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UK strengthens ties with SA



Innovation Award winners

10 finalists announced

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS Internal combustion and the path to zero emissions





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22 -OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2014 2017


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P20 Editor: Wynter Murdoch


Driver’s Seat: Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI


Editor’s Letter: Wynter Murdoch


Hot Stuff!


Frequently Asked Questions: Answers from RMI experts

66 Tailpiece: Nissan ups the ante UPDATES

Sub-editor: Peggy Lendrum Design and layout: Heinz Bawa


Reporters: Ryan de Smidt Reuben Van Niekerk Publisher: Richard Lendrum Production: Mabel Ramafoko

New product showcase

12 News 30

MIWA in Focus

Why training is vital to workshop efficiency


RMI Review

Profile of Vuyani Mpofu; MISA celebrates Women’s Month; Time for a wiper check; merSETA’s year of success



Opportunity Knocks

Advertising Sales Executives: Enver Lawangi, Greg Surgeon,

The path to zero emissions

Future Publishing (Pty) Ltd 247 Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld West, Johannesburg PO Box 3355, Rivonia, 2128 Tel: +27 (11) 803-2040


Why ICE Will Survive

Automakers commit to petrol and diesel



RMI Automobil’s Editorial Sub-Committee: Chairman: John Ellmore; Gary McCraw, Gideon de Klerk, Denice Grobler, Danelle Van Der Merwe, Wynter Murdoch, Greg Surgeon, Jakkie Olivier, Jan Schoeman

Automobil is the official journal of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) which hosts 13 constituent associations: ACRA (component remanufacturers); ERA (engine re-builders and automotive engineers); MDA (motorcycle, scooter, quad and jet-ski/outboard engine dealers); MIMA (Motor Industry Manufacturers’ Association); MIWA (the full spectrum of workshop operators); MPEA (wholesale and retail part dealers); NADA (new and used car and truck dealers); VTA (vehicle testing); SADFIA (diesel pumproom operators); SAPRA (Fuel resellers, convenience store and car wash operators); SAMBRA (collision repairers and automotive refinishers); SAVABA (vehicle body builders) and TDAFA (tyre dealers and fitment centres).


Living in a Bubble

What happens in South Africa is not always our fault


Automechanika Johannesburg

Innovation Award winners


Complicated Cars

Bring back the simple fix!


Bloodhound SSC is go!

World land speed car set for tests


A Question of Representation

Issues related to legal representation for employers at CCMA or Bargaining Council hearings

Automobil is available to purchase from the publishers at R25 a copy. Automobil is produced and published monthly by Future Publishing (Pty) Ltd for the Retail Motor Industry Organisation. The views and opinions expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of the publishers or the Retail Motor Industry Organistion. While precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information contained in editorial and advertisements, neither the publishers nor the Retail Motor Industry Organisation can accept responsibility for errors, misrepresentations or omissions, or for any effect or consequence arising therefrom. Permission to republish any article or image or part thereof must be obtained in writing from the publishers. © Future Publishing (Pty) Ltd


Curbing reckless credit

Basic aims of the National Credit Act


Delivering the Goods

Why the right mindset is important to business success

OCTOBER 2017 -


BENEFITS OF BELONGING A short summary of the benefits of RMI membership

The RMI has represented the retail motor industry and its members for more than 100 years. With more than 7 500 member businesses, our unity is our strength. RMI representation at often volatile and disruptive centralised wage negotiations. Professional industrial relations advice by expert specialists, ensuring procedural and substantive fairness when disciplining staff. Industry labour relations seminars focused on the rules, agreements and industry-specific topics that affect retail motor industry businesses. Chairing of disciplinary hearings and AUTOMATIC entry and representation at the CCMA, DRC and Labour Court. Representation at various MIBCO and Industry-related Boards and committee structures.

Affiliation to reputable organisations recognised by Government, big business, consumers and relevant stakeholders like Business Unity SA (BUSA). Protection against one-sided legislative changes or new laws and regulations. Exceptional CPA support and member assistance during defence cases at the National Consumer Commission (NCC) and the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa (MIOSA). Facilitation of a business-to-business complaint where both parties are RMI members, with a complaint resolution rate in excess of 95%. Quality and Standards function – representing the retail industry at various South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) committees and working groups. Representation at the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), defending our industry when compulsory specifications and standards are compromised.

The informative Automobil magazine and weekly web letters that facilitate two-way communication and create consumer and industry awareness. The RMI is regularly invited to comment on industry topics by both print and broadcast media, and participates in and hosts numerous conventions and shows. Associational accreditation ensures ongoing development and implementation of commercial value propositions specific to the association. Training needs and representation via merSETA and W&RSETA. We actively drive industry-wide training and apprenticeship issues through our position on the merSETA Board and our involvement with the Technica manuals. Representation at the Moto Health Care Fund, Industry Provident Funds and the Sick, Accident and Maternity Pay Fund. The RMI offers industry-specific products like RMI4BEE / RMI4LAW / RMI4OHS /RMI4SURE.

Need to get hold of the RMI? Turn to Page 8 of this issue for all the contact details

4 OCTOBER 2017


Are you ready for change? With aspects of the motor industry evolving at a rapid pace, Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI, outlines the need for preparedness in dealing with technological advancement


uch of what we considered to be science fiction 10 years ago has turned into today’s science facts. According to various experts and futurists, we will witness a hyper-connected world by 2020 with, as we speak, nearly six billion people already “always on.” We will interact with internet platforms through augmented reality, virtual reality or via intelligent digital assistants and robots, with predictive algorithms helping to prevent crime and driving our cars. The prediction is that by 2020, the world will be automated and übersmart, with everybody benefitting. Or will they? The advancement of medical science means that all of us are living longer than before. This means the earth and the world’s economy has to sustain more people for longer. It also means that consumption of goods and services will improve, which should stimulate wealth creation. Or will it? Gerd Leonhard, futurist and celebrated author, states in his acclaimed work Technology vs Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine (2016), that the scale of change caused by recent unforeseen events such as Brexit will be miniscule when compared to the impact the avalanche of technological advancements will make in reshaping the very essence of humanity and every aspect of biological life on planet earth.

What does this mean, at granular level, for our industry? Well, primarily we will witness the migration to alternative sources of propulsion for motor vehicles. Electric and hybrid cars, engines fed by hydrogen fuel cells and artificial intelligence will shape the form and function of motor vehicles over the next five to 10 years.

and non-ownership. Internationally, we are witnessing a downward trend in vehicle ownership amongst millennials – most of them believing that the advent of mobility solutions such as Uber has overtaken the need for vehicle ownership; especially when cost of ownership and ease of use is considered, not to mention the hours and hours of unproductive time spent in traffic.

To some extent the reality is already evident and South Africa will not remain unaffected. Are we ready for change – or are we merely adopting a “wait and see” approach?

Consumers – and millennials in particular – are much more demanding today with regard to buying needs and are following technological changes almost without exception. Are we ready to attract and keep them as our customers?

I believe that technological advances in the automotive sphere will have an almost immeasurable impact on the way we run our businesses and equip, tool and staff our workshops and motor body repair shops. Fuel stations, too, will be affected due to a substantial reduction in the use of petroleum-based products as a means of propulsion, while insurance companies may see a significant reduction in the uptake of products due to a decrease in risk associated with self-drive motor vehicles. The message is clear: The impact on the auto industry might be much more than what we think or contemplate currently. Motor vehicle manufacturers and retailers will also not miss out on these developments, with global consumer attitudes changing towards shared driving

Where will these changes leave us as the RMI – the collective voice for the retail motor industry? The key to surviving and thriving will require appropriate retraining of our human resources and the innovative rejuvenation of our workplaces, continuously adapting and making sure that our businesses are ready at any time. Therefore, we will need to gear our day to day very smartly to be able to instantaneously supply goods and services as and when new technology in mobility hits the market. In this respect, the RMI will play a leading role in advocating and moderating change, in close liaison with various stakeholders, with a view to helping today’s entrepreneurs survive and thrive in an industry that feeds the nation. As always, Belonging is Better Business!

For information on the RMI and its workings, visit or call 011 886 6300

OCTOBER 2017 -


CONSTITUENT ASSOCIATIONS Who do they represent and what are their objectives?


he RMI is a proactive, relevant, retail and associated motor industry organisation recognised as the leading voice in South Africa’s automotive aftermarket, serving the daily needs of its members and playing a key role in enabling motor traders to deliver top class service to motoring consumers. Here are the associations which fall under its umbrella… ACRA (Automotive Component Remanufacturers’ Association) ACRA represents component remanufacturers involved in the remanufacture of safety-critical components and radiators, an ever-growing industry in which keeping abreast of change is crucial for business owners. ERA (Engine Remanufacturers’ Association) ERA represents motor engineers who re-machine, rebuild and remanufacture engines in South Africa. ERA members promote the reuse of engines, parts and components in a manner that is green and sustainable. ERA members create employment and skills development opportunities, directly in their own machine shops and indirectly through suppliers to the industry and component manufacturers. MDA (Motorcycle Dealers’ Association) MDA represents members who are motorcycle dealers – these members benefit from an extensive array of value-add services and products such as commercial insurance, labour legal assistance and representation, consumer dispute resolution, and a strong relationship with the Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors. MIMA (Motor Industry Manufacturers’ Association) MIMA members are Parts, Equipment and Component Manufacturers and suppliers to Original Equipment Manufacturers and the automotive aftermarket that exports into Africa and other countries in the world. MIWA (Motor Industry Workshop Association) MIWA, the largest association within the RMI, strives to keep its members informed about the ever-changing auto repair industry, thereby ensuring that vehicles are repaired to acceptable standards designed to make them perform better and safely on South African roads. MPEA (Motor Parts and Equipment Association) MPEA represents South Africa’s auto part traders, including wholesalers, retailers and independent operators in the replacement motor parts industry. Genuine replacement parts are available at accredited MPEA spares outlets at affordable prices, backed by the manufacturer’s warranty. NADA (National Automobile Dealers’ Association) NADA represents the interests of business people who own or operate new vehicle franchise dealerships and qualifying used vehicle outlets. NADA is committed to the image enhancement of the retail motor business, facilitating the interface between dealers and OEMs/distributors, building relationships between dealers and customers and bringing relevant industry issues to the attention of government.

6 - OCTOBER 2017


Vehicle Testing Association

VTA (Vehicle Testing Association) The VTA represents private vehicle testing stations that are committed to operating within the law in accordance with the Road Traffic Act and the relevant SANS standards. In this highly regulated environment, the association represents the interests of its members at government working groups and is committed to enhancing the reputation of the industry in all the spheres. SADFIA (South African Diesel Fuel Injection Association) SADFIA members operate fully equipped pump rooms aimed at providing cost-effective service solutions for owners of diesel powered vehicles seeking fuel injection system testing, repair or replacement. SAMBRA (South African Motor Body Repairers’ Association) SAMBRA is an active leader in the motor body repair industry and consolidates, communicates and regulates repair standards in the motor body repair industry. SAMBRA ensures the provision of technical and business skills training that meets the demands of the industry and instils confidence in consumers and industry stakeholders. SAPRA (South African Petroleum Retailers’ Association) SAPRA represents and promotes the interests of petroleum retailers in South Africa and fosters strong relationships with the Department of Energy, oil companies, banks, financial institutions and other stakeholders that have an impact on the sustainability of the service station industry. SAVABA (South African Vehicle and Bodybuilders’ Association) SAVABA members are professional, certified and regulated vehicle body builders in South Africa who manufacture commercial vehicle body applications (tanker, coal, refrigerated trucks and trailers) and bus bodies (commuter and tourist type). Members manufacture using the latest equipment and highly trained staff to ensure strict compliance with SABS standards and other legal specifications. TDAFA (Tyre Dealers' and Fitment Association) The TDAFA is the only representative body for tyre dealers nationally. The association works on all issues relevant to tyres and the fitment industry. Strategically, the TDAFA is positioned as an intermediary between government, the tyre industry and consumers and is recognised by government and industry leaders as the legitimate voice representing tyre dealers. RMI contact details Head Office: 011-886-6300 | Surrey Square Office Park, 330 Surrey Avenue, Ferndale, Randburg, 2194 Rmi Regional Offices: Highveld: Randburg: 011-886-6300; Northern: Pretoria: 012-348-9311; KwaZulu-Natal: Durban: 031-266-7031; Eastern Cape/Border: Port Elizabeth: 041-364-0070; Western Cape: Cape Town: 021-939-9440; Free State/Northern Cape: Bloemfontein: 051-430-3294

Path to zero emissions


he cover story of this edition of Automobil highlights developments by US automotive systems supplier Delphi regarding the path the company thinks the world will take in its quest to eliminate vehicle emissions. Unlikely as it may seem, the hero of Delphi’s work is the internal combustion engine. Tests have shown that, when fitted with a system which the company has dubbed Dynamic Skip Fire (DSF) technology, significant reductions of emissions result. And, when coupled with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, savings are even better, with fuel consumption cut by up to a fifth. Delphi believes that since electrification of vehicles will not happen overnight, the two propulsion technologies will offer a bridging solution on the automotive industry’s route to zero emissions.

So confident is the company of the success of its systems, it has forecast that DSF will be available in production vehicles from next year, with the hybrid counterpart likely to be introduced by vehicle manufacturers from the 2019/20 model year. According to Delphi’s reckoning, even if EVs account for 30% of the global vehicle fleet by 2030, as many as 70% of new vehicles sold worldwide still will have some form of internalcombustion engine – suggesting that advanced configurations of traditional combustion technology will have a long and dominant role in engineering the transition to an all-electric future. That sentiment has been endorsed by many of the world’s automotive leaders in the wake of last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Though many

EDITOR’S LETTER manufacturers used the event to announce plans to introduce more and more electrically powered vehicles to their line-ups, the converse was equally true, with firm commitments by a variety of big name automakers or suppliers to continue to utilise internal combustion engines. Their views are encapsulated in a report which appears on P24. As always, I trust that you will find Automobil to be of interest, not only from a global motor industry perspective, but also in terms of its pertinence regarding local developments. Wynter Murdoch Editor






 hief Executive Officer: C Jakkie Olivier

RMI4Sure 0860-104-202 RMI4Law 0861-668-677 RMI4BEE 0861-764-233 RMI4OHS 012-998-7139

Chief Operations Officer: Jan Schoeman Financial Director: Renee Coetsee Company Secretary: Gary McCraw


Jeánne Esterhuizen (President) Barry Canning (Vice-President) Ferose Oaten Jakkie Olivier Bruce Allen Lindsay Bouchier

DIRECTORS MIWA Pieter Niemand NADA, MDA Gary McCraw VTA Joy Oldale SAMBRA, SAVABA Edwin Martin


Danelle van der Merwe Brand and Communication Manager

Highveld: Randburg: 011-886-6300

Julian Pillay Regulatory Compliance Manager 011-886-6300 | Surrey Square Office Park 330 Surrey Avenue Ferndale Randburg 2194

8 - MAY 2015

TRAINING Louis van Huyssteen SADFIA, ACRA, ERA Attie Serfontein TRANSFORMATION Joy Oldale

SAPRA Vishal Premlall


Neo Bokaba HR Manager



Northern: Pretoria: 012-348-9311 KwaZulu-Natal: Durban: 031-266-7031 Eastern Cape/Border: Port Elizabeth: 041-364-0070

Western Cape: Cape Town: 021-939-9440 Free State/Northern Cape: Bloemfontein: 051-430-3294


Vehicle Testing Association



Wear a Surtees-designed watch Before he died in March last year, former world champion racing driver John Surtees was in the process of designing a watch with timepiece maker Omologato with a view to raising funds for the Henry Surtees Foundation – an initiative formed to honour the memory of his 18-year old son who was killed in a motorsport accident in 2009.

3M’s VHB Tape GPH series is said to offer a permanent bonding solution that can replace traditional mechanical fasteners and liquid adhesives in challenging, high temperature applications. The newly introduced series helps to break the barriers of traditional construction elements, with 3M claiming that it adheres instantly with high initial tack on a broad range of substrates – metal, glass, ABS plastics, rigid PVC and polycarbonate.

The project was completed by the Surtees family and the watch has now gone on sale. In a statement, a spokesman for Omologato says the company prides itself on offering people the opportunity to wear a piece of racing history.

“Application possibilities are almost endless, and users can design projects with total freedom,” says a statement.

“No other watch can lay claim to being hand-crafted and designed by a world champion on two and four wheels. The Surtees is an emotional watch, one the family were committed to completing and one that pays the ultimate tribute to the racing legend.” Incorporating symbolic attributes that represent the story behind John Surtees, the watch is said to be of the highest quality. Profits from its sale will go to the Henry Surtees Foundation. Prices start from about R4 350. For details log on to or www.

Hackett updates Aston range

3M’s got it taped!

The series has excellent temperature resistance and works under severe conditions. It offers short-term temperature resistance of up to 230˚C, while its soft foam construction offers excellent stress relaxation and gap filling. The tape is easy to apply, with quick stick technology creating high initial handling strength. It can be cut to precise shapes and sizes for custom applications. For information log on to

Fashion label Hackett has showcased its latest Aston Martin collection, taking inspiration from the quality and performance associated with the luxury car brand. The collection is made up of outerwear, blazers, shirts, trousers and accessories. In classically masculine shades of navy, brown and grey, the colour palate is perceived as elegant and contemporary. Core to the collection are lustrous leather jackets which are available in two new colours – a classic hazelnut nut brown made from deerskin as well as a luxe matt black option, developed with neoprene panels on the shoulders, sides and hem. New to the range is a laser cut blazer with a zip out quilted gilet which has been constructed using bonded seams for reliable waterproofing and functionality. Another new addition is a suede and nylon padded jacket finished with exclusive Aston Martin hardware. Accessories include Loro Piana Storm System bags and 24-hour leather holdalls, ideal for weekends away. For information or to shop online, log on to

OCTOBER 2017 -


201 Our 2018 option structures promise to continue delivering affordable healthcare.

Members will receive the 2018 Option Selection Form and the new benefit information electronically by 16 October 2017. Please contact us should you not receive the information or require assistance with making your option choice for next year.

Call Centre: 0861 000 300 10 - SEPTEMBER 2017





The future is electric, says JLR’s CEO According to Speth, the vehicle will have a range of 500km – and its system will enable fast charging in about eight minutes to take it a further 100km. Preparation for the derivative’s introduction includes the setting up of a charging infrastructure – which he acknowledges will take time – and service facilities.

Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of JLR


rom 2020, all new models manufactured by Jaguar Land Rover will be electrified – though that doesn’t signify the end for the company’s internal combustion engines, says CEO, Dr Ralf Speth. In Johannesburg recently to assess the progress of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa’s R1,1-billion investment programme aimed at upgrading its network of 34 dealerships, Speth met with media representatives at the remodeled Jaguar Land Rover Waterford flagship in Fourways to discuss the company’s plans regarding electrification. “While it is true that we will have electric motors in all new models produced by Jaguar and Land Rover from 2020, we will continue to offer petrol and diesel engines as well – essentially, our customers will have the option full EVs, hybrids or conventionally powered vehicles across each of the line-ups,” he said. First on the list of EVs destined for South Africa – Jaguar’s sporty I-Pace SUV, the brand’s first all-electric vehicle – is scheduled to roll off the assembly line at a Magna Steyr facility in Austria towards the end of next year or early in 2019.

12 - OCTOBER 2017

“We couldn’t go battery electric tomorrow. For instance here we are in the process of engaging with our dealerships with a view to establishing the infrastructure that will be necessary to support the sale and service of EVs. Also, we have not ruled out the possibility of forming partnerships with other vehicle manufacturers which already have EVs in the market.” Speth said customer acceptance of the new technology would play a role in determining the rate of uptake. “Different countries will move at different paces – for that reason, I expect internal combustion engines to be around for a long time.” Asked whether the UK government’s intention to ban petrol and diesel engined vehicles from sale from 2040 was feasible, Speth said that though the target date was more than 20 years away, in terms of automobile development it was “just around the corner.” “We’ll have to see – I think 2040 looks a little too early to expect everything to change. However, of one thing I am certain – the future of the car is electric and, from that perspective, it is important to make EVs more accessible.”

Henry Ford’s secret room


isitors to the historic Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit have an opportunity to see what Henry Ford called his secret experimental room. The first Ford Model T actually rolled out of a secret room constructed in the corner of Ford Motor Company’s Piquette Avenue factory more than a century ago. Henry Ford spent months working there behind closed doors on the creation of his universal car. Only a handful of people were allowed inside the room in the early 1900s, but a recreation of the secret area has now opened to the public. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant was the first factory built by Ford Motor Company and is the birthplace of the Model T, accounting for the first 12 000 units before production moved to the company’s Highland Park Plant in 1910. Today, the facility is a National Historic Landmark. It is located at 461 Piquette Street in Detroit, Michigan.

UK strengthens trade ties with SA


r Liam Fox, Britain’s Secretary for International Trade, last month visited South Africa as part of an on-going effort by the UK Government to strengthen trade ties between the two countries in the run up to Brexit. While here, Fox toured the Jaguar Land Rover apprentice training facility at Irene, near Pretoria, and announced increases in financial trade support for UK-based businesses trading with South Africa. He also met with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies. Fox said his visit was aimed at helping to further develop the good bilateral trade relationship the UK had with South Africa, promoting mutually beneficial support for British investment.

“Investment ties between the UK and Africa are growing with African investment into the UK increasing by 500% between 2005 and 2014, and British investment more than doubling over the same period, clearly indicating the rich range of opportunities available,” he said in a statement. During his visit, Dr Fox announced that UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, would double support for trade with South Africa to up to £3,5-billion (about R62,98-billion), meaning an additional £1,75-billion (about R32-billion) would be available for UK companies exporting to South Africa and for South African buyers of UK goods and services.

“As we leave the EU, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a more open and Dr Liam Fox, outward looking Britain’s Secretary Britain and forge for International independent Trade trading arrangements with growing economies around the world,” he said. “That is why as an international economic department, we are making billions of pounds of additional financial support available to UK exporters and buyers of UK goods and services in South Africa.”

COTY finalists revealed


he South African Guild of Motoring Journalists has selected 10 vehicles to take part in its 2018 WesBank-sponsored Car of the Year (COTY) competition. The finalists – selected by Guild members following a voting process – will be assessed by 26 COTY jury members early next year, with the winner announced in March. At a function last month in Johannesburg,

wraps were taken off the 10 models representative of the vehicle ranges that will be competing for top honours, listed here in alphabetical order: 1. Alfa Romeo Giulia 2. Audi Q5 3. BMW 5-Series 4. Kia Picanto 5. Land Rover Discovery 6. Peugeot 3008 7. Porsche Panamera 8. Suzuki Ignis

9. Toyota CH-R 10. Volvo S90 Over a two-day period in January, the vehicles will be put through their paces in a number of dynamic tests and static evaluations, with jurors scoring each via an electronic system that takes into account of host of qualities designed to determine overall excellence.




Ford and Mahindra to join forces?


ord and Indian vehicle manufacturer Mahindra have announced that they are exploring the formation of a strategic alliance to meet the threat of competition from technology-focused firms. The companies said in a joint statement that areas of potential co-operation included connected cars, mobility programmes, electric vehicles and parts sourcing. “The agreement of intent between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period

of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry,” the statement said.

companies will be decided at the end of that period,” the statement said.

It added that the potential alliance would look to explore Ford’s leveraging of Mahindra’s distribution reach within India, while Mahindra would look to benefit from the US company’s reach in other emerging markets.

Ford has invested over $2-billion (about R26,68-billion) in India and plans to spend more to set up a global engineering centre in the southern city of Chennai that will help tweak products for the local market and more swiftly adapt to changing consumer trends.

“Teams from both companies will collaborate and work together for a period of up to three years. Any further strategic cooperation between the two

The company has increased its focus on driving down costs by sourcing parts locally and using more common features across models to achieve economies of scale.

Volkswagen introduces the T-Roc


olkswagen’s new T-Roc is looking to set the benchmark in the compact SUV segment and will share its platform with Audi’s Q2 crossover, according to spokesmen for the company. “With its functionality, dynamic handling and technology, the T-Roc embodies all good Volkswagen qualities and will give our SUV offensive added momentum,” the brand’s CEO, Herbert Diess, said last month at the car’s unveiling. Volkswagen has positioned the T-Roc as its second offering in the compact SUV segment, where it will be sold alongside the larger Tiguan. Major rivals are perceived to be Nissan’s Qashai, Renault’s Captur, Opel’s Mokka and Toyota’s C-HR. The car will offer the option of frontwheel- or all-wheel-drive and will be powered by petrol or diesel-fuelled engines similar to those used in the company’s best-selling Golf range. Automatic braking at low speeds to avoid a collision and lane keeping assist will be standard features.

14 - OCTOBER 2017

Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, unveiling the new T-Roc The model is scheduled to go on sale in Europe in November and will reach other markets – including South Africa – next year. It will also be sold in China, where it will be manufactured at a Volkswagen plant in Foshan. Derivatives for Europe and other markets will be built at Setubal, Portugal.

Volkswagen estimates that industry-wide sales in the compact segment will rise 65% in 10 years to reach 10,6-million vehicles. Diess said SUVs will eventually represent 40% of Volkswagen’s global sales, up from 15% now. Overall, the company plans to launch seven SUVs or crossovers by the end of 2018.


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New model designations for Audis


udi is adopting a standardised nomenclature for the power output designations of its model range which will apply worldwide. The names of the model series – from Audi A1 to Audi Q7 – will remain unchanged. Within the model families, combinations of two numbers will replace the various type designations previously used. The new nomenclatures represent the specific power output of powertrains and apply both to cars with combustion engines and to e-tron models with hybrid and electric drives. The reference value for the new model designations is the power output of the individual model in kilowatts (kW), with sub-classifications based on performance levels. The number combinations rise in increments of five, with the spectrum

ranging from the base model Audi A1 (70kW) – which will now be designated the A1 25 TFSI – to the top of the range, 250kW Audi A8, which will wear an A8 55 TFSI badge. High-end, high-performance S and RS models and the Audi R8 retain their classic nomenclatures. “As alternative drive technologies become increasingly relevant, engine displacement as a performance attribute is becoming less important. The clarity and logic of structuring the designations according to power output, makes it possible to distinguish performance levels,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, the company’s head of sales and marketing. The changes will come into effect when the new generation A8 is unveiled later this year, with models powered by the company’s diesel fuelled, six-cylinder, 3,0-litre engine – which produces 210kW

Audi’s new nomenclature on the back of an A8 – wearing A8 50 TDI badges as opposed to A8 55 TSFI nomenclatures of more powerful, petrol-fuelled equivalents. In the coming months, all Audi model series launched on the market will be assigned the new performance designations as they are offered for sale. Audi will change the designations of the remaining model series in the current product range in time for the new model year changeover in 2018.

Quick Lane on expansion trail


ord South Africa has announced that it will expand its Quick Lane Tyre & Auto Centres to five sites by the end of 2017. The centres offer a comprehensive range of vehicle services and repairs. Focus points include suspension and steering; transmission; wiper blades; air-conditioning; lamps and bulbs; belts and hoses; tyre fitment, rotation and wheel alignment; replacement of shock absorbers; brakes; oil and filter changes and maintenance; batteries; alternators, starters and electrical services as well as cooling system maintenance on any make or model of car. “Following the successful launch of South Africa’s first Quick Lane Tyre &

16 OCTOBER 2017

Auto Centre in Silverton, we are delighted to introduce a further two Quick Lane franchises,” said spokesman Dean Elkington. “With the focus on providing exceptional customer service, competitive value and quick turnaround times for a wide range of vehicle services, we expect demand to grow rapidly for the Quick Lane concept.” Quick Lane Witbank – which boasts four service bays and a wheel alignment bay – opened its doors last month. Quick Lane Ermelo is set for its grand opening this month, offering a similar number of bays in a 600 square metre store.

GM moves out, Isuzu moves in


eneral Motors has announced that Ian Nicholls, president and managing director of the US company’s business units in sub-Saharan Africa, had been appointed head of its Chevrolet brand in Southeast Asia. Though Nicholls will continue to oversee the withdrawal of General Motors from South Africa, he took up the reigns in his new job – which encompasses markets in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam – at the beginning of last month, based in an office in Bangkok.

Ian Nicholls

Michael Sacke

There he reports to Stefan Jacoby, one of GM’s executive vice presidents and president of GM International. “Southeast Asia is a focus of GM,” said Jacoby. “Chevrolet has been able to develop a strong image in the region as an American brand, and we are seeing continuous sales growth in key emerging markets such as Vietnam. “With Ian overseeing the region, we will continue to transform our business by simplifying our structures to support the growth of Chevrolet and garner greater efficiencies.” With Nicholls gone, day-to-day management of GM South Africa has fallen to Michael Sacke, who was appointed Chief Operations Officer in addition to his duties as Chief Financial Officer shortly before Nicholls left. Sacke’s job is to manage the day-to-day operations of the company through its transitional period, with GM scheduled to close its doors locally in December. It will then vacate its Struandale premises in Port Elizabeth to make way for Japanese manufacturer Isuzu, which has bought the plant pending regulatory approval. When that happens, Sacke will remain at the plant, since in January he will

From left, Manufacturing and Engineering Executive, Masakiyo Arai, Plant Assistant Manager, Johan Vermeulen, Production Manager, Brian Nyoka, and General Assembly Area Manager, Bentley Hiscock assess the new Isuzu KB X-Rider on the production line become Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Isuzu Motors South Africa, where he will lead the team that will manage the brand’s first market outside of Japan in which it has total ownership of manufacturing and distribution operations. In that role he will report to Tokyo-based Haruyasu Tanishige who, in addition to his current role of Senior Executive officer for the Sales Division of Isuzu Motors in Japan, has been appointed to the position of Chairman of Isuzu Motors South Africa.

As early as August, production managers from Isuzu inspected the assembly line at Struandale to ensure production quality was not compromised during the reorganisational process. The production lines have been consolidated into a single platform designed for the assembly of the brand’s KB bakkie, which was formerly built by GM. In addition, the Japanese brand operates a plant at its Kempston Road facility in Port Elizabeth which manufactures medium and heavy duty trucks.




Mercedes reveals EV plans


ercedes-Benz has announced that it will invest $1-billion (about R13,19-billion) to set up electric vehicle production in the United States. The German-owned company plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models at its Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI) plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, from 2020. In addition, a battery plant will be built near the existing passenger car facility. According to a statement issued by the company, the first EV models off the assembly line will feature latest levels of automated driving. “We are excited to celebrate 20 years of production in Tuscaloosa by expanding our operations in the region and by bringing our electric initiative to the United States,” the statement said, quoting Markus Schäfer, a member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain. “With this $1-billion investment, we are significantly growing our manufacturing footprint in Alabama while sending a clear message to our customers across the US and around the world – MercedesBenz will continue to be on the cuttingedge of electric vehicle development and production.”

“With the addition of electric SUVs to our future fleet, we will provide high quality automotive options that will marry performance, luxury, and environmental stewardship,” he said. The MBUSI plant – which was established 20 years ago – manufactures MercedesBenz’s GLE, GLS and GLE Coupé derivatives for global consumption. At a function to mark the investment announcement, Jason Hoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz US International said: “This is an exciting day for MBUSI and our entire team in Alabama. Looking back on 20 years of production, the plant has been a success story from the beginning. “We are now continuing this story with a clear vision for the era of electric mobility. We are proud that Tuscaloosa will be an integral part of our company’s evolution to electric vehicles.” Mercedes-Benz exports more than 70% of the SUVs it manufactures at Tuscaloosa to global markets. The plant was upgraded in 2015 following an investment of $1,3-billion (about R17,15billion) related to the production of plugin hybrids. From the beginning of the next decade, those derivatives will be joined

by full electric models represented by the EQ brand. According to Schäfer, by 2022 all models in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio will include at least one electrified derivative. He said the company was planning to offer more than 50 electrified vehicle variants. At the same time, he said the brand would continue to support the development of plug-in hybrids and the introduction of 48-volt vehicle systems. The battery factory near the Tuscaloosa plant will form part of a global production network that has been established at a cost of more than $1,18-billion (about R15,57billion). Schäfer said that, as in vehicle production, the battery production network would react flexibly and efficiently to market demand. “This strategy ensures the ongoing availability of modern battery technology through local production hubs in Europe, China and the US and puts Mercedes-Benz in a highly competitive position for its electric initiative. “Construction work for the new one million square-foot facility in Tuscaloosa is expected to begin in 2018, with operations planned to start at the beginning of 2020,” he said.

The company has already set up production locations for EVs and batteries in Europe and China and, according to Schäfer, has readied itself globally for the advent of electric vehicles. “Thanks to our plant modernisation in Tuscaloosa, we will be able to quickly ramp up production of EQ models, while also being more flexible to our customers’ demands for innovative vehicles.” Schäfer said in addition to the electric initiative, the company’s logistics activities in the US will be expanded with a new Global Logistics Centre designed to export car-kits to global assembly plants and spare parts to markets worldwide.

18 OCTOBER 2017

From 2020, Mercedes-Benz plans to manufacture at its Tuscaloosa plant electrically powered, EQ-branded SUV models that will feature the latest levels of automated driving. The plan was announced by Markus Schäfer (centre), a member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, at a press conference attended by Jason Hoff (left), CEO of MercedesBenz United States International as well as Alabama Governor, Kay Ellen Ivey

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Opportunity knocks!

The path to zero emissions may lie with internal combustion engines after all, if two unique propulsion technologies created by automotive systems supplier Delphi are adopted to bridge the electrification gap


n investigating ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, engineers at automotive systems supplier Delphi recently combined propulsion technology called Dynamic Skip Fire (DSF) with a 48-volt, mild hybrid system in a petrolfuelled, 1,8-litre Volkswagen Passat. Results obtained in normal driving in city traffic and on the open road showed that CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 13% – a significant amount in terms of looming environmental laws soon to come into effect in the USA and parts of Europe. DSF, developed by Delphi and its partner, Tula Technology, matches the number of cylinders that fire in an engine to the amount of work they are required to do. When using cruise control on the highway, testers found that was possible for the vehicle to maintain momentum for considerable distances without any cylinders firing. Yet, when the driver needed to accelerate hard, all four cylinders would come on stream instantly, immediately generating all the power the 126kW the engine could generate. “DSF is much more than cylinder deactivation, which shuts down a fixed set of cylinders based on rigid operating conditions. Delphi’s system can shut off any or all cylinders at any time for optimum fuel efficiency, or firing as many as are needed on demand, depending on the amount of torque and power required,” says a statement issued by the company.

20 - OCTOBER 2017

Martlé Keyter, MISA’s CEO for Operations

the news – what auto manufacturers are talking about and even what governments are saying to know where the industry is heading. “But how are we going to get more electric vehicles on the road? In Delphi’s view, we have to start by adding some portion of assistance to existing internal combustion engines so that they operate more efficiently, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.”

“In the prototype Passat with DSF, the driver can’t hear or feel any roughness from the engine – there’s no indication of additional noise, vibration or harshness. And the big bonus is that the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is substantial.” According to Delphi’s engineers, while DSF performs best at cruising speeds, the 48-volt, mild-hybrid system – which is designed to capture energy that would typically be lost while braking – uses the recovered power to boost the engine under acceleration, simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions. Fuel savings of about 19% were measured when both propulsions sources were operational. “It’s all about following the path to zero emission vehicles,” says Mary Gustanski, vice president of engineering for Delphi. “You just have to look at what’s in

Car companies are adding mild hybrids, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids – creating electrified vehicles – in increasing numbers. However, for the powertrain community, Gustanski maintains the path to electrification will be fully shaped only over the next 20 to 30 years. “The transition will not happen overnight,” she says. “Until that time, combining DSF with 48-volt, mild-hybrid technology offers a cost effective start.” She describes the DSF system as industry-leading, fully variable engine displacement technology. It combines Delphi cylinder deactivation hardware with an engine control strategy that fires each cylinder only as necessary during each engine revolution, depending on torque demand, with fundamental control algorithms provided by technology partner Tula.

“The system significantly improves engine efficiency and reduces fuel consumption by firing fewer cylinders at lower torque loads to reduce pumping and heat losses. It also reduces noise, vibration and harshness by dynamically choosing firing sequences that avoid vehicle and driver resonance frequencies,” Gustanski says. Independent control of each cylinder enables broader and smoother torque management capability, and provides full control of cylinder firing while maintaining optimal emissions, with a 10% to 20% fuel economy improvement compared with conventional internal combustion engines (depending on the unit’s design) and driving conditions (based on advanced development testing), and the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20%. Instant response allows full cylinder deactivation in a single cam revolution at speeds up to 3 500 revs/min. The system includes specially designed valve train components. The system can be used in four- and eight-cylinder units. “The DSF system is a dynamic, systemlevel solution that provides vehicle manufacturers with easy-to-manage implementation methodology. The system includes patented engine control software that can be included in the ECU as well as components such as an advanced




deactivation roller finger follower and a special oil control valve,” Gustanski says. According to her reckoning, even if EVs account for 30% of the global fleet by 2030 – which she considers an aggressive forecast – as many as 70% of new vehicles sold worldwide will still have some form of internal-combustion engine – suggesting that advanced forms of traditional combustion technology will have a long and dominant role in engineering the transition to an allelectric future. Gustanski says that pairing DSF with a mild hybrid system would put petrol-fuelled engines almost on par with diesels in terms of fuel economy and carbon-dioxide emissions. While she says Delphi’s 48-volt system is expected to debut in production models before the end of this year, orders for the DSF counterpart are not expected before the 2019/20 model year. She says Delphi has pitched the technology to US Department of Transportation officials as one way automakers might meet future environmental targets – set for 4,3 litres/100km in 2025.

22 OCTOBER 2017

JUNE 2017 -



With most of the world’s vehicle manufacturers committed to producing more and more electrified powertrains, what does the future hold for the internal combustion engine? Wynter Murdoch reports


hile last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show was important from a number of perspectives, one of the most interesting aspects related to commitments by a variety of vehicle manufacturers to continue to use internal combustion engines in their vehicles. In this respect, the importance of preserving consumer choice in fuels and technology formed one of the rudiments of the show. According to Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the US-based Diesel Technology Forum, the word from Frankfurt was clear. In a statement, he said clean diesel had a future, despite the trend towards electrified powertrains and the announcement by Mercedes-Benz in the US that it would invest more than $1-billion (about R13,19-billion)

24 OCTOBER 2017

to produce for global consumption electrically powered SUVs from 2020. “While there certainly is a buzz about alternative powertrains, it is also clear that continued commitments to petrol and diesel technology are there as well. All need to be part of the mobility plan for the future, as a means of providing consumers with a choice and recognising that no single technology can meet the needs of every driver,” Schaeffer said. In terms of announcements made at Frankfurt, a variety of vehicle manufacturers or suppliers are committed to introducing new diesel technology in their 2018 packages, among them: • BMW: The 2018 Alpina D5 S G30 sedan will be powered by diesel and the 6-Series Gran Turismo sedan will

come with two diesel engine options; • Continental: A new 48-volt mildhybrid diesel system which the company has developed is said to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by as much as 60% and cut fuel economy by as much as 4,0%. • Ford: The 2018 EcoSport compact SUV line-up includes a 1,5-litre diesel engine. • Honda: The 2018 Civic sedan – one of the company’s most popular sedans globally – will be offered with a 1,6-litre diesel engine; • Hyundai: The 2018 Coupé Fastback will have a 1,6-litre diesel engine alongside two petrol-fuelled plants, while the G70 sedan will be powered by a 2,2-litre diesel engine. • Jaguar: The brand’s Sportbrake derivative will be offered with four diesel engine options, along with a petrol-fuelled plant. • Kia: The new Stonic compact

crossover incorporates a 1,6-litre diesel engine option, while the 2018 Sorento will be offered with a 2,2-litre diesel unit. • Porsche: The redesigned 2019 Cayenne SUV will feature diesel power. • PSA Opel: The new Insignia GSi Sports Tourer will be offered with a diesel engine. • Renault: The redesigned Duster will be made available with a choice of a 1,5-litre diesel engine or a 1,2-litre petrol-fuelled unit. • Toyota: Diesel power will be the only option for the brand’s 2018 Land Cruiser Prado. • Volkswagen: The German manufacturer’s new T-Roc small SUV will come with the choice of three diesel engine options, while the redesigned Polo hatchback will come with a choice of one diesel and three petrol-fuelled engines.

Recent comments about clean diesel made by spokesmen from global manufacturers include these out takes: • Dieter Zetsche, CEO, Daimler AG: “Diesel is worth fighting for. Our goal is to improve diesel rather than ban it…optimising diesel is the most effective lever to reach climate targets in road transport.” • Ola Kaellenius, Development Chief, Daimler: “The debate over diesel isn’t helpful, but what we can see is that many buyers are rational, and they see that diesel is a very attractive technology. Our answer to the debate has to be innovation and technology.” • Dan Nicholson, Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems, General Motors: “Diesels are and will continue to play an important part of our fuel-economy goals. They present an opportunity for growth for Chevrolet because they combine fuel

economy and high torque output for acceleration. Diesels are one of the lowest cost ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” • Harald Krueger, CEO, BMW: “Diesel is absolutely necessary to reach climate goals in the medium-term.” • Ian Robertson, Head of Sales, BMW: “Diesel is still a very important part of the combustion engine mix…we still see very strong demand. You will see diesels – the EU6 and the very cleanest diesels – still in our mix in years to come.” • Fritz Steinparzer, Head of Development for Diesel Engines, BMW: “…in reality we have not lost so many diesel sales. That says to me there are many customers who really like diesels and this big impact hasn’t led to people no longer buying diesels. And the new diesels, with Euro 6 standards in technology, are really very clean.” • Steven Armstrong, EMEA President, Ford: “Our job is to offer the information to make a good decision, help consumers understand the facts behind the different powertrain vehicle options that there are, and to give them a choice of vehicle types and powertrains to meet the use case that they’ve got.” • Lars Stenqvist, CTO, Volvo Group; Executive Vice President, Volvo Groups Trucks Technology: “Diesel and the combustion engine will be the foundation of long-haul freight for many years to come. We are investing heavily in next-generation combustion engines, and it still has a lot of development potential.” • Oliver Blume, CEO, Porsche: “In several markets, especially Europe, Korea and Australia, people love diesel engines. So, we won’t decide yet to go off diesel. I think we will continue for a while. Fact is, the new Cayenne will also be available in diesel.” • Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President, Mini: “…I think there is a future for diesel in Mini vehicles. We are looking forward to selling many of them in the long term…”

OCTOBER 2017 -



• Michael Winkler, Head of Powertrain, Hyundai: “We will have different shares of powertrains for different markets. Diesel’s share will decrease into the future but it still has a big, relevant role.” • Thomas Linebarger, CEO, Cummins: “We will continue to provide a variety of power technologies – including electric, diesel, natural gas and future alternative fuels – for different applications. We need to make sure we have the right technology for the right application. Even if the electrified power train replaces the internal combustion engine completely, that’s still a 20- to 25-year transition period customers have to manage through.” • Jose Avila, Powertrain Division President, Continental: “The diesel engine will continue to play an important role in meeting mobility ECH COLLEGE 210x130 2/15/17 8:30 AM Page needsADfor the foreseeable future. It is3

vital for us to develop the technology to support extremely low-pollutant diesel operation.” • Masahiro Moro, CEO, Mazda North America: “I’m very interested in the diesel engine. I’m not seeking big volumes, but a very good challenge in terms of showing, mostly, the big benefit that diesel has. I don’t intend to change consumer mindset. We would like to provide a choice for customers.” • Matthias Mueller, CEO, Volkswagen: “Conventional and alternative powertrains are not adversaries. We earn the money we need to invest billions in the future from the vehicles we sell today. And without efficient and clean diesel engines, climate targets won’t be achievable. Diesel has a future…there must be a co-existence with the internal combustion engine, diesel and electric motors. Diesel will play an important role as a bridge technology.” C








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Living in a bubble When General Motors declares it’s disinvesting from South Africa, we assume it’s because of something we did – conveniently ignoring the fact that the company is also disinvesting from Australia, Europe, India and anywhere else that doesn’t fit its new strategy. David Furlonger reports


any years ago, the great American singer Nat King Cole landed in Sydney at the start of his maiden visit to Australia. He went straight from the aircraft to an airport press conference, where the first question was: “Mr Cole, what do you think of our country?” His reply mirrored the sum total of his knowledge of Australia up to that point. “Well, you sure have lovely rooftops.” I’m often reminded of that exchange when I listen to discussions involving South Africans and their views of the state of the country. Many people here tend to live in a bubble in which international context plays little or no part. They think our problems are unique. However, all the negatives we face each day – political corruption, unemployment, poverty, crime – exist everywhere. Only the scale differs. Or does it? I’ve lost count of the senior politicians and even presidents charged with graft all over Europe, North America and Asia. It’s the same with business. We think we’re different. So when General Motors declares it’s disinvesting from South Africa, we assume it’s because of something we did. Remember how, after the US giant made its

28 OCTOBER 2017

For example, how serious is Great Wall Motors’ pursuit of the Jeep brand? The Chinese company, which wants to be a world leader in sports utility vehicles (SUVs), has expressed interest in buying Jeep from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Some market analysts think the Jeep brand alone is worth more than FCA as a whole. One valued Jeep at $33,5-billion (about R442-billion), compared with $32-billion (about R422-billion) for all of FCA. The implication is that some of the other core brands – Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram – are dragging down the whole and, evidently, the loss of Jeep would have serious implications for FCA. In South Africa, that would affect Jeep, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, announcement early this year, many critics since Chrysler and Dodge have effectively blamed government, conveniently ignoring left and Ram was never here. the fact that GM was also disinvesting from Australia, Europe, India and anywhere Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, has else that didn’t fit the corporation’s new previously hinted at spinning off Jeep as a strategy. separate company. A similar idea has been mooted for Alfa Romeo and Maserati, in a So let’s take a look at some of the other combined company. upheavals currently shaping the global industry, as context for future decisions If Great Wall pursues its interest in Jeep that could eventually impact on South – it’s been hot and cold so far – and FCA Africa. does not reject the overtures, it’s thought

other bidders could come in, including GM and Volkswagen. Though neither has officially expressed interest, market-watchers say Jeep would enhance each of the groups’ product line-ups. Will it really happen? Who knows? But six months ago GM was going nowhere, so nothing is impossible.


The same is true of Britain’s will-we, won’t-we paranoia over divorce from the European Union (EU). It may look like a Northern Hemisphere sideshow but the outcome has implications for South African investment and employment. If the divorce happens and Britain loses its membership of the single European market, that’s potentially also goodbye to its part in the EU’s trade deal with South Africa. Shipments to the UK accounted for almost one-third of all of South Africa’s new-vehicle exports in 2016 – 110 356 units out of 343 752. Take away the EUbased duty-free advantage that our exports enjoy in the UK, and what will happen to those numbers?


It’s a similar conundrum in the US – South Africa’s second biggest market. The country imported 47 627 locally made vehicles in 2016 and, though that number is likely to fall once BMW SA switches production from 3-Series to X3 in 2018, other local companies will take up some of the slack. Again, South African-made products enjoy preferential duty structures – but what if Donald Trump follows through on his protectionist threats to enforce direct automotive investment in the US? Will we remain such a cost-effective supplier?


There are plenty more examples of international activities that could have major impact on South Africa. What if Europe’s member countries ban petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 and 2040? What if China follows suite? What if South Africa can no longer make what its export markets want? Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies spoke once of incentivising the local manufacture of electric vehicles – but appeared to almost immediately lose interest. Maybe he needs to reconsider. In a world changing as quickly as ours, we can’t assume that what happens today will still be there tomorrow. The motor industry is globalised and, what happens in one market, affects all others. We can’t afford to miss a beat.

David Furlonger is the industrial editor of Business Day and Financial Mail


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MIWA'S Bloemfontein members recently got together at a local scuba diving centre for their regional meeting

From training to legislation, the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) is involved in a number of initiatives aimed at benefitting members


outh Africa’s economic downturn has reduced consumer spending – and the trend is evident in the motor industry. The country’s motorists are tending to hold onto their vehicles for longer and, in turn, the development has seen increased demand for the services of independent workshops – especially for motorists whose existing dealer maintenance and repair plans have expired. While stronger demand bodes well for independent auto repair shops, the need to up-skill staff is more important now than ever, says Pieter Niemand, Director of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA).

Africa and MIWA represents the biggest association within the RMI’s ranks. We believe that it is important for us to align our training strategies so that they conform to those of the greater motor industry and to those of the merSETA,” says Niemand. With this in mind, MIWA has partnered with the AA Technical College to train automotive electricians, diesel mechanics and motor mechanics, where those who sign up receive three weeks of practical training followed by a two-day trade test.

He says workshop owners are faced with a significant skills shortage and, for this reason, identifying training opportunities for the sector is one of the association’s top priorities.

“The trade test is designed to allow experienced workshop staff to attain a qualification even though they may not have received other formal training,” Niemand says. “This is in accordance with changes made to the Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) process announced recently.

“The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) is the biggest employer’s organisation in South

“The changes come into effect on October 19, so the AA is offering MIWA members

30 - OCTOBER 2017

a 50% discount on standard rates for ARPL candidates who sign up before this date.” Niemand says the key to MIWA’s success lies in an ability to encourage a steady stream of new talent to the industry. In an effort to boost artisan training, the association has linked with one of the country’s largest training providers, Bidvest McCarthy. “The company continues to set training benchmarks and its Bidvest Automotive Artisan Academy offers full trades in motor mechanic, diesel mechanic and automotive electrician apprenticeship programmes. “It has three merSETA and NAMB accredited training and trade test centres – one in Midrand, Gauteng, one in Pinetown, Kwazulu-Natal and one in Blackheath, Cape Town. Training is available and it is vital that it should be considered,” says Niemand.

MIWA's KZN regional committee after a general meeting held earlier this year

In the media…


IWA has had over 300 placements in the media since the beginning of the year. This includes articles in newspapers, magazines, online sites and on different radio stations. “Our regular monthly articles are getting great pick-up and we are educating consumers on how to look after their vehicles, how to be safer on our roads and the importance of regular maintenance.

Fortron presented at a MIWA member meeting held in Port Elizabeth

MIWA at Automechanika MIWA hosted a well-attended morning conference last month at Automechanika Johannesburg, which featured an array of interesting guest speakers. Joey Evans, who delivered the keynote address, recounted his experiences in the 2017 Dakar Rally. While he was the only South African on a bike to finish the race, a remarkable recovery following the fact that he was paralysed ten years ago. It was in 2007 that Joey broke his back in a major accident – but that hasn’t deterred his spirit of adventure or his ability to beat a challenge. His amazing story inspired delegates and motivated MIWA members to tackle their own difficulties head on.

Jan Jooste, Director of Innovation at Vaal University of Technology, delivered an update on the Right to Repair Campaign while Vincent Vallette, of MAHLE’s Technical Sales and Service Solutions Division, shared his ample global experience regarding aftermarket parts. Paul Barnardo of Denso International, who covered the technical side of the industry, rounded off speaker proceedings. “The event was a great networking opportunity for MIWA members, and a knowledge-building and sharing time. Many thanks to all who attended,” says Niemand.

“We believe this communication positions MIWA as a reputable association and its members as workshops of choice. We will continue investing in building relationships with the media on behalf of our members to build MIWA’s brand with consumers,” says Niemand. Spanner in the works Each month MIWA’s newsletter, Spanner in the Works, brings latest updates and news to the association’s members. From highlighting a region and its activities to the latest legislation and technology advancements, the newsletter covers an array of talking points. It is not only the voice of MIWA leadership, but also provides a platform for members to share their challenges and celebrate their successes. The last few editions are available on the MIWA website:

OCTOBER 2017 -



Right to Repair gets a boost


he Right2Repair campaign has been given a boost through the formation of Right to Repair South Africa (R2RSA), a Section 21, not-forprofit company. Specifically formed to champion the Right to Repair campaign – initially launched in 2013 and spearheaded by MIWA – the new company has the support of campaign stalwarts such as Bosch, Grandmark and MAHLE, and it made sense for MIWA to join forces. The Right to Repair campaign aims to allow consumers to select where their vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices

in workshop of their choice. “There is a need for a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enables freedom of choice for consumers and gives the aftermarket’s small and medium enterprises a chance to stay in business,” says Niemand. R2RSA’s objectives are to raise awareness among consumers and bring about legislative change. In the company’s view, the current anti-competitive situation means inflated prices for consumers as well as inhibiting the customer’s right to support local business. “The recent enquiry into the industry by the Competition Commission has

brought these issues into the spotlight. R2RSA is involved in the drafting of a code for the industry and is giving its full support to the Commission’s action plan going forward,” says Niemand.

Join the conversation To join the conversation and to find out more about the campaign go to: And on Twitter follow @ Right2RepairSA The website also provides more insight into the campaign and its objectives:


Abandoned Solutions (Pty) Ltd offers various Motor Vehicle Dealerships and Workshops the opportunity to sell their claims with regards to outstanding invoices and monies where the dealership has rendered services and invoiced for work already, quoted, finished or assessed, in their workshops and where the owner of the vehicle has simply: • Failed to pay, • Is uncontactable & uncooperative or willing to settle • Abandoned their respective Vehicles • Passing onerous risk on to the dealership forcing them to store various unwanted vehicles • Occupying valuable rented workshop space by leaving their unwanted vehicles on the Dealerships Premises. Abandoned Solutions simply buys the outstanding claim by negotiating an acceptable price from the dealership and removes the vehicle with immediate effect, whilst taking ownership of the outstanding claim or invoice.

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Both Parties, simply negotiate the price per claim that the dealership is willing to sell at (Willing buyer willing seller principal) Contract per claim is finalized and the monies are paid immediately (effecting the sale) The vehicles are collected immediately or by way of arrangement (Removed as promised) Abandoned Solutions is now rightfully the owner of the claim or outstanding invoice (Dealership is free of the liability and no longer the rightful Creditor of that particular claim rather that ownership has passed to Abandoned Solutions Pty ltd) Abandoned Solutions will trace the client at its own risk and have the claim settled in full (this is how we make money and bring value to the Dealership) - AUGUST 2017



We at Abandoned Solutions offer a quick, cost free solution to these problems.

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JULY 2017 -



Vuyani Mpofu joins RMI Board The Driving in Heels presenter relishes the opportunity to contribute to the organisation’s work in South Africa’s retail motor industry Profile: Vuyisector Mpofu


otoring journalist and road safety advocate Vuyi Mpofu has been appointed to the RMI Board as a non-executive director. A self-confessed serial entrepreneur – whose passion for cars, trucks and motorbikes was fuelled from a young age by her father and brother, both of who are motor mechanics – says she is honoured by her appointment. “One of the focal points of my job will be to promote the RMI to the public. The organisation is incredibly well respected within the industry, but private motorists need to get to know it a little better – and that’s where I aim to play a positive role.

of South Africa’s motoring industry. I relish the opportunity to contribute.” Though she comes from a marketing, public relations and advertising background – she worked for top advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi – Vuyi says her first love has always been motoring, which is why she decided to embark on a career in the industry. She established her company, Driving in Heels, in 2010, launching it with a weekly radio show on Metro FM and writing articles for a publication called Motor Mania.

Between 2012 and 2013 she broadened her company’s services to include business-to-business motoring“It’s a huge responsibility – but it’s also related training workshops aimed at a privilege. As a motoring journalist informing and empowering women and member of the media I’m in a about road safety, vehicle finance, position to influence people. I hope to insurance and basic technical elements. use that platform to stimulate interest in the organisation and the good From this grew a third motoring work that it does within all sectors product – called Gals Garage – which

Full Name: Vuyani Mpofu Known as: Vuyi Mpofu Occupation: Serial Entrepreneur Country of Birth: Zimbabwe Nationality: South African The annual MISA Women’s Date of Birth: 01 January 1973 Forum Breakfasts held in ails: / 082-857-9719

MISA breakfast empowers women

August each year bring c and joy road advocate, tosafety attendees and Vuyi Mpofu is your regular girl-nextbeneficiaries an intense passion alike… for cars, trucks and motorbikes. Her love for

ddler andach was her father and brother, both of whom are year,fuelled in each of by MISA’s regions,


thedays, organisation’s Women’s Forum, , in those it was not the preferred career option for a young in conjunction with the MISA

Young PR Workers’ presents a instead, working at Saatchi & Saatchi arketing, andForum, advertising breakfast for female members.

ange of FMCGs; thereafter on the launch and penetration marketing The initiative is part of the Forum’s mission to empower, uplift and support female staff members in a traditionally male-dominated

al, Vuyi realized she was happiest dispensing advice to her friends

bout their driving skills (of lack thereof) or basic maintenance tips

34 OCTOBER 2017 first love, as a career option. She spent a year researching and

demonstrates to women what happens when a car goes in for a basic service. “The Gals Garage Workshops allow women to tinker with engines and get under vehicles so as to familiarise themselves with various facets of their cars. The aim is to demystify vehicles and engines,” she says. Three years ago, Driving In Heels successfully qualified for Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) accreditation, making it possible for companies engaging the services of the company to claim back a portion of their training budget from the Skills Development Fund.

Another interaction Vuyi developed was the Fantastic Fathers Forum – a training programme aimed at male motorists. “While it is important to educate women on motor related elements, it is also imperative to share such knowledge with men as they are care givers, too, and have an equal responsibility to drive safely for the benefit of their families and economy of the country at large,” she says. Under the Driving In Heels banner, Vuyi is active on social media platforms – where she has a strong following – and also produces and presents a motoring feature on 2000FM. She is a regular guest presenter on Buyer’s Guide and Ignition GT on DSTV and serves as a member of the Women In Road Safety Board.

With accreditation in place, Vuyi began hosting weekly interactive driver safetyrelated workshops aimed at educating, informing and empowering female From a media perspective, one of motorists. As a result of her hard work her most recent achievements is her 3|P a g e she was recently appointed a Road Driving In Heels TV show on SABC3. Safety Ambassador for Subaru Southern The 24-minute programme made its Africa and selected as brand ambassador debut earlier this year and not only for tyre manufacturer Continental’s does Vuyi present the show she is global road safety effort, Vision Zero. also one of its executive producers.

industry. The breakfast events not only give female staff members in the motor retail sector an opportunity to network in a relaxed and informal setting, but it also creates an opportunity to have some fun and enjoy great entertainment from the likes of Piet Botha, Rocco de Villiers, Niqui Cloete-Barrass, Zak Steyn and others. In addition, there is a charity element to each breakfast, with donations of money and goods to a host of beneficiaries. These include Bobby Bear, ICEBO Nothando, BEC Outreach and Helping Paws in Natal, Cuyler Holme and Charity Projects in Port Elizabeth, Huis Jabes and St George’s Safety House for Girls in the Cape, and MISA’s Back to School projects in Northern/ Highveld and Free State/Northern Cape.

True to her nature to share of herself, Vuyi is a mentor to a start-up group of young women SMMEs. She is also Profile: Vuyi Mpofu renowned as a motivational speaker. In her spare time she enjoys motoring, 082 857 9719 motorcycling, adventure sports and is a novice horse rider.

“Our annual Women’s Forum Breakfasts allows MISA to pay homage to the role that female employees play in the retail motor industry,” says Martlé Keyter, the organisation’s CEO of Operations. She adds: “As someone once said: ‘So many times women are told to act like men, but we never tell men to act like women… we’re failing to see the amazing qualities that women bring into the workplace.’ “At MISA we certainly do not take the role of women in the workplace for granted – hence initiatives such as our Women’s Forum Breakfasts and our annual prestigious MISA Woman of the Year Award.”

OCTOBER 2017 -



Time for a wiper check With summer rains on the way, now is the time to have windscreen wipers checked


ummer is just on the horizon and now is the perfect time to get cars ready for the rain that is likely to accompany the change in weather, says Pieter Niemand, Director of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA). “Why wait until you are caught in the first spring rains to realise that your windscreen wipers are old and need to be changed. Get pro-active and check your vehicle now so you are prepared for the changes ahead,” he says. Niemand suggests checking windscreen wipers, air-conditioning unit, oil and tyres. “Windscreen wipers age and perish. It’s important to check them regularly and not to settle for below-par wipers. “Only the edge of the wiper should touch the windscreen – so check whether this is the case with your wipers. Also there shouldn’t be cracks

36 - OCTOBER 2017

or tears in the blades, which should be securely fastened to the wiper.

worth getting the unit checked before the summer heat hits,” he says.

“If in doubt go to your local accredited workshop and ask your mechanic to check the blades. Wipers are relatively inexpensive but make all the difference between clear visibility and an accident waiting to happen,” he says.

An oil change and inspection of the state of the vehicles tyres is also an essential. “Budgeting for a service ahead of the December rush is key,” says Niemand.

Niemand also suggests getting your air conditioning unit checked. “Many drivers don’t make use of their air conditioning units during the winter months so there may be a buildup of dirt that could block and hamper the performance of the unit.” Also, a leak could have developed – resulting in low or no pressure – or the unit could be low on refrigerant. “A bad fuse, a wiring problem or broken switch might also be to blame, so ask your mechanic to check the unit if you suspect there is a problem. It’s well

“During December there are many other expenses that crop up and the thought of additional expenses at that time for car maintenance can be daunting for car owners. Now is the time to plan a service and budget accordingly.” He suggests using an accredited aftermarket workshop for your vehicle’s service. “By using an accredited workshop, you can be assured that the work is guaranteed. If you are unsure whether your local workshop is accredited ask to see the accreditation certificate or contact an industry body such as MIWA,” he concludes.

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eht ta eliforp ruoy retsiger tsuWhat m uis an oyapprenticeship? ,deyolpmenu era uoy fI Ÿ yaisma structured uoy hclearning ihw process retfafor,egaining ciffo rThe uoapprenticeship baL fo tsystem nemistarwell-known apeD ttechnical seraetraining n A learnership iog tuoba s’tI theoretical knowledge through an accredited training provider system, which covers both practical and theoretical srenrael rof gnikool eb yam ohw sreyolpme ot derrefer eb eht dnoyeb and practical skills in the workplace leading to a qualification components offered in listed trades. Once you have ytud fo llac registered on the NQF. A learnership is outcomes-based and completed training, .seam maasrangyour orp pihyou srwill enneed raetol pass retantrade e otest t to Dr Raymond Patel, CEO ofandmerSETA, looks back at year not time-based allows for recognition of prior learning. qualify artisan. VRES EW

What is a learnership?

of success for the organisation

Learnership duration varies but the average is about 12 months.

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship programme?

Any South African citizen, 16 years or older. There are different admission requirements for the various trades. Any person, employed or unemployed, may apply to register Competence in Maths, Science and English will enhance your for a learnership: chances of selection. mounting Further, in order to reduce inequalities Who is eligible to enter a learnership programme?


s we face the How does one apply to enter an apprenticeship areand employed, register for a learnership challenge of Industry 4.0 the you andmay social injustices, the merSETA Ÿ If you programme within the sector where your company or attendant uncertainty around its assisted with the development programme? of organisation operates; or effect on the South African economy, black females through the Black Ÿ If you are unemployed, you may apply to a company that is unemployed, you may register for placement in a Ÿ If you are RMI members can rest assured that the Females Leadership Developmentoffering an apprenticeship programme; or learnership programme at your local labour centre or with Ÿ If you are employed, consult with your employer as to the merSETA is doing its calculated best to area. Programme. employers in your requirements and correct procedures to be followed to train today’s workers forThe tomorrow. enter an apprenticeship programme. Department of Labour refers unemployed individuals, the focused on who meet the minimumAlso, criteria, to organisation employers looking for Yes, the future is largelylearners. unchartered the training and development of territory, but there are markers and unskilled workers to How doesalong one apply for asemi-skilled learnership programme? WE CARE w It’s about caring the way that can keep us Ifon an even promote structural transformation in you are employed, find out which learnerships are for people we Ÿ merSETA Social render services to keel as we prepare our skills set for the labour market, encouraged available in the sector inthe which you work. Uponand deciding which learnership programme is appropriate, you will new dynamic. work integrated learning with a view @mersetasocial WE BELONG need to enter into an agreement with your employer It’s about working to increasing the employability of 7 – building career and vocational together stating your rights and responsibilities as a learner; or with colleagues This can be seen by our recent yearly TVET graduates through the NCVguidance – our target was 27 trainees Ÿ If you are unemployed, you must register your profile at the review which has found the merSETA Additionally, 200 our achievement 43. WEand SERVE nearest Department of to-artisan Labour office,project. after which you may It’s about going once again to be on a sound footing. young people werefor exposed be referred to employers who may be looking learners to a beyond the call of duty to enter learnership programmes. In the 2016/17 financial year, the Work Integrated Learning Programme In setting targets and budgeting organisation contributed about in the People’s Republic of China. for the Annual Performance Plan, R1,1-billion towards training today’s the merSETA identified those areas workers for tomorrow. Our target for Objective 3 – increase where funding constraints existed and access to occupationally-directed embarked on an approach to finance From this amount, R247-million was programmes – totalled 18 012 people key focus areas and special projects dispersed on mandatory grants and and we exceeded the number by through partnerships and co-funding R754-million on discretionary grants. enrolling 27 648. Our target for principles. Further contracts were also entered Objective 4 – increase focus on TRAINING TODAY’S into with the Unemployed Insurance artisan development – was 9 600 and ThisFOR approach and principle translated WORKERS TOMORROW Fund (R75-million), and agreements our impressive result was 12 722. For into a business model that enabled were concluded with the Gauteng Objective 5 – increase literacy and the organisation to achieve required Department of Education (R44,6-million) numeracy of workers – our target was targets for the sector’s skills needs and the National Department Public 5 300 workers and we succeeded in through both full grants funding or Works (R23,3-million), ensuring that training 9 244. through co-funded agreements. merSETA’s commitments towards skilling the nation remained above 98%. Similarly, we exceeded targets in The business model enabled the meeting Objective 6 – support of merSETA to encourage industry, During the past financial year, the co-operatives, small enterprises, government and public entities organisation implemented numerous worker-initiated and community to take more learners in response training programmes for unemployed organisations to implement skills – to the needs of the sector and youth involving skills suites, bursaries, by facilitating 2 240 people against national socio-economic growth and learnerships and apprenticeships. the stipulated 1 758. For Objective development goals.



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specif functi0oPSnI 15 Inflating

sure As this edition of Automobil went to print, the spotlight fell on one of South Africa’s Max Pres L/min 35 Air Flow ? x o b the biggest aftermarket trade fairs, Automechanika Johannesburg – and one of theCurr rehontse10leAngth 650mmmoptional) What’sin-1inelectric jack2017 Ai m (5 h 3renc able 3.5 Power C show’s highlights, the Innovation Awards competition Electrtyichaimmpamcterw ication: if c e p s h V



utomechanika events are regarded as unique in terms of their product-range breadth and depth. On a global scale the 17 trade fairs in 15 countries are backed by about 20 000 exhibitors, 600 000 trade visitors and a network of around 120 trade associations, offering shop windows for innovations in the automotive aftermarket across the entire value chain. The Johannesburg show is no different and, though thousands of automotive products were on display at the fourday event at the Expo Centre at Nasrec, one of the most significant spotlights fell on six items that had been selected as finalists from dozens of entries in this year’s Innovation Awards competition. With Automobil, the official journal of South Africa’s Retail Motor Industry Organisation, once again tasked by the organisers to help to drive the

42 OCTOBER 2017

competition, editor Wynter Murdoch convened a jury consisting of six experts to judge the entries.

Safe e DC 12 ol Box Voltage tion cabl Plastic To p and connec Operating 12A nt clam re ry ur te C , at B Max W onal) wer 100 3mm (5m opti Gloves assess, Rated po N.M intom,2consideration factors ble 3.5m taking 9mm,21m onal) 340 Power ca apters – 17mm,1 (5m opti Torque le 3.5m ad wer Cab Socketssuch as professed h value for money; Po nc re w and Fuse ual, jack ion man engineering quality and ease of use. Instruct Case Durable mm 8kg m X 365 Weight m X 182m ize 390m  S The experts scored each of the W wer 150 V Rated Po age DC 12 tion Voltindividually over two rounds items Opera 13A Current r weight 3T of judging, initially to determine ca Loading m 5/450m Height 15

ations: specific cification: Product tion spe Comprising Gideon de Klerk, ChairmanLifting func of Partinform; John Ellmore, Chairman of Automobil’s editorial committee; David Furlonger, industrial editor at the the finalists, and then to rate those Financial Mail; Dr Norman Lamprecht, selected in terms of gold, silver, bronze Executive Manager at NAAMSA; Renai or highly commended awards. Moothilal, Executive Director at NAACAM; and Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI, the The competition was open to any jury’s aim was to uncover aftermarket automotive products which the products which held the promise of manufacturers or distributors deemed performing beyond expectation; that worthy of recognition, and the range promoted efficiency and which brought of entries included anything from fresh perspectives to the automotive sophisticated electronic automotive segments in which they competed. products to fuel additives. Functionality, practicality, styling, benefits to users, environmental friendliness, safety attributes and other perceived pioneering qualities were among the specifics that jury members were asked to

Organisers of Automechanika Johannesburg arranged for exhibits of the winning products to be highlighted in a separate display in Hall 6 at the show under an Innovation Awards



gs Packagin

David Furlonger

Gideon de Klerk

Jakkie Olivier

John Ellmore

Dr Norman Lamprecht

Renai Moothilal

banner, with presentations of certificates made at an official prize-giving ceremony at the trade fair’s official opening. Winner of the Gold Award was Bosch’s KTS Diagnostic Tester, described by the judges as “an innovative device which is likely to prove a boon to any workshop in which vehicle repair or maintenance tasks are routinely undertaken, aimed at increasing diagnostic efficiency using simple, quick and easy-to-operate technology that covers a vast spectrum of automotive brands …” In their notes the judges said proficiency in diagnostics was becoming increasingly important for workshops. “Professional, high quality repair work – backed by efficiencies that aim at reducing vehicle downtime – is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction.” Manufactured in Germany and introduced to South Africa in April this year, the ruggedly constructed Bosch unit’s features include an easy connect facility; enhanced measurement techniques with DoIP capability; parallel or simultaneous diagnosis; guided troubleshooting; extended measurement ranges and a continuity tester for fault localisation. The unit is said to operate at speeds up to 200 times faster than high speed Controller Area Network (CAN) bus systems. “The ability to communicate at variable speeds using IP baud

rate (speed of data transfer) gives the new generation KTS the advantage of being able to process data using new protocols which has previously not been possible,” Bosch said in its motivational statement. In second place was Monroe’s just released OESpectrum shock absorber for the aftermarket. In the view of the judges, the item represented cost-effective, quality damper technology which was aimed at promoting high levels of vehicle safety and driver confidence. “Today’s drivers expect world-class control and steering response, without the harshness associated with many conventional ride control technologies. Monroe has responded with a shock absorber which offers twice the number of internal tuning points to promote driving precision, agility and responsiveness,” the judges said in their summation. The high-tech shock absorber, which is manufactured in Europe, made its debut at Automechanika Johannesburg and is sold with a five-year warranty – a notable quality assurance point, according to jury members. The bronze award went to a South African invention – Qwerty Tyre Solution’s portable Str8-Lign Wheel Alignment System –



AUTOMECHANIKA which was highly rated by the judges for the promise it showed in delivering numerous, cost-effective benefits for both workshop and in-the-field applications. The product was highly commended for its ease of use, robust construction and well-engineered precision parts. Developed in Durban by start-up organisation Qwerty, the laser-based system has taken two years to reach manufacturing stage and, since April, has been undergoing tests with vehicle manufactures, wheel alignment specialists and industry bodies. “To date, the response from the automotive industry has been extremely encouraging, with clients including Toyota Gazoo Racing, Thomas Tyres, SupaQuick, TR Tec and Tune-Tech BMW,” said a statement released by Sean Muller, one of the directors of the company.

In developing the system, Qwerty’s mandate was to offer a portable solution that would allow wheel alignment services to be more affordable and readily available in all areas of the country, including those without access to Eskom power or fixed computers. “At the time we naively assumed that we could find an off-the-shelf solution. However, after investigating both local and global product offerings it became evident that wheel alignment equipment fell into two vastly different categories with a crevasse of opportunity in-between. Key to our

ultimate success was a genuine desire to create something new rather than an improvement on existing alignment tools.” Designed as lightweight, compact and portable, the Str8-Lign system can be used for quick alignment checks or, paired with a four poster hoist or ramps, configured to offer full wheel alignment repair services. Three other items received highly commended certificates for their ingenuity or pioneering qualities perceived to improve efficiencies or reduce costs – Jackhub’s portable Electronic Vehicle Jack; Walcom’s Carbonio 360 Spray Gun and Wise Crack’s Apollo Windscreen Repair Kit – the last-named another locally manufactured product. • A full report of activities at Automechanika Johannesburg – including coverage of conferences held by a number of RMI associations – will be published in next month’s edition of Automobil.

According to Muller, Qwerty’s aim was to have the system widely accepted as the

quickest, most cost effective and accurate method of checking and adjusting wheel alignment. “Our vision is that by making wheel alignment more accessible – especially in impoverished areas of South Africa – we will help to introduce quantifiable environmental, road safety, job creation and economic benefits.”

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Engineering overkill? Jake Venter compares motoring’s past with its present and concludes that cars these days have become far too complicated


uring my lifetime cars have changed from relatively simple mechanical devices to powerful computers on wheels. Some can even drive themselves. This change is technologically exciting – but I can’t help feeling that there has been a certain amount of engineering overkill. When a company thinks it is good engineering to fit both a turbo and a supercharger to a small family car, the alarm bells start ringing – that kind of complication is even questionable on an expensive sports car. THE WAY IT WAS I began my career as an apprentice mechanic in 1952, when practically all cars were rear-wheel-driven and equipped with side-valve or pushrod overhead-valve engines. This meant that cylinder heads

46 OCTOBER 2017

could be removed without disturbing the valve timing; fuel mixture was delivered by an uncomplicated carburettor and a spark was supplied by an easy-tounderstand coil and distributor set-up. Camshaft drives by chain or gears often lasted as long as the engine. Oil changes were more frequent than today, with most engines in need of a decoke-andvalve job every 16 000km or so. Most components were mechanically operated, workshop manuals were thin and very few special tools were needed. American engines were so mildly stressed in terms of kW/litre that I once set valve clearance, points and spark plug gaps on a Chrysler Valiant with a hacksaw blade because I couldn’t find my feeler-gauge. The engine didn’t seem to notice.

MOTORING COSTS ESCALATE The first addition to the normal cost of motoring showed up when front-wheeldrive vehicles became popular. Early CVjoints were not robust. I remember driving a two-year old car out of a parking bay and seeing the balls from a CV joint running across the road. Modern original equipment CV joints last a lot longer, but they’re still more liable to fail than cross-type universal joints fitted to propeller shafts on rear-wheel-drive cars. Motoring’s face changed again with the introduction of a reinforced belt drive for the camshaft. This was quieter than a sloppy chain, but seldom lasted more than 60 000km. Many problems arose because some mechanics did not know how to inspect it,

mixture accurately enough to suit a catalytic converter. Fuel injection could ensure accurate and controlled mixture strengths by squirting fuel into the intake manifold or the cylinder under controlled pressure for a few milliseconds at a time, with the duration controlled by a processor. THE MODERN SCENE Today, things are a lot different. Engines are so highly stressed that everything has to be done by the book. Most cars have more than one computer (more correctly: electronic control unit (ECU) or microprocessor) on board. Their circuits seldom carry more than 15 milliamps, and the result is that there is a list as long as your arm of things that we used to do to an engine that can’t be done now. For example, you’re not supposed to pull an HT lead from a spark plug on a running engine or jump-start a car. These actions may cause a current spike and fry one of the control units, and suddenly you have a very expensive diagnostic nightmare on your hands.

replace it and tension it correctly. Modern belts lasts a lot longer, but they still sometimes fail before their scheduled replacement mileage arrives. Single- or double-overhead camshafts arrived at about the same time as the belts. Their presence in the engine made it possible to have the almost ideal hemispherical combustion chamber shape. The direct connection between the cam lobes and the valves assured that the valves would follow the lobe shape up to at least 7 000 revs/min. In contrast, the long pushrods and rockers on a pushrod overhead valve engine caused the valves to start misbehaving at speeds much over 5 000 revs/min. Overhead camshafts have a number of disadvantages. Their presence means that

valve timing is disturbed every time the cylinder-head is removed. Resetting the timing correctly when the head is replaced is a skilled operation that introduces a large potential for getting it wrong. In addition, most heads need skimming before replacing them, and this affects the camshaft drive free play. Special arrangements have to be made to compensate. COMPUTERS WEDGE THEIR WAY IN Catalytic convertors arrived on the motoring scene at the same time as computer-controlled fuel injection. By this time the simple, basic carburettor had grown into a quite complicated system of jets and compensating devices, but it was unable to control the fuel

Computers control the engine, brakes, gearbox, active and passive safety systems as well as the entertainment system, and sometimes even the headlights and suspension. Engines have also benefitted from multiple overhead camshafts, variable valve timing, adjustable-length intake manifolds, direct fuel injection and balance shafts. Turbochargers that spin at up to 200 000 revs/min can now even be found on one-litre economy cars. HOW THE CHANGE CAME ABOUT Why did cars become so complicated? It started in California where smog was a major problem. Washington responded with tough emission laws, the rest of the world followed and the motor industry had to find ways to clean up exhaust emissions. Eugene Houdry, a French engineer living in the USA, invented the first catalytic converter (hereafter to be called a cat) for smoke stacks. The motor industry



TECH TALK developed the idea further, but efforts were not successful until legislation removed tetra-ethyl lead from petrol. The lead tended to poison the catalytic material. By 1973 the first cats were in production. Cats function well only if the mixture is close to stoichiometric (Greek; stoicheion = element, metron = measure). This word, which means chemically correct, is so charismatic that I had to use it. The first cats were not very effective because they were fitted to engines using carburettors to supply the correct mixture. A carb uses the vacuum in the intake system to control the mixture, but pressure varies a lot during changes in throttle position, resulting in a mixture that seldom gets close to stoichiometric. FUEL INJECTION Fuel injection turned out to be the answer, and it first appeared in direct from, into the engine cylinders. The idea had been initiated during World War II in various German aircraft-engines, such as the Mercedes-Benz V12 DB601 that powered many Messerschmitt fighter aircraft. The first production car to get direct fuel injection was the 1953 German two-stroke Gutbrod. A year later the system also appeared in the famous Mercedes-Benz 300SL. All three of these applications were the work of one man, Dr Hans Scherenberg, who later became the chief design engineer of the Mercedes-Benz group. In the USA, indirect fuel injection, into the intake manifold, was initially the plaything of racers and hot-rodders but, in 1957, General Motors offered it as an option on its 283 V8 engine. All of the systems were mechanically operated, and weren’t controllable enough to ensure a stoichiometric mixture under all conditions.

48 OCTOBER 2017

Meanwhile, the electronic industry had discovered miniaturisation. These days, the availability and small size of the average ECU makes it possible to control an engine’s operating requirements to within very close tolerances by using various sensors. The inputs enable the control unit to determine the required mixture strength, responding by sending a timed electrical pulse to the fuel injector. The ECU uses reference values, stored on a lookup table that is part of the software, to make decisions with regard to mixture strength. Until recently most engines were equipped with indirect fuel injection, into the intake manifold, but direct injection has been revived and is taking over. IGNITION TIMING CONTROL The old-fashioned coil and distributor ignition system was easy to understand and trouble-shoot, but it resulted in a very inefficient engine operation. Recommended spark timing was determined at the factory according to some conservative value in order to be absolutely sure that if the correct fuel was used detonation would not occur. Such a conservative setting made most engines very inefficient. The settings also had to be manually adjusted for different altitudes or when fuel with different octane values was used. An electronic ignition control unit is capable of determining the spark timing for every cylinder individually before every combustion event on the basis of what the previous combustion was like. This is done by means of a knock sensor that uses a piezo-electric crystal – one

that sends out an electrical pulse when it is subject to vibration – to inform the control unit when knocking is occurring. Timing is then retarded in small steps until the knocking stops. Afterwards, the timing is again advanced if knocking does not occur. In this way the ignition timing is always optimised. The control unit has to know where each piston is at any time in order to give the ignition command at the correct time. It gets a signal from a crankshaft position sensor that marks a particular point, such as when piston number one reaches top dead centre. The position of the other pistons can be calculated from that point. CONCLUSION Most modern cars are wonderful to drive. Engines no longer stumble when they’re cold; they usually start very quickly and, with every new model, fuel consumption tends to decrease by percentage values that only a salesman believes in. Exhaust emissions are at least 95% cleaner than they used to be and entertainment systems are better than what you have at home. However, the proliferation of computers on board has created the unbelievable situation that sometimes electronic faults cannot even be fixed by the company that built the car.

Jake Venter has worked as a mechanic, as an engineer in an engine assembly plant and as a lecturer, but now prefers journalism.

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JULY 2017 -



Bloodhound is go!

Bloodhound SSC will make its first ever public run later this month in England as part of its preparations for its world land speed record bid next year in South Africa


he world’s most advanced straightline racing car – Bloodhound SSC – will be driven for the first time later this month at Cornwall Airport in Newquay, England – 20 years after its predecessor, Thrust SSC, set a world land speed record of 763,035mph (1 227,985km/h). As part of his preparations for the attempt to break the record he set in Thrust, driver Andy Green will put Bloodhound though a series of low-speed runs on the airport’s runway. The trials will mark the culmination of a month of tests to prove the car’s steering, brakes, suspension and data systems, as well as the performance of the EJ200 jet engine, sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon. Thousands of visitors are expected to witness the event at Newquay – to be held from October 26 to 30 – when Bloodhound will be driven at speeds of up to 200mph (about 320km/h) on the 2,7km runway. Before it moves under its own power, Bloodhound will undergo several days of static, tie-down tests. The jet engine will be run up, with the car chained to the ground, so that the performance of the air intake, fuel and electrical systems can be checked. All being well, dynamic testing will follow. One key aspect is the low-speed capability of the jet engine intake, which is positioned above the cockpit. Designed to work best at speeds over 1 200km/h, the project’s engineers will need to study its performance at low velocities.

50 - OCTOBER 2017

Real world acceleration data will also enable Ron Ayers, Bloodhound’s chief aerodynamicist, to plan the sequence of runs next year at Hakskeen Pan, in South Africa, where the world land speed record attempt will culminate. The Newquay trials will also be Green’s first opportunity to drive the car and experience the steering feel, throttle and brake action, noise and vibration – aspects that can’t be simulated. In addition, the opportunity will be used to train the support crew, refine safety protocols as well as develop the car’s operating procedures.

During tests, the car will powered by the jet engine alone and use wheels shod with pneumatic tyres, 84cm in diameter, that have come from a English Electric Lightning fighter, specially reconditioned by Dunlop. As the runway wheels and suspension are slightly thicker than the solid aluminium wheels that will be used at Hakskeen, some sections of carbon fibre bodywork will not be fitted. Bloodhound’s project director, Richard Noble, described the trials as the biggest milestone in the history of the car so far. “They will provide important performance data and give us the opportunity to rehearse the procedures we’ll use when we go record breaking.” Web Address:

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Representation in CCMA and Bargaining Councils

Douw Breed, a director at Barnard Inc Attorneys, Centurion, outlines some issues related to the question of representation for employers at CCMA or Bargaining Council hearings be granted, it is prudent that consideration and adherence be given to Rule 25 of the CCMA guidelines, which reads as follows (only certain sections quoted):


aving to attend a CCMA hearing or any other Bargaining Council matter may be disconcerting, especially for employers who are required to attend without any representation. The issue concerning the question of whether representation will be permitted is controversial and it is with great uncertainty that employers approach it.

is not guaranteed – there is simply no automatic right to representation. Though parties to the dispute may appear in person or be represented by a legal practitioner, such representation and the requirements thereof are restricted.

To address the issue, consideration should be given to various factors including, but not limited to, the rules of the CCMA.

In circumstances where matters concern the fairness of the dismissal, or where the referring party alleges that the dismissal relates to the employee’s capacity, or the employee’s conduct, no legal representation is allowed.

The right to representation in various CCMA and Bargaining Council forums

In assessing and determining whether representation by a legal practitioner will

54 OCTOBER 2017

25. Representation before the Commission: 1 (a) In conciliation proceedings, a party to the dispute may appear in person or be represented only by: i) If the party is an employer, a director or employee of that party and, in addition, if it is a close corporation, a member of that close corporation; ii) Any office bearer, official or member of that party's registered trade union or registered employers' organisation; iii) If the party is a registered trade union, any office bearer, official or member of that trade union authorized to represent that party; or iv) If the party is a registered employers' organisation, any office bearer or official of that party or a director or employee of an employer that is a member of that employers' organisation authorised to represent that party. 1 (b) Subject to paragraph (c), in any arbitration proceedings a party to the dispute may appear in person or be represented only by: i) A legal practitioner; or ii) An individual entitled to represent the party at conciliation proceedings in terms of sub-rule 1 (a). 1 (c) If the dispute being arbitrated is

about the fairness of a dismissal and a party has alleged that the reason for the dismissal relates to the employee’s conduct or capacity, a party is not entitled to be represented by a legal practitioner in the proceedings unless: i) The commissioner and all the other parties consent; ii) The commissioner concludes that it is unreasonable to expect a party to deal with the dispute without legal representation, after considering: a) The nature of the questions of law raised by the dispute; b) The complexity of the dispute; c) The public interest; and d) The comparative ability of the opposing parties or their representatives to deal with the dispute. Various processes exist within the CCMA and in each of these processes representation is considered and dealt with differently. No legal practitioner or legal representation will be allowed during the conciliation phase of the dispute. The exclusion is justified by having regard to the fact that the conciliation is not considered as an authoritarian process. The proceedings within a conciliation – as mentioned in previous articles – is of the record, and cannot be used in any further processes. Only if the employer is a member of a registered employers’ organisation will such employer be permitted to enjoy representation by any office bearer or official of the registered employers’ organisation, be it conciliation or arbitration proceedings. In arbitration proceedings, representation will be allowed only if: 1) All parties agree to the representation; or 2) An application for legal representation is made and successfully argued. An application for legal representation can either be made: 1) By way of a formal application, submitted prior to the matter (in affidavit form), consisting of reasons

as to why representation should be allowed (focus to be placed on Rule 25 of the CCMA guidelines); 2) On the day of the arbitration by relying on Rule 25 of the CCMA guidelines. The other party will have the right to oppose such an application either verbally or in writing and the commissioner will thereafter be tasked with determining whether representation will be permitted or not. Usually, if a party will be prejudiced by not having legal representation, a commissioner will favourably consider the application for allowing such representation. The factors to be considered by the commissioner in determining whether the application for legal representation should be successful is found in the provisions of Rule 25 (1)(c)(ii). This was reaffirmed in the matter between Vaal Toyota (Nigel) v MIBCO and Others: 1) The nature of the questions of law raised by the dispute: Should the questions of law not be of a complex nature, it is not likely that representation will be allowed; 2) The complexity of the dispute: the dispute proves to be complex and will require assistance; 3) The public interest; and 4) The comparative ability of the opposing parties or their representatives to deal with the dispute.

refused legal representation but allowed the representative to attend the proceedings as an observer. He allowed him to take notes, and assist with the closing arguments. The court held that the commissioner’s conduct was grossly irregular. Possibly, the argument behind the opposition to allow legal practitioners to represent employers and the consequent restriction of such representation could be to give effect to the purpose of the CCMA as a forum to deal with labour disputes in a quick, effective and expeditious manner. The CCMA is also a forum with far less formalities and procedures. Allowing legal practitioners to participate in the forum might give rise to lengthy and unnecessary delays, resulting in the CCMA not operating as intended and, in effect, hampering its effective functioning, depriving employers and employees of fast and efficient resolution of referred disputes. Crucially, as indicated herein, this restriction does not apply to representing officials or office bearers of an employers’ organisation to which an employer belongs.

In the recent CCMA & Others v Law Society of the Northern Provinces (2013) 34 ILJ 2779 (SCA), the court held that Rule 25 is neither unconstitutional nor irrational, and confirmed that there was no absolute right to legal representation. In some instances, the decision to allow (or not to allow) legal representation can give rise to reviewable irregularities. In the matter between SA Post Office v Govender & Others the commissioner




Curbing reckless credit In light of a recent scurry by various companies and individuals to register as credit providers, Ewald Slabbert, of Barnard Incorporated Attorneys Centurion, outlines one of the basic aims of the National Credit Act – the halting of the reckless granting of credit…


he concept of reckless credit was introduced by the National Credit Act (NCA) in 2005 with a view to promoting the responsible granting of credit. Though reckless credit provisions contained in the Act – which are supported by relevant case law – confer obligations on both the credit provider and consumer, this report focusses on and making credit providers specifically aware of their obligations. Section 80(1) of the Act provides that if: (a) The credit provider fails to conduct an assessment as set out in Section 81(2) of the Act or; (b) The credit provider, after conducting such assessment, enters into a credit agreement with a consumer despite the fact that the information available indicates that the consumer: (i) Does not understand or appreciate the risks, costs or obligations under the proposed credit agreement or; (ii) By entering into the credit agreement the consumer becomes over-indebted; the credit agreement can be regarded as reckless. In terms of Section 81(2) of the Act, the credit provider must not enter into a credit agreement without taking reasonable steps to assess the following criteria: (1) The consumer’s general understanding and appreciation of the risks, costs, rights and obligations under the credit agreement; (2) The consumer’s debt repayment history; (3) The existing financial means, prospects and obligations of the proposed consumer. In terms of Absa Bank Limited v Kganakga (26467/2012) [2016] ZAGPJHC 59, a credit provider is required to conduct

56 OCTOBER 2017

a further assessment in determining whether there is a reasonable basis to conclude that any commercial purpose may prove to be successful if such commercial purpose, if any, is the reason for a consumer’s application for credit . Therefore, the obligations of the credit provider, as aforesaid, come into existence when any consumer applies for credit and diligent compliance therewith should prevent reckless credit being granted. In ABSA Bank Ltd v De Beer and Others 2016 (3) SA 432 (GP), the requirement of reasonable steps being taken by the credit provider was interpreted as being an assessment which should be done “reasonably and not irrationally.” In the light of the above, a credit provider would be advised to develop its own procedures and policies to ensure a fair and just assessment relevant to the specific credit provided to ensure compliance as supported by the Kganakga case, where it was found that “reasonable steps” did not suffice in the circumstances pertaining to the matter.

part of the consumer’s rights and obligations under that agreement or suspend the force and effect of that credit agreement. Though it seems as if the Act confers more obligations onto the credit provider than the consumer, it does provide credit providers with remedies and defences against reckless credit. In terms of Section 81 (4) of the Act, it is a complete defence against an allegation of reckless credit if the credit provider establishes that the consumer failed to fully and truthfully answer any requests for information made by the credit provider as part of the credit assessment and that the failure to do so materially affected the ability of the credit provider to make a proper assessment. From the credit provider’s position, extensive care needs to be taken when considering an application for credit, which can be done only if rigorous procedures and policies are put in place timeously to ensure that compliant assessments are conducted prior to credit facilities being granted.

In the event of reckless credit being granted by a credit provider as a result of non-compliance with sections 80(1) and 81(2) of the Act, a consumer may raise reckless credit as a defence to any legal proceedings instituted to enforce the agreement, or approach the National Consumer Tribunal or court to have a credit agreement declared reckless.

A credit provider that fails to adhere to its obligations, as outlined, may find itself in a position of not being able to enforce its credit agreement, resulting in insurmountable repercussions.

In the event of the consumer being successful in proving that a credit agreement was concluded recklessly, such court or tribunal may in terms of Section 83(2) of the Act make an order setting aside all or

Legalex (Pty) Ltd, registration number 2003/003715/07, is an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP 5277) and underwritten by Guardrisk Insurance Company Limited (FSP 26/10/75).

RMI4law members enjoy the benefit of legal advice from an attorney 24 hours a day. If you wish to join RMI4law, call 0861 668 677.

Upcoming Regional Annual General Meetings GAUTENG

6 October 2017 Premier Hotel ORT 73 Gladiator St, Rhodesfield, Johannesburg

MPUMALANGA 9 October 2017 Protea Hotel Witbank, 167 Jellicoe St, Emalahleni

WESTERN CAPE 20 October 2017 The River Club Liesbeek Parkway Observatory, Cape Town


13 November 2017 Bloem Spa Hotel Rayton Road Lilyvale, Bloemfontein

What is a learnership? A learnership is a structured learning process for gaining theoretical knowledge through an accredited training provider and practical skills in the workplace, leading to a qualification registered on the NQF. A learnership is outcomes-based and not time-based and allows for recognition of prior learning. Learnership duration varies but the average is about 12 months.

Who is eligible to enter a learnership programme? Any person, employed or unemployed, may apply to register for a learnership: Ÿ If you are employed, you may register for a learnership programme

within the sector where your company or organisation operates; or

Ÿ If you are unemployed, you may register for placement in a

learnership programme at your local labour centre or with employers in your area.

The Department of Labour refers unemployed individuals, who meet the minimum criteria, to employers looking for learners.

How does one apply for a learnership programme? Ÿ If you are employed, find out which learnerships are available in the

sector in which you work. Upon deciding which learnership programme is appropriate, you will need to enter into an agreement with your employer stating your rights and responsibilities as a learner; or

Ÿ If you are unemployed, you must register your profile at the nearest

Department of Labour office, after which you may be referred to employers who may be looking for learners to enter learnership programmes.

What is an apprenticeship? The apprenticeship system is a well-known technical training system, which covers both practical and theoretical components offered in listed trades. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a trade test to qualify as an artisan.


It’s about caring for people we render services to

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship programme?


It’s about working together with colleagues

Any South African citizen, 16 years or older. There are different admission requirements for the various trades. Competence in Maths, Science and English will enhance your chances of selection.


How does one apply to enter an apprenticeship programme?

It’s about going beyond the call of duty

Ÿ If you are unemployed, you may apply to a company that is offering

an apprenticeship programme; or

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Ÿ If you are employed, consult with your employer as to the

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Focusing on business success One of the greatest challenges that any entrepreneur must overcome to be successful in business is his or her own mindset, says Pieter Scholtz


any entrepreneurs who start their own businesses focus on logical issues which they deem to be required for success – a well thought out business plan, a good product or service, getting the right pricing strategy, attracting the right target market, setting up reliable systems and recruiting top notch people. While these matters are important to success, many entrepreneurs do not invest sufficiently in their own personal development and growth. One of the most commonly overlooked issues is the development of a successful mindset – and this is most often the most usual cause of failure. Recently, I asked a group of business owners to identify the Top 10 issues that affected their abilities to reach their business goals. They were easily able to identify aspects that impacted the growth of their operations, ranging from the quality of competition to legislation, bureaucracy, lack of good employees and access to markets. However, the one factor that no-one listed was the performance of the business owner.

One of the greatest challenges that any entrepreneur must overcome to be successful is his or her own mindset. Listed below are several strategies to implement to ensure that you develop the correct mindset for success.

well as our self-esteem. Research has shown that we are more affected by our environment than we think and, while it’s ideal to surround yourself with positive thinkers, do so can lead to false sense of security.

1. Personal development and growth is an on-going strategy: “Where you will be in five years’ time will depend on the books you read and the people you meet.” – Jim Rohn.

Therefore, it is important to include some critics in your group as they serve to sharpen your thinking and help you to develop a tough skin.

Successful entrepreneurs focus on continuous growth through reading or watching videos related to their profession or personal development. 2. Clarity of Purpose: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” – Lewis Carroll Being clear about your life purpose is very important to the successful entrepreneur. Clarity of purpose brings focus not only when things are going well but, more importantly, when things threaten to go off track. 3. Building relationships that foster growth: “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” – Jim Rohn When it comes to relationships we are greatly influenced by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, affects our decisions as

4. Self-Belief: Successful entrepreneurs have a very strong belief in their ability to deliver products and services that are required by the markets they serve. They have a very clear understanding of what their strengths and weaknesses are and, instead of focusing on their weak qualities, they strive to develop their strengths, where possible surrounding themselves with people who can focus on areas in which they lack skills or knowledge. Strong self-belief provides guidance to the rest of the team when matters become difficult in the marketplace. It provides clarity of focus for all team members. In summary, as an entrepreneur, never underestimate the importance of working on your mindset – it is most often the biggest cause of failure in business and needs continuous nurturing and growth.

Pieter Scholtz is the Co-Master Franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Pieter and his partner Harry Welby-Cooke developed ActionCOACH across Southern Africa, which now boasts over 40 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. / 012 665 1015

58 OCTOBER 2017


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Masermule Consulting recently dealt with a very interestingemployment law and workplace relations scenario

Question Joyce asked her employer for unpaid leave in order to be trained as a sangoma. When she was making the aforementioned request, she advised her employer that she received a ‘calling’ from her ancestors. She had reasonable belief that if she failed and/or neglected to comply with the ‘calling’, an awful event (e.g. death) would befall her. Joyce supported her request with a note from her traditional healer confirming that she had to be trained as a sangoma. The employer refused the leave request and offered her one week instead. Despite the aforementioned refusal, Joyce failed to report for duty thereafter and she was dismissed for absenteeism. Does this constitute a fair dismissal?

Answer In Kievits Kroon Country Estate (Pty) Ltd v Mmoledi and others (2014) 3 BLLR 207 (SCA) the Court had to establish whether an employee’s reliance on a ‘calling from ancestors’ is a justifiable reason for disobeying an employer’s instruction for the employee to report for duty.    The Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) held that “…where an employee absents