep costs down, especially on suspension and if in doubt, request ISO / TS certification or any other technical testing evidence. Previously, we mentioned quality tests during manufacture, but did not really expand on any of these. Too often suspension products may appear to be of acceptable quality, however,


this may not always be the reality. It is for this reason that manufacturers of suspension products must subject their items to destructive testing, in order to ascertain their destructive threshold. These tests are the exception and not the rule within the sector.

Static and Dynamic Testing Laboratory Fatigue, Wear and Destruction testing Engineers develop tests specifically designed to simulate driving conditions, by subjecting the suspension components to rigorous destructive processes. During the destructive testing the torsional, axial and shear forces applied to the suspension parts are in the excess of 3000N. The test benches are equipped with multiple sensors, which continuously relay data to computers. These test results are presented in graphical format and immediately highlight any design flaws, allowing the suspension manufacturer to analyze and redesign the products for optimal efficiency.

Real time road testing Prior to final approval of the suspension products for manufacture, development samples are installed into road test vehicles with spring loaded sensors and steel cables mounted on the articulating suspension components. This type of test measures both the axial and torsional flexing of the control arms, bushes, tie rod ends and ball joints, in actual road conditions. Mechanical Analysis During the OE design and reverse engineering stages, 3D position locators are located in strategic places over the OE samples. The 3D scanner scans the real world OE objects and collects data on the samples’ shape, then digitally translates the shape into 3D graphics. From the images, manufactures or designers are able to view the potential stress areas, which are highlighted in red and yellow patches on the 3D graphics. At this point, engineers are able to either remove unnecessary material, thereby reducing the overall unsprung mass, or add reinforcing material to potential stress areas. This article is prodly brough to you by Aplus, a range of suspension products exclusively distributed by Aftermarket Solutions. PIcs: Road test vehicle and test sensors installed on the vehicle, Data Collecting Process With 3D Scanner and the Product Analysis Process.



AutoForum - March / April 2018

AMR Beijing 2018, still growing

- Warwick Robinson

As joint venture partner Messe Frankfurt definitely appreciates, AMR is viewed as an effective business platform for gaining a foothold in China’s vast and continually evolving automotive aftermarket landscape. AMR, is rapidly being seen as Asia’s leading repair and

Ms Fiona Chiew, Managing Director for Messe Frankfurt

maintenance industry event, as evidenced by the recent

Traders-Link (Beijing), the newly formed company to

JV with the Messe Frankfurt. The 2018 event wrapped

run AMR, was very pleased with the fruitful outcome

up with organisers reporting a steady increase of 5% in

of this joint venture. She commented: “There were

exhibitors. Hosting 1,200 exhibitors and 57,117 trade

two key objectives set for us to achieve after the new

visitors from 70 countries, AMR is marketed as the

collaboration. One was to increase international business

meeting point for sourcing, and for its extensive product

opportunities for exhibitors, and the other to connect

offering. This now includes the newly added Car Care

global players from the extensive vertical supply chain to

and Spare Parts sections in addition to specialised halls

the emerging Chinese market, through AMR. Judging from

for tools, tyre equipment and consumables, cleaning,

the increasing presence of international exhibitors and

car care, refinishing, collision repair, garage, testing,

visitors at the show, I am pleased to say our strategies

diagnostics. With a strong presence of top global industry

have been successful and we will continue to work even

players, the fair reflected global product trends.

harder on this in future editions.”


The opening night was opened and hosted by Steven

Nearly 2,000 industry representatives attended this award

Wong of Traders Link, who welcomed Fiona Chang and

ceremony. Hosted by CAMEIA and CAMRA, several

Michael Johannes, both from Messe Frankfurt. The

awards were presented to encourage new product

‘Huanyue 5S Night’ included a ceremony for Top Repair

innovation and developments across the industry.

Chain Store Brands, Manufacturers of Exported Auto Maintenance and Repair Products, Exported Products,

Key figures for AMR 2018:

Distributors, and AMR Recommended Products.

1200 exhibitors from 70 countries and regions

110 000 square metres across 15 halls

Johannes addressed the 2000 strong audience expressing

57 000 visitors

his satisfaction with what has already been achieved

73 competing brands in various award categories

within the partnership to date and his excitement about

The next AMR will be held from 21 – 24 March 2019. For

the JV’s bright future. “As an exhibition company firmly

more information keep your eyes on Autoforum as we

established as leaders in the automotive sector, we will

have once more secured a special accomodation deal

continue to focus on mobility and logistics and to invest in

with the organisers for readers and buyers who would like

shows around the world”.

to attend next year’s show.


AutoForum - March / April 2018

Automechanika Dubai – 1-3 May 2018 The upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 has sparked fresh optimism in the UAE automotive aftermarket, with international manufacturers gearing up for new business opportunities, as final preparations fall in place ahead of the global mega event. The Middle East’s first ever World Expo is expected to attract more than 25 million people from across the globe, while a price tag of at least US$9 billion suggests the host Emirate is pulling out all the stops to create state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure. With US$3 billion worth of venue-related construction contracts awarded in 2017 alone, the increase of commercial and heavy-duty vehicles along with cars is expected to effect a corresponding rise in demand for spare parts and accessories, tyres and batteries as well as a host of maintenance and upkeep-related infrastructure and services. The business potential has injected new impetus for international players in the automotive services industry, with more than 1,900 from 57 countries preparing to showcase their latest products and services at the 16th edition of Automechanika Dubai in 2018. Companies exhibiting at the three-day event, which takes place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, are targeting large-scale business growth up to, and beyond the six-month global showcase.


Organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Automechanika Dubai is the Middle East and Africa’s largest exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and services industry. Automechanika Dubai 2018 spreads over six product sections of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Customising; Repair & Maintenance; Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Tyres & Batteries. Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Mega events such as the Dubai Expo 2020 do have a multisectoral impact on the region with the increase in expenditure for new infrastructure, support systems, logistics and commercial facilities. “The impact is reflected among exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai 2018, many of whom are anticipating an injection of aftermarket products and services demand, with the expected rise of vehicle parc. It may also favourably impact Dubai’s total auto parts trade in the coming years, which in 2016, was worth US$10.6 billion,” Pauwels added.


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AutoForum - March / April 2018

2018 WesBank South African COTY is the Porsche Panamera The 33rd staging of the South African Car Of The Year saw Porsche take the top honours with its Panamera. Chosen out of a pool of ten finalists that are described as vehicles that “all represent the best of the best from a crosssection of segments and price points” the Porsche Panamera was said to represent “motoring excellence”. The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) also recognised the Volvo S90 as first runner up, as well as the Alfa Romeo Giulia as second runner up in this year’s competition. Beaten by a narrow yet decisive margin, both the Volvo S90 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia are exemplary finalists in their own right. The SAGMJ has run the WesBank South African Car Of The Year competition since 1986, with WesBank as its headline sponsor since inception. Chris de Kock, CEO, WesBank commented: “Each of the finalists in the 2018 WesBank South African Car of the Year competition represent that excellence, and the Guild had an unenviable job in choosing a single worthy winner.” George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader said of this year’s result: “A Porsche winning COTY may seem a little controversial, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise”. According to Mienie and based on AutoTrader search data, South Africans favour German vehicles – and the Panamera clearly fits the bill in this regard.


“While Porsche appears incapable of producing a vehicle that’s anything less than truly excellent, the Panamera specifically has won a multitude of international awards, including the highly sought-after Sports Car of the Year at the 2017 Golden Steering Wheel Awards” he continues. We have to agree that purely in terms of looks, the latest Panamera has certainly Although the scoring mechanism may have evolved, the SAGMJ continues to adhere to COTY’s most unique feature in that each of the finalists was still put through a stringent testing procedure by the pre-elected COTY jury at the world-renowned Kyalami Race Track in Midrand Here, the winning vehicle is evaluated and scored in relation to its segment competitors, with each vehicle’s final score determined by Exterior Design & Styling; Interior Use of Materials; Interior Layout; Technology; Engine Performance; Gearbox & Transmission; Engineering Integrity & Build Quality; Ride Quality & Refinement; Steering & Handling; Affordability; Value for Money; and Overall Excellence. Speaking before the announcement of the winner, Bernard Hellberg Jr, Chairman of the SAGMJ said: “This year’s competition was extremely fierce due to the high standards of all competitors, and as a result, no juror could accurately predict the outcome of the evaluation. What clearly emerged from this year’s scoring statistics, was that the competition was perhaps the tightest it’s ever been. It became an exercise in extreme jurisprudence to determine a winner, but that winner scored extremely highly in each category, and exhibited a high level of consistency across all scoring criteria.”


AutoForum - March / April 2018


Vermont Sales open days - a successful formula - Grant West

The middle of March saw the Vermont Sales organisation and staff welcome record numbers of customers at their annual Open Days event. This year’s event proved to be bigger, better and longer than previous trade days. Visitors and customers were once again treated to the

The attending staff memeber of this publication once

professional services of the organisation from arrival and

again explored the depths of his budget, whilst adding

registration, by a friendly team who ensured the process

to his workshop. The complimentary restaurant and

was smooth, efficient and that everyone had an itinerary

refreshment area provided welcome sustenance to

of events and demonstrations for the day.

customers from around the country, as they carried out their quest for knowledge and special offers from the

Ryan Hunt, Sales Director of Vermont Sales said: “We

many stands on show.

increased the number of sales staff who were on hand to advise and demonstrate, as well as introduce our

The scheduled product presentations and demonstrations

customers to the wide range of new products available. In

with their interactive style proved very popular with

addition, we had many more of our international suppliers


join us, to be available to discuss and demo their products one-on-one. The number of scheduled product

The staff and management of Vermont Sales have

demonstrations and presentations was also increased this

achieved the ideal recipe and can deservedly claim

year. This, combined with the very special show specials,

to have set the benchmark for a trade show, with

had a positive impact on our customers’ experience.”

enthusiastic staff on hand to answer questions, take


orders or demonstrate product, from the opening to close

all trade customers.”

of the day. With in-excess of 50 brands and over 10 000 products A leading retail trade customer commented that: “To us

on display from leading local and international suppliers,

this is a key event for our success, we get

these Vermont Sales open days are well worth attending.

more insights on the brands and products, are able to view the live demonstrations and have more time to spend with the sales guys. The opportunity to watch the demo’s and use the products ourselves, as well as talk to the overseas experts, was a major plus. For us this is the perfect platform to introduce these new brands and huge product range. My team and I planned to spend one day here at the Open Days, but we ended up returning for a second day.” Vermont Sales Commercial Director, Dale Engelbrecht said: “An additional service is that we keep the show intact for a number of weeks for our trade customers. This allows our customers to bring their own staff in to experience all that we have to offer at the show, find out more about our brands, product range and service, plus our unique Training academy that is free to


AutoForum - March / April 2018

Daimler launches new Actros and Arocs for Middle East and Africa With truckers in the Middle East and Africa regions facing some of the toughest trucking conditions, Daimler has introduced its latest generation of Mercedes-Benz trucks, the Actros and Arocs, which it says ensures “its customers have access to products that boast reliability, efficiency and ‘robustness’”. Customers in these 40 markets have driven trucks of the previous model generation and with experts forecasting economic growth of between 2 & 5 percent over the coming years in the regions, the truck maker believes the launch of these latest models marks an important step in its growth strategy.


Daimler sold in excess of 35,000 vehicles under the Mercedes-Benz and Fuso brand names across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa – up 20 percent on the year prior. The Mercedes-Benz brand is very highly regarded in these regions, with the Actros having a somewhat legendary stautus. Many customers continue to operate “Mileage Millionaires”, as they are known - trucks from


earlier generations of the Actros that have driven more than a million kilometres, still with their first engine. All in all, since the market launch of the Actros model series in 1996, Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 100,000 Actros units across the Middle East and North Africa. Globally, more than 1,000,000 MercedesBenz Actros have been sold since 1996.

Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks commented: “Our Mercedes-Benz Actros and Arocs have proved that they can be relied on – as our customers do day in, day out, in many markets around the world. A truck has to help a customer do the best job possible. And that is as true in the Middle East and Africa regions as anywhere. We are now taking our latest Actros and Arocs models to the markets there, with the aim of leveraging the momentum being experienced across these regions.” With some 300,000 Actros and Arocs models having sold since launch in 2011, the brand aims to become number one for commercial vehicles in the growth markets of the Middle East and Africa. The models already face challenging work environments, such as extreme temperatures of more than 50° C at times, difficult terrain, dust and loads of over 40 tonnes on construction sites or on unsurfaced tracks. The newly introduced Actros and Arocs models have been specifically configured for this sort of environment. In preparing for this market introduction, Mercedes-Benz put the vehicles through the most intensive programme of testing ever used by the company for trucks. From a base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), experts from the Mercedes-Benz Truck Testing Centre in Stuttgart subjected test vehicles from the two model series to more than 6 million kilometres of testing right across the UAE, under the toughest conditions imaginable – both on- and off-road, in very humid conditions and at

extreme temperatures of up to more than 50° Celsius, while also carrying extremely heavy loads. Further extensive testing was undertaken in other regions with similar climatic conditions where the current-generation Actros and Arocs have also been introduced (such as South Africa and China) or where they are due to be launched shortly (Latin America). The market introduction of the current generation of MercedesBenz trucks is being effected through Daimler’s Regional Centers for commercial vehicles in Dubai and Nairobi. This continuing regionalisation, the company explains, ensures that the business remains more closely in tune with the customers in the market. Years of product and service expertise pay dividends here, as does the broad product range of the group’s different commercial vehicle brands. The regional centre Middle East & North Africa is responsible for managing sales and distribution activities in the following markets: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The regional centre Africa (East, Central and West Africa) in Nairobi controls sales and marketing activities for commercial vehicles in 41 markets, including Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon and Ghana.



AutoForum - March / April 2018

Isuzu Motors South Africa is officially “open for business” Isuzu Motors has officially started business operations in South Africa, after last year’s announcement by Isuzu that it would purchase the light commercial vehicle operations in Port Elizabeth and also the balance of shareholding in its Isuzu Trucks South Africa operations. Speaking at the launch event at the manufacturing plant in Struandale Port Elizabeth, the president and representative director of Isuzu Motors of Japan, Masanori Katayama, said that Isuzu was committed to growing its business in South Africa. “This is the first commercial and light commercial vehicle manufacturing operation outside of Japan in which we have acquired a 100% ownership. We are represented in 30 countries outside of Japan and successfully operate 47 manufacturing plants in these countries with joint venture partners.” A year ago the company acquired a 57.7% majority shareholding in the Kenyan truck and bus assembly operation, which supplies Isuzu vehicles to East African markets, while commanding a leading 34% share of the Kenyan new vehicle market. Isuzu also has a 20% shareholding in joint venture manufacturing operations in Egypt, where the company has led the market for 10 years in a row. The light commercial vehicle pick-up produced there accounts for over 90% share of the market segment, and is an Isuzu KB pick-up derivative. Also speaking at the launch event, Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and MD Michael Sacke said that the company’s initial focus would be to fully consolidate its operations, while laying the foundation for the company’s future success. “Our shortterm focus is on implementing our transitional plans, ensuring the sustainability of our operations, further strengthening our product portfolio and relocating the truck operations from Kempston Road to the Struandale plant. As we do this, we will need to demonstrate excellence in everything we do and the ability to lead in key segments of the market.” He said that in the medium term, the company would need to plan for the successful launch of future products, implement measures to increase its domestic market share and increase its exports into Sub-Saharan Africa markets.


Sacke added that the company was already making good progress in achieving these objectives and that last year Isuzu Trucks accounted for around 15% share of the medium and heavy commercial market, thus cementing its leadership position in these segments of the market for over five years in a row. “In 2017, and in an environment where we were transitioning our business to a new business model, we grew our Isuzu KB volume by 14.8% versus the same period last year. This gave us a share of 14% in the pick-up D segment of the market, thus demonstrating the confidence that South African consumers have in our brand and vehicles.” “There can be no doubt that this government is committed to preserving and growing the automotive industry in South Africa.” The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said that South Africa’s automotive industry is a global, turbo-charged engine for the manufacture and export of vehicles and components. He added that many of the major multinational firms use South Africa to source components and assemble vehicles for the local and international markets. “With its ability to link throughout the economy, the government has identified the automotive industry as a key growth sector. The auto industry is important to the future of manufacturing in this country and whatever emerges in the future will be based on a significant level of support for it going forward. The sector contributes 7.5% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and employs about 113 000 people directly. It is key to ensuring greater economic growth.”

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AutoForum - March / April 2018


What will happen to trucks & buses?

- Dave Scott

The forecast drives the system – too much optimism leads to grass growing through wheels in stockyards, while too much pessimism creates long delivery lead times and even losses in market share. It’s ‘said’ in the marketplace that an annual truck and bus market of 35,000 units is a sweet-spot for current players. So how did the truck and bus market perform in 2017?

Truck & 2012 Bus Market



Med 3,58,5t GVM

10104 11595 10958 10394 8447


Heavy 8,516,5 t GVM



Ex Heavy > 16,5 t GVM

11621 12828 13788 13286 11859 11967

Heavy Bus 1134 > 8,5 t GVM TOTAL












Medium sectors




Midi bus




Panel van




Freight carrier 6637






27841 30946 31490 30469 27041 26172

The market did not ‘flatline’ as many had expected but declined by 3.2% for a total 26,172 – well off the 35,000 sweet-spot. Breaking this down into NAAMSA market segments above shows that the medium truck market took the biggest hit and declined by 662 units or 7,8%. This is the consumer and services driven market sector and is indicative of the general strain in the economy – especially the exchange rate which has impacted on a soft Rand’s ability to cope with imported goods.


Dividing the medium segment into applications it is interesting to note the decline in panel vans and midi buses up to 8,500kg GVM.


There are 22 truck brands from seven different countries in the SA market all hoping for the economy to annually produce 35,000 truck and bus retail figures. But, and that’s a big ‘but’, because only six truck brands owned 69% of the 2017 truck and bus market - This leaves only 8,000 odd units for the remaining 16 players. Make no mistake, this is a tough scene indeed.

Dave Scott is a second generation South African who has had a motor and road transport industry career that covers more than 48 years. In 2002 and 2003 Dave Scott was the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists winner of the category ‘Business Motoring’. In 2015 awarded the HINO SAGMJ Commercial Vehicle Journalist Of The Year for his story on diabetes in truck drivers. He is actively involved in training commercial vehicle drivers and has contributed to AF since 2003.























Confidence is what inspires an investment in trucks. ESKOM is in dire financial straits and eight years of corruption will not be reversed overnight however well-meaning our politicians express the desire for change. Other parastatals are also thirsty for big bailout funding. And then there’s that drought which has reached disastrous proportions in the Western Cape, South Africa’s third largest truck market. World stock markets are volatile and roiling in the background – all of this does not translate into rapid turnaround for SA’s truck and bus market.

69,0% “With recent political changes in mind, we are hopeful that business confidence will return to more positive levels, which will certainly encourage businesses to invest in their fleets,” said Gert Swanepoel, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “Gross Fixed Capital Formation or the rate at which businesses add fixed assets such as plant, machinery and equipment to their inventories, has seen an upturn to 4.3% during the third quarter of 2017, with 37% attributed to the acquisition of new transport equipment – certainly a good sign for the truck industry.”

The Rand has strengthened and some rain is fallen beyond the borders of the Western Cape. So, let’s not be totally negative. The best we can probably hope for is another flat performance of 26,000 units in 2018. The challenge is not in the total numbers but the massive variety of vehicle applications that make up our ‘small’ market, from a 4-ton GVM freight carrier up to a 56-ton GCM vehicle combination. As someone once said, ‘boldness be my friend’. The final profound thought goes to Nobel Prize Winner for literature, John Galsworthy: “If you do not think about the future you cannot have one.”


AutoForum - March / April 2018


A contentious cultural change – Speed limiters for trucks - Dave Scott

Under Regulation 215, speed limiting devices were mandated for fitment on trucks, mini-buses, midi-buses and buses from 1 Dec 2016. Regulation 293 deals with actual vehicle classes and speed limits. The speed limit for trucks over 9,000kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) and gross combination mass (GCM) has always been 80kph but this has never been physically governed by a speed limiting device. Adhering to 80kph has been in the hands of a driver who can temporarily overspeed to deal with a situation that demands more acceleration, or where extra speed at the foot of an incline allows the vehicle to ascend the gradient in a higher gear. Now enter speed limiters that remove a driver’s decision for top vehicle speed and it becomes a contentious issue Perception rules the day Attitude to speed in trucking circles has developed over many years where perception and habit play a major-role in driver attitudes. Trucking is all about payload, speed, distance and time where time plays a leading role perception. Most drivers think ‘the faster you go the shorter the trip’. The minibus taxi industry is a prime example of driving on road-shoulders or jack-rabbiting between traffic lights with reduced passenger safety and minimal impact on trip-times. Here is a projection for extra trip time over similar distances for a top speed of 100kph vs 80kph. TRIP TIMES AT 100KPH VS 80KPH FOR SIMILAR DISTANCES Distance

100 Kph

80 Kph

Extra time


60 mins

75 mins



90 mins

112,5 mins



120 mins

150 mins



180 mins

225 mins



The above chart shows a saving of only 15 minutes over 100km using a top speed of 100kph vs 80kph. How is the 15 minutes gained to be used productively when considering the impact of increased fuel consumption and vehicle wear? The practical problems around speed limiters Speed limiters remove a driver’s discretionary ability to increase speed over the limit – for a truck over 9t GVM 80kph is the maximum, never mind how the vehicle is geared. This presents variety of situations on the road: • Driver frustration – things are not what they were and perceived to be very restrictive • Dangerous calls of judgement – a driver may decide to overtake but cannot accelerate in the middle of overtaking if needed. There is no window of opportunity • Driver-hours on the road are a national problem – fatigue and boredom are serious challenges behind the wheel and speed limiters will now stretch drivers to the limit. Operators are not going to employ more drivers just because of speed limiter installations. • Drivers now prefer the older trucks – where there’s a choice, drivers are already expressing the desire to drive the older trucks in a fleet that are not equipped with the new limiting devices. • The lack of law enforcement at night allows many transport operators, especially courier companies, to travel beyond legal speed limits because of promises to deliver within a set time envelope.

• The new speed limiters now introduce an element of endemic corruption – some are prepared to reset the engine software and bridge the gap so that the limiters no longer function. This all compounds a lack of enforcement. The difference between an ‘older’ truck and a newer model lies inside an engine ECU. While there is technology to distinguish between new and old truck models on the road, will traffic officers be trained to use this and enforce the law?

Some routes are entrenched in a speed culture – the long haul from Cape Town has been known among truckers as a 90kph route because if you did not want to get ‘queued’ then 90kph was (and still is) the outer parameter to drive to.

Medium Trucks down to 100kph Medium trucks – 3,5t to 9t GVM – are now limited in top speed to 100kph. All trucks under 9t GVM previously were allowed a top speed of 120kph.

But we are seeking a cultural change including a change in attitude to speed and time. On top of this the Department of Transport is attempting to use unresearched and un-validated technology to control speed on the road.

The reduced speed has a significant effect on fuel consumption. Here’s a fuel consumption projection for a 6t GVM medium truck over 1140km on an N3 return trip – a saving of 100 litres fuel for an increased trip time of 4 hours between 120kph and 80kph:

Will this reduce the more than 830,000 road traffic crashes involving 1,7 million South Africans every year that annually cost the economy R142.95 billion and 3,4% of GDP? (CSIR report)

Top Speed



Fuel used




263,5 ℓ




207,7 ℓ




163,6 ℓ

Against a background of inadequate and validated road traffic crash statistics, the intention of the speed limiter Regulation is to improve road safety.

The attitude towards speed limiter regulation is already a negative one when driver training appears to be the only way out. The annual statistics and individual forensic crash analysis will tell in time. In the meantime, the truck manufacturers have no option but to comply with regulation 215 (1A).

It is apparent that average speed really counts in this new era of speed limiters. A top speed of 100kph can translate into an average speed of anywhere between 65kph to 80kph depending on the terrain and traffic conditions.

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AutoForum - March / April 2018

New heavy-duty oil for enviro friendly engines from Q8 Q8 Formula Truck 7000 15W-40 is a high-performance synthetic heavy-duty engine oil designed specifically for the lubrication of the latest environment-friendly engines. According to Johan Le Roux, lubricant support engineer at Blue Chip Lubricants, the new oil offers numerous customer benefits including added engine protection, oxidation and shear stability, and piston cleanliness. The oil meets the latest American Petroleum Institute (API) CK-4 and European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) E9-2016 requirements. “API CK-4 oils are especially effective at sustaining emission control system durability, where particulate filters and other advanced after treatment systems are used.” These oils are designed to provide enhanced protection against oil oxidation, viscosity loss due to shear, as well as oil aeration. IN addition, they offer protection against catalyst poisoning, particulate filter blocking, engine wear, piston deposits, degradation of lowand high-temperature properties, and soot-related viscosity increase. API CK-4 oils exceed the performance criteria of API CJ-4, CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, and CH-4, and can effectively lubricate engines calling for those API Service Categories. ACEA E9 describes stable, stay-in-grade oils providing effective control with respect to piston cleanliness and bore polishing. It further provides excellent wear control, soot handling and lubricant stability. It is recommended for highly-rated diesel engines meeting Euro I, Euro II, Euro III, Euro IV, Euro V, and


Euro VI emission requirements and running under severe conditions, such as extended oil-drain intervals according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is suitable for engines with or without particulate filters, and for most Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) engines and engines fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction NOX reduction systems. ACEA E9 oils are strongly recommended for engines fitted with particulate filters, and are designed for use in combination with low-sulphur diesel fuel. The newly-launched Q8 Formula Truck 7000 15W-40 exceeds the requirements of Volvo VDS-4.5, Renault RLD-4, and Mack EO-S 4.5, MB 228.31, Detroit Diesel DFS93K222, MTU Type 2.1, Deutz DQC III-10 LA, Cummins CES 20086, Cat ECF-3, Cat ECF-2, Ford WSS-M2C171-F1, and JASO DH-2. The new product will be blended at Blue Chip Lubricants’ stateof-the-art blending plant in Kya Sands, Johannesburg, based on the same formulation, base oils, and additives used by Q8Oils globally. Blue Chip Lubricants secured an agreement to blend and distribute lubricants from Q8Oils in 2015.

Body repair insight in association with BodyShop News International March / April 2018


REvolutionisING repair processes Contents TRUST & RECOMMENDATION avoid misuse of collision repair products Burning down the house


AutoForum - March / April 2018

Axalta brands awarded “Best in Class” Axalta Coating Systems has received the Frost & Sullivan 2017 Market Leadership Award for the automotive refinish coatings industry. The award recognised the company’s refinish brands Cromax, Spies Hecker and Standox as best-inclass globally. “Axalta’s Refinish business and brands are recognised by

They conduct 360-degree research, perform quality checks,

body shops around the world as the market leader,” said Joe

and present findings to a panel of industry experts. The award

McDougall, Executive Vice President and President Global

write-up specifically points to Axalta’s focus on environmental

Refinish and EMEA. “Receiving the Frost & Sullivan award

sustainability, innovative training opportunities, and superior

for being the best-in-class refinish paint provider in the world

products that are designed to boost body shop productivity as

further validates our leadership position. It serves as a reminder

reasons the company is deserving of the award.

that to remain the best, we must continue to stay focused on delivering to customers every day. We take great pride in

“In an environment where coating demands and requirements

differentiating ourselves both in the high quality of the products

for automotive refinish processes are steadily changing,

we deliver and on serving our customers. We work hard to

Axalta has maintained its market leadership through constant

improve every day and give our customers the tools they need

innovation and strong customer relationships,” said Christeena

to succeed. Our goal is to enable the body shops we serve to

Thomas, Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst.

be faster, more efficient, and less wasteful.” “Our research confirms that with its broad portfolio of Frost & Sullivan evaluates various criteria when selecting

automotive refinish coatings, the company has successfully

award winners, including product quality, technology, customer

established its brand image, solidifying it as a provider of best-

experience, performance, brand strength, and more.

in-class products and high customer value.”



AutoForum - March / April 2018

Renew your Mazda Recommended Repairer status The SA motor body repairer association has reminded its accredited members that applications to join the Mazda Recommended Repairers programme are now open. For those already in the Mazda Recommended Repairer Programme, you will need to apply for new letters of recommendation, should you not already have done so. Mazda certificates are no longer issued and have been replaced

To apply, complete the form on the SAMBRA website, paying

by Letters of Recommendation, which will be renewable

special attention to the qualifying criteria.

annually at the end of March, regardless of when applications were made.

Applications are reviewed quarterly, and the submission deadlines are as follow:

Mazda are in the process of setting-up a designated website

• 31 May 2018

in order to make technical data available to members and the

• 31 August 2018

association will keep members informed of developments in this

• 30 November 2018

regard. Those members requiring Mazda signage may contact the SAMBRA Head Office in Cape Town.

Let the World Skills countdown begin Applications to enter the next World Skills International competition closed at the end of March this year and we now wait for the local finals and regional finals to take place. The top competitors from this competition will be meeting their global counterparts next year, to face off for their chance to be crowned the best in the world for their respective categories. The international competition will take place in Kazan, Russia

The event will be held at the KAZAN EXPO International

from 29 August - 3 September 2019. The 45th WorldSkills

Exhibition Centre, where over 1,000 experts will evaluate the

competition will bring together more than 1,300 young

competitors’ work.

professionals representing more than 70 countries, who will compete in over 50 skills.

WorldSkills South Africa will soon be organising Regional, Provincial and National competitions with the aim of fielding the best competitors to represent the South African team, which will participate at the WorldSkills International Competition in Kazan 2019. The South African competition will be modelled on the WorldSkills International Competition in order to select the best possible candidates to represent the country. The final round of selections will be at the National competition scheduled to take place at the Durban International Convention Centre in October 2018 (confirmed dates to be released soon). We look forward to reporting on the respective winners in the following transportation and logistics fields: Autobody Repair (Panelbeating); Automobile Technology; Car Painting (Spraypainting); and Electrical Installations.


Trust and recommendation: The repairer’s greatest marketing tools

- Bruce Adams

Auto service franchise owners and managers overwhelmingly say that the most effective marketing tool they have in their arsenal, which also is the least expensive tool they can use, is their recommendation. More than three quarters (77%) of the auto service franchise

When it comes to preferred suppliers, 35% said they prefer to

owners and managers responding to the US based Aftermarket

buy from warehouse distributors, 33% prefer to buy from auto

Business World 2018 Auto Service Franchise Study of four

parts retailers, 20% prefer to buy from jobbers and 7% prefer to

product categories, said their recommendation to customers

buy from an OEM parts arm, such as a dealership.

was their best marketing tool.

The majority (69%) of auto service franchises said they stock replacement auto parts on as add-needed basis, while 24%

Interesting is that coming in a distant second was in-store

said they carry stock for the most popular makes and models.

displays at 7%; social media at 6%; and coupon/rebates at 3%.

Only 7% said they carry enough stock of the four product

(Importantly another 7% simply selected “other.”)

categories surveyed for most makes and models.

When the same group was asked how their customers typically

Some 43% of auto service franchise owners and managers said

respond when they make a recommendation to buy a particular

they expect their sales of the products surveyed to increase in

product, 58% said that most of the time customers take their

2018, while 56% said they expect their sales to stay the same.

recommendation. Of those expecting an increase in sales, Another 27% said that customers always take their

• 16% said they expect a 1-3% increase,

recommendations; 14% said customers sometimes take their

• 12% said they expect a 4-7% increase,

recommendations; and 1% said customers never take their

• 12% said they expect an 8-15% increase,


• 3% expect a 16-20% increase. What does this mean for SA repairers? While the stats on SA customer / workshop recommendations are not currently available, the message is clear: You have the power of authority in determining which parts your customers will choose. Make sure you use this power wisely and make technology and information your friend. For at the end of the day it won’t be the part that is remembered, but the repairer.

Bruce Adams is managing editor of Aftermarket Business World magazine and content manager for the distribution channel at UBM Advanstar. This article is reprinted with permission and in part from the original that appeared on


AutoForum - March / April 2018


How to avoid misuse of collision repair products -Tina Grady Barbaccia

Before starting a new collision repair job, it’s critical for technicians to understand where to obtain proper repair information and product instructions and how the use – or misuse – of these products can affect the repair’s final outcome and integrity of the vehicle. “In general, the most common reason for a product failure ties

Leveling the cartridge

back to the misuse of a product,” says Douglas Craig, structural

The ratio of Part A to Part B in a two-component cartridge is

adhesives applications engineering manager and collision repair

critical. An unleveled two-component cartridge can throw off

industry liaison for LORD Corporation. “Simply not reading

the proper ratio. “If you begin using a cartridge without getting

instructions causes some failures.”

everything equalized, you will be off-ratio.”

However, the other 90 percent boils down to two factors: Not

Once it has been equalized, paying careful attention that the

leveling two-component cartridges before use and not purging

proper ratio can be achieved, the mixing nozzle is attached.

enough material in the mixing nozzle before application.

The nozzle to be used is chosen using a variety of factors, such as length, material being used, its chemistry, ideal working

“When a cartridge is filled, the A and B sides are not exactly

temperature, the amount of adhesive being applied per cycle

level,” Craig says. “There could also be an air gap at the top of

and the number of times the material is being folded back

the package.”

together. Extrude a mixer length of mixed material and dispose of it.

How to use collision repair adhesives safely When working with collision repair adhesives, it is just as important to use proper safety habits as it is to use the correct repair product. Be sure to follow these steps before starting a job with collision repair adhesives: Practice safe habits: • Wear proper safety equipment and keep sparks/flames away from the area. Skin contact: • Wear gloves to avoid product contact with skin to avoid irritation or a skin reaction. Eye contact: • Flush eyes immediately with water if a product gets into your eyes. Contact a physician for follow-up. Flammability: • Most adhesives don’t contain solvents and aren’t flammable, read product literature and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Common sense: • Be mindful of your environment and use common sense. Treat all adhesives with respect.

“However, if we didn’t level the cartridge to begin, we will get

“If you find you are off ratio, throw away the mixing nozzle and

more of either Part A or Part B,” Craig says. “It will coat the

start again,” he says. “That causes the majority of product

inside of the mixer and throw off everything. If you already have

failures or issues with a product not working properly.”

more on one side than the other, because a material is sticking to the inside wall of the mixer, you may never get on ratio.”

As the old adage goes, time is money. So often the mindset that the more quickly a job can be completed, the more jobs can be

To ensure the cartridge is producing the proper ratio, examine

completed and the more money can be made. However, this

the material as it is coming out of the mixer. It should be a “nice,

doesn’t mean a collision repairer is being efficient and profitable

homogenous mix” without streaks or dark or light spots, he

– or completing repairs correctly. Rushing through a job may


very well result in the need for a do-over.


Technicians may often be in a hurry and focused just on getting

that when a two-component system is used where things need

a repair job completed. However, this can come at a cost.

to be mixed together, instructions must be followed to make sure the mix is correct.

If a less-experienced repairer is observing or working with a skilled technician who is rushing through a job, proper

Craig likens following instructions in the use of collision repair

preparation or pre-repair procedures may not be followed.

products to baking biscuits. “If you’re making biscuits, you want to leave the butter chunky in the dough – that’s what makes

That means the newer technician may be learning bad habits

them good,” Craig says. “You need to follow instructions to

or incorrect use of repair products, without fully understanding

know how to make them turn out well.”

A cheat sheet to working with two-component adhesiveS Dispensing: • Check the manufactured date and shelf life to confirm a product is not expired. • If the manufacture date is not clear or not able to be determined, call the technical support hotline and determine how old the material really is. • Level the plungers until both sides dispense evenly. • Attach the mixing tip. • Dispense a mix tip’s length of adhesive and look for good mixing without any streaks. Storage: • Leave mixing tips on all partially used cartridges to seal except for foams. • Due to the expansion rate of the foams, the tip needs to be removed immediately after use to avoid the product from curing back into the cartridge. • Keep the adhesive between 60 degrees F to 80 degrees F. • Pay attention to the humidity. Urethane adhesives react with moisture so don’t open foil bags unless there are plans to use them. Work time and temperatures: • Take note of the “work time” on the adhesive label/literature before starting the collision repair job. • Two-component adhesives are accelerated by heat: • Work time is based on 70 degrees Fahrenheit. • Every 20 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature, the work time is reduced by about half, with the same effect for cure time. • Every 20 degrees Fahrenheit decrease will extend the work time by half

This is especially important when working with adhesives

It’s all about the chemistry

because they vary in chemistry and best use for an application.

Within the collision repair industry, acrylic and epoxy adhesives

Prepping adhesives – epoxies, acrylics, and urethanes – for use

are the two main chemistries accepted for bonding metal

has the highest failure rate for this reason.

panels. (1K windshield urethanes are also used by some original equipment manufacturers (OEMS) to bond roof but require that

“All three of these chemistries are adhesives – anything that

the e-coat and primer are intact.)

sticks together is an adhesive,” Craig says. “The difference in all of these is the strengths they provide and other properties such

Within panel bonding, this is broken down further into two

as flexibility and corrosion protection. Even seam sealers have

adhesive categories – panel bonders and crash-durable

some level of strength so they can be considered adhesives.

adhesives (CDAs).

It is the level of strength that really begins to define how you would use it.”

“The dividing line has everything to do with the flexibility and strength of the adhesives – especially over time – and what they can tolerate in a split second of a crash mode,” Craig explains.

Tina Grady Barbaccia is a writer for Advancing Organizational Excellence (AOE). She has written and served as an editor for trade publications, blogs and developed social media and public relations for the construction, engineering, healthcare, agricultural, landscaping and appliance industries since 1998 and is a former editor for ABRN.


AutoForum - March / April 2018

BODYSHOP NEWS “All the adhesives are really strong, but the crash-durable

The joints can be bonded only (just glue), weld bonded using

adhesives are flexible as they go through an event so they are

resistance spot welding, or they can be rivet bonded with

more in control of the joint.”

adhesive. When an engineering team creates a vehicle, it decides if the vehicle will be held together with glue or methods

The adhesives must be able to maintain 80 percent of its

such as welds or fasteners.

original strength after environmental exposure, with one OEM noting that the most critical test is how they are able to withstand the seven-day water soak.

A guide to acrylic, epoxy and urethane chemistries Acrylics: • Advantages: Bond bare metals, anti-corrosion properties, fast room temperature cure, color changes when cured. • Disadvantages: Odor and tacky surface Epoxies: • Advantages: Easy to use, bonds bare/primed metals and plastics, low odor, and can accelerate with heat. • Disadvantages: Some are rigid and longer cure times Urethanes • Advantages: Flexible and bonds plastics • Disadvantages: Needs primer on metals and moisture sensitive

“Adhesives can live in a world where they are 100 percent in

When dealing with plastic parts repair, urethane should be used

charge of holding something together,” Craig says. “Not using

to bond the parts together. “Urethane has more flexibility,” Craig

impact-toughened adhesives, where a manufacturer may

points out. “This doesn’t mean other adhesives aren’t strong,

have used them in a vehicle’s construction, may change many

but urethane sticks better to plastics including fiberglass,

characteristics of the car at some point in its life. It could affect

Kevlar, and carbon fibre.” Knowing how these chemistries work

durability, safety, and the ability to absorb energy in a crash.

with different parts and that one chemistry cannot do everything

Conversely, adding a CDA where no adhesive was previously

is important. It’s also just as essential to understand and adhere

used could conceivably cause a change. Always refer to the

to OEM guidelines. “We typically say metal goes with epoxy

OEM repair guidelines before making repair decisions.”

and acrylic and urethane go with plastic. But there is a huge gray area where there is crossover, which contradicts this

Understanding the correct adhesives to use in the replacement


of metal body panels and plastic parts – which to use and when – is critical. Acrylics and epoxies are primarily – but not always

Adhesive design, chemistry, and suitability drive application

– used for metal only. “There are some epoxies used to hold

decisions, while referencing technical data sheets and other

plastic to metal-framed cars,” Craig says. “Acrylic adhesives

repair documentation helps to guide the proper choice for

will accomplish the same thing but tend to be a little rarer.”

procedure and product.

At the end of the day, this is another example of how critical

“All adhesives are not designed equally and cannot be placed

the adhesive selection is and how important the OEM repair

into one category or another, simply based on chemistry.

information will be in guiding the proper choice. “For every

Although chemistry is important, repairers need to follow

generalisation there are multiple examples, which are quite

OEM standard operating procedures (SOPs) and use them,


accordingly, because there is such a huge gray area.”


This article is reproduced from the original on the Auto Body Repairers Network website.

Getting access to information

“When it’s attained at that level, the OEM will recommend

Roughly five years ago, the collision repair industry as a whole

these products for vehicle repair,” Beardsley says. “These are

decided that the repair standard for any particular car would be

the products you want to use to fix a car. Otherwise, it may

the information provided by the vehicle manufacturer.

not do the job it needs to if you are not using recommended OEM products. You should always follow OEM repair

“This puts manufacturers on the hook for providing all the

recommendations.” He points out that although some product

information when not all of them may have been on board

uses and recommendations may seem “basic” – such as

with doing it,” Craig says. “It also makes the assumption that

leveling plungers – these instructions aren’t always followed.

a repair technician is able to understand and even find the information. Any shop technician who is going to make a repair

Creating a repair culture

really needs to understand what it means to truly fix the vehicle.

That’s why it is critical to create a culture with the mentality of

At the root of it is the OEM guidelines and repair standards.”

looking at what the OEM wants first and then making a repair decision based on that, Beardsley notes. “I’m always going to

Each OEM has its service information in a different

revert back to OEM info,” he says. “The OEM is the

format, which creates a challenge. There is

expert. Period. End of story. You need to look

not always an explanation as to why a

at their approved products, determine what

particular material should be used or

the OEM wants – i.e., all adhesives or

not used on a specific substrate or

adhesive and spot welding, or rivets –

why a bumper cover shouldn’t be

and make your repair decision from

fixed in a certain area, explains


Dennis Beardsley, North American training manager for Saint-Gobain

This is critical for both veteran

and an I-CAR instructor.

repairers and those that are new to the industry. The seasoned

“Because of misinformation and lack

technicians may know how to

of knowledge in collision repair, the

properly level a plunger during

wrong product is often used because

adhesive repair prep – and understand

it is handy or deemed good enough,” he

the significance of doing so – but those

says. “The term ‘or equivalent’ is listed in

learning from them may not.

service publications from some manufacturers, but not everyone may know what is an ‘equivalent.’”

“It’s really important to reinforce this to the folks you are coaching or teaching,” Beardsley says. “That’s why it’s so

A crash durable adhesive should always be used to replace a

important to make sure they have proper training and always

CDA. “If in doubt as to whether a material is a CDA, be sure

have them refer back to the OEM information. No one goes to

to replace it with one unless the OEM advises against this,”

work thinking, ‘How can I do a mediocre job?’ They are going

Beardsley says. There are many generic products on the

to do the best they can, but if we haven’t shown them the right

market for collision repair, and the main goal of these product

way to do something and why it’s important, it’s going to affect

manufacturers is to sell quality products and work with OEMs

the repair.”

to develop products that meet their original standards. Ultimately, it all comes down to doing the job right and “We want to make sure that when we go into service, we are

“marrying” it to the lifetime of the vehicle. “At the end of

giving the car owner back what he or she had,” Beardsley

the day, the procedure or product specified isn’t our call,”

says. “With the term ‘adhesive,’ there may be 40 or more OEM

Beardsley says. “We don’t work for any of these manufacturers.

standards that apply to that adhesive so the challenge then

The repair and product used is either right or it’s wrong. We, as

becomes applying it in the non-OEM environment.”

repairers, cannot alter what the OEMs want.”

This is when the collision repair product manufacturers need

Beardsley puts making the proper repair decision and product

to work with the OEMs to create a new standard that takes

use in this perspective: “Would I put my two kids in the back of

the attributes of other standards and compiles them into one

that car after it has been repaired? It really is black and white.

document so all the information is at hand to test and create a

The repair procedure and product used is either right or it’s

product that meets the standards.

wrong, and these OEM recommendations must be respected.”



AutoForum - March / April 2018

Burning down the house

- Lori Lorenz

On entering a panel shop recently, I smelled a sickening odour from burned styropor. I knew exactly where to look – the spray booth. Both doors were wide open, and it was black inside. I asked an employee when this had happened. “Last week” was his response. Luckily nobody had been hurt. The shop belonged to a small operator in a country town and

This is the manufacturers’ battleground, and some are very

now he had a burned-out booth. Some of you may have two or

passionate about their system.

even three booths and can juggle things around, but if you only have the one booth you are truly in trouble.

Manufacturers claim the indirect fired system is much safer, as flames are isolated from the booth’s interior, with the air passing

Spray booths were initially made for environmental reasons as

through a heat exchanger in a manner similar to a radiator.

they filter out paint particles to prevent air pollution, which is the

Direct fired systems pass air over naked flames and into the

reason many Australian councils mandated every panel shop

spray booth. Manufacturers employing this system, claim it is

has one.

more energy efficient as it heats quicker and is just as safe as indirect systems.

These booths are very effective in filtering out paint particles, but not the far more harmful fumes. These fumes are still

It is important to understand different airflow during the spray

released into the atmosphere, so, from an environmental

and bake cycle.

perspective, spray booths don’t do much at all. During the spray cycle we want to remove solvent fumes from So, why are so many spray booths catching fire and how can it

the booth. Fresh air is sucked in through the intake filters and

be prevented?

pushed out through the exhaust filters. On the bake cycle, however, it is wasteful to discharge all the hot air into the

Many spray booths are equipped with heating to reduce cycle


time. The options available for this include infrared, electric, gas and diesel, and each has its advantages and disadvantages,

Following the flash-off time, when most solvents have

not to mention price.

evaporated, the booth goes into recirculation mode, meaning hot air is not discharged but reheated and redirected back

Gas and diesel fuelled booths are the most popular, affordable,

through the intake filters into the booth. By now, most of the

and cheapest to run, but also are more likely to catch fire.

solvents should have been dispersed, but the air can still be

To appreciate the fire risk, we need to understand the two firing

volatile, and the fire risk remains very high.

systems – ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ heating.


Direct fired spray booths get around this problem by discharging a small amount of air and replacing it with fresh hot air. The principle is like taking a long warm bath; let some cold water out and top it up with hot water to maintain the same water temperature. In doing so, there should be no contact between volatile air and naked flames, providing there is sufficient airflow.

There are three ways to detect heat exchanger leaks: 1. careful inspection, 2. a pressure test, 3. or a booth fire Clearly, the first two options are by far the cheapest and safest, so regular maintenance is essential.

Indirect fired spray booths don’t need a discharge function as volatile air never contacts a naked flame.

How would you fare if your booth burned down? My client was very lucky. His staff acted swiftly and

Manufacturers on both sides claim their system is more

extinguished the flames before the fire brigade arrived. In doing

efficient, but I am unaware of any independent test results that

so, they saved the building and other equipment. The booth

support either one. The same goes for safety – as expected,

was insured, but it took three months before the business was

manufacturers of both systems claim theirs is superior.

back to 100 percent capacity. They were very lucky. Sure, three

Many refinishers think an indirect heating system is safer, and

months without a booth and countless unproductive hours (no

just accept its perceived lower efficiency, and I thought the

tax problem this year) was tough, but no one got hurt.

same way. However, the booth fires I am aware of occurred with indirect fired spray booths. Surprised? I was. I am not aware of any direct fired booths that have gone up in flames. Cracks to the heat exchangers, caused by rust and constant thermal expansion and contraction (from heating and cooling) triggered the fires.

Airflow on bake cycle



AutoForum - March / April 2018

Automation to revolutionise repair processes Leading repair solutions company, Tradiebot Industries, has partnered with Swinburne University of Technology and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) to revolutionise the automotive repair industry. As a collaborative project, Repair Bot will develop 3D printing technologies and robotics, along with complex materials to create a low-cost rapid repair service for automotive plastic trim and assembly components. Located within body shops, the technology will be used to produce parts when the original replacement items are out of stock or have been discontinued.

IMCRC CEO and Managing Director, David Chuter, is enthusiastic about the positive implications of the Tradiebot Repair Bot project.

Tradiebot Industries founder and CEO, Mario Dimovski, believes the project will greatly assist the automotive collision repair industry.

“This is a unique partnership that explores and invests in advanced manufacturing technologies. It is a great example of how research-led innovation ensures that the Australian automotive repairs industry can meet the challenges and opportunities of the global economy.”

“The ability to repair previously non-repairable parts, using world-first technology, will reduce overall repair times and costs. It will also create real and significant export opportunities and has flow-on benefits for the environment by reducing landfill,” said Dimovski.


The Tradiebot Repair Bot project has accumulated more than $1.2 million in funding, with research to take place throughout 2018 and 2019. The first Repair Bot is expected to be ready by 2020.

Tradiebot is also developing automated systems and robotics to carry out basic labour duties such as parts preparation, cleaning and quality inspections on bolt-on panel components. In time, other systems will automate more skilled functions, including spray painting and panel repairs.

BASF launches resource-saving refinish product line BASF’s Coatings division has launched new product lines in Europe for its Glasurit and R-M refinish paint brands that make automotive refinishing more environmentally friendly. BASF claims the products are the first to be manufactured

“By developing the new product line, we are offering body

according to the certified biomass balance approach, which

shops the opportunity to stand out from the competition and

contributes to reduced CO2 emissions.

directly influence the way they save CO2 and, in so doing, make a conscious contribution to environmental protection.”

Using the biomass balance approach, fossil resources are replaced by renewable materials, such as bio-naphtha or biogas from organic waste or vegetable oils, at the beginning of the production process. This share of biomass is mathematically allocated to the new product line for automotive refinish products according to a method certified by the German Technical Supervisory Association (TÜV SÜD). By applying this model, 100 per cent of the fossil resources can be replaced with renewable resources. Katja Scharpwinkel, head of BASF’s Automotive Refinish EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) unit, said the new technology had no impact on quality or application. “The biomass balance approach already permits renewable resources to be used at the start of chemical production. This allows us to process the products obtained via this process in the usual manner and use them to manufacture our refinish products,” she explained.


AutoForum - March / April 2018


Steering, suspension and wheel damage explained - Larry Montanez

The formula in the image below might have scared all of you with a reminder of geometry? Or even worse, trigonometry? Remember being in High School and thinking: “I am never using this crap, so why do I need to learn it?” Well look at who needs that stupid geometry and trig now. What? You don’t realize you need to understand these formulas for triangles, squares and areas? Three-dimensional measuring, which is what we all should be using every day to diagnose and repair vehicles, is all based on geometry. But, unlike structural dimensions, steering and suspension component measurements add the dreaded trigonometry formulas, to obtain the degrees of measurements to align the steering geometry. We are going to look at the operations to diagnose and determine steering and suspension misalignment. Advancements in smart auto-adjusting suspension systems, steering assist and autonomous steering systems require new understanding. Without an understanding of these components, applied impact forces, and vehicle designs, as well as additional reading, research and training, damage assessors and technicians are having a difficult time diagnosing the sustained damage to these components. In many situations, damage to these components goes undiscovered until the vehicle goes in for a wheel alignment, or technicians attempt to replace components and then discover the parts will not fit. Both situations are generally near the completion of the repairs and will cause more unnecessary delays. Another issue, unknown to many due to lack of training and education, is that many OEMs are requiring the replacement of rack and pinion steering units, if a tie rod sustains damage. Some OEMs require adjacent steering and suspension components be replaced if only one suspension component sustained damage. It is paramount that a collision damaged vehicle be properly diagnosed, by performing a thorough examination of the vehicle. How do you examine the steering and suspension components to verify if there is sustained damage and/or displacement? One way would be to perform a wheel alignment check, but this could be an issue if the steering and suspension mounting locations are damaged or displaced and/or the structure of the vehicle is displaced. The first operation to perform is a vehicle system scan, or pre-repair diagnostic scan. This test will scan the vehicle’s electronic systems for any faults and or issues, and should be performed on all vehicles entering your shop. This test will determine any issues with the vehicle’s electronic systems and, if any are present, assist you in determining which system faults are related to the collision event. The next operation would be to perform some quick checks on the vehicle’s structure and mechanical components (engine, cooling, steering and suspension, etc…).


Before we get to the importance of pre-repair three-dimensional measuring to diagnose steering and suspension components, we need to address the importance of knowing what occurred in the collision event – like a detective would analyze it. You need to put the puzzle pieces together to get a full understanding of what applied collision impact forces caused the type of sustained damage during the event. Next, check the OEM repair manuals for required inspections after a collision event, and then determine what quick checks to perform. Diagnosing Damage It is important to understand the description of the event and the type of collision the vehicle was involved in. For example, a vehicle traveling at 25km/h on snow that slides into a curb and causes scraping of the rim and bending of the outer tie rod is completely different to a vehicle traveling at 50km/h and impacting a pot-hole that bends the rim and the outer tie rod. Many OEMs are utilising aluminium to make the suspension components which react in a different manner to their steel counterparts. During a collision event, the applied impact forces can cause the aluminium components to bend, deform and be displaced – not only at the point of impact, but very often to suspension components in the opposite area of the impact. Damage is frequently not visible to the naked eye and requires mechanical or electronic measurements to confirm or deny sustained damage. Damage assessors and technicians must never assume that damage is or is not present; they must confirm it by measuring. They must also check the OEM repair and diagnosing information on procedures after a collision event and position statements on wheels, steering and suspension components. Wheel Assemblies Wheel assemblies (tyre, rim, valve, TPMS sensors) need to be evaluated for the extent of damage sustained. Most of the OEMs have position statements “no bending, reshaping, adding material, removing material, welding or heating of the rim.” Therefore, refurbishing a wheel assembly should not be performed if any of the above repairs are necessary. Generally, only sanding and buffing or sanding and refinishing are allowed. The extent of sustained damage is often unknown, due to micro-cracking to the alloy, that may be present and undetectable without Magnafluxing the rim, which may be cost effective, or X-Raying the rim, which is typically not cost effective. As mentioned above, what type of damage did the rim sustain? Are there light abrasions (scuffing, scrapes, scratches aka

Larry Montanez, CDA is Co-Owner of P&L Consultants with Peter Pratti Jr. P&L Consultants work with collision repair shops on estimating, production, and proper repair procedures. He is also a contributor to Collision Hub and Repair University. This article was originally published on the Collision Hub website and is reprinted with permission. .

“curb rash”) or is there significant abrasions (gouges, missing portions, deformities)? Is the tyre disabled and if so what is the root cause? Is the tyre sidewall scraped, gouged and or breached? What is the condition of the tyre? These are all questions to ask yourself during the analysis. Wheel runout and radius tests should be performed prior to removing a wheel assembly to examine the steering and suspension components. The damage assessor must work in steps and understand how to confirm or deny which components sustained damage. Steering and Suspension Components Measuring suspension components can be undertaken comparatively with mechanical devices, such as tram gauges (long measurements) and tape measures (short measurements) to determine displacement. A speed square can also be utilised to take comparative measurements of components from an undamaged assembly to compare to the suspected damaged assembly components. If components are found to be displaced or misaligned, then we recommend electronic threedimensional measurements be taken of the structure of the vehicle, the mounting locations for the steering and suspension components and of the steering and suspension components themselves.

education and training. The general driving public is relying on us to ensure their vehicles are repaired safely. Too often, we inspect vehicles post-repair or during accident reconstruction and discover incorrect repair procedures attempted or unrepaired damage, where they were a contributing factor in the subsequent collision event. We often find that wheel assemblies, steering and or suspension components failed in those investigations. Failure of these components, that sustained damaged and undetected during the previous repairs, can have disastrous results, and all the liability rests solely on the repair facility. Always follow the OEM repair procedures and protocols. Making a business decision to appease a third party can expose you to a huge financial loss, if you were negligent.

Many vehicles have multiple electronic assist components and electronic controls that must be initialised and re-set after component replacement or just disconnection and removal for repairs. Systems, such as automatic cruise control, lane departure and accident avoidance systems work with the steering system, through an array of different type sensors that all communicate to computer modules that assist and or control the vehicle systems or even the vehicle itself. Additionally, many vehicles have a rear camera and most of them work with or off the information provided by the steering angle and/or yawrate sensors or side view or rear-view mirror cameras. These systems must also be checked during the analysis process, typically through a scanner through the Data Link Connector (DLC). Some OEMs require sensors to be replaced in the area of damage, even if the sensor housing or lens show no visible sustained damaged. Some OEMs require panels, deformed in the collision and normally repairable, to be replaced if these type sensors mount to the panel.

Here are some Operating Procedures you may want to adopt, for the blueprint/triage process: • Wash the vehicle • Install steering wheel cover, seat cover and floor mat • Take photographs of the vehicle • Mileage, any MILs, interior from both sides, Public V.I.N., V.I.N. label, registration, license plate, trim level identification, etc • Overall four corners, front, rear, left and right sides • Overall photographs of the damaged panel and or component, then two to three zoom-in photos of the damage • Perform a Pre-Repair Diagnostic Scan, print the report (hard copy and PDF) • Take some preliminary measurements utilizing quick checks, tram gauge, tape measure, gap gauge, etc… This includes the body panels, closure panel operation and wheel positions. If misalignment is uncovered the vehicle will require electronic three-dimensional measurements • Check the body panels with a film Mil thickness gauge and record the readings • Start disassembly of vehicle and categorize reusable components and components requiring replacement. Take photos of the process and any uncovered damaged components. Wrap and protect all reusable components and store all components. Additionally, take notes on which OEM procedures must be obtained • Prepare the vehicle for diagnostic electronic threedimensional measurements print the report (hard copy and PDF) • Recheck which components, bolt-on and weld-on including structural components will require replacement and which OEM Procedures to obtain • Obtain all OEM procedures for the repair and print the report (hard copy and PDF) • Prepare you damage report • Check the damage report operations with the technician • Send a replacement parts list order to the dealer for price and part number verification and any additionally required components and or hardware • Make any adjustments on component prices, additional items and part numbers to your damage report

The Operations to Follow Today’s damage assessors need to become para-engineers due to the changing complexity of vehicle designs and components, which means that this industry needs to raise the bar on

We hope this assists you in understanding checking steering and suspension and wheel damage. Look for more articles dealing with the blueprinting/triage process and the operations required to ensure a smooth hassle-free and efficient repair.

This can be performed with three-dimensional structural repair measurement equipment from manufacturers, such as Car-OLiner (Vision X3 or Point X), Matrix Wand, or similar. If wheel alignment equipment is available, and the structure is within specifications but one or more of the wheel assemblies show indications of displacements, we recommend a four-wheel alignment check be performed to determine which components are misaligned. If a pre-repair wheel alignment check can be performed, the technician can utilise the data to determine which components may have sustained damage. Performing these procedures will ensure that the technician knows what requires replacement.



AutoForum - March / April 2018 Aftermarketplace Directory

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AUTO ELECTRICAL Auto Cosmos - Electrolog

Electronic Parts (Electrical) Catalogue

012 327 6210


Parts, Accessories & Batteries

011 651 9600

AAAS - Parts Incorporated Africa

Automotive Components & Accessories

011 879 6000

Highveld Garage Equipment

Air Conditioning Specialists

012 330 0540

Snap-on Equipment

Diagnostics Equipment

0861 762 766


Spray Booths,Chassis Aligners, Compressors & Welding Equipment

011 444 6454


Chassis Aligners, Compressors & Spray Booths

083 628 2288


Pressure Washers & Vacuum Cleaners

011 444 6454

Highveld Garage Equipment

Pressure Washers & Vacuum Cleaners

012 330 0540


Tools & Garage Equipment

011 879 6000


Electronic Chassis Straighteners

011 444 6454


Wheel Alignment Equipment

011 651 9600


Diagnostic Equipment

011 651 9600

Highveld Garage Equipment

Engine Analyser & Diagnostic Scanners

012 330 0540

AAAS - Midas

Diagnostic Tools & Garage Equipment

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Diagnostics Equipment

086 176 2766

Tenneco - Monroe

Shock Absorber testers

011 574 5602


Tools & Garage Equipment

011 444 6454


Wheel Alignment Equipment

011 651 9600


Diagnostic Equipment

011 651 9600

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Tyre & Lifting Equipment & Tools

012 330 0540


Tools & Garage Equipment

083 628 2288

Ital Machinery

Brake & Clutch Machinery

011 483 3737

John Bean - Snap-on Equipment

Wheel Service Equipment

086 176 2766

AAAS - Midas

Tools & Garage Equipment

011 879 6000

Snap-on Tools

Tools & Garage Equipment

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Alfa International

Brake Drums, Discs, Linings & Pads. Clutches & Flywheels

011 608 0801/3

AUDI Parts

Genuine OE Parts

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Alternators, Starter motors, electric & electronic parts

021 531 8144


Parts, Accessories & Batteries

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Aftermarket Parts & Accessories

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041 408 3598


Aftermarket Parts & Accessories

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Automotive Components & Accessories

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AutoForum - March / April 2018


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AutoForum March April 2018 Digital Edition  
AutoForum March April 2018 Digital Edition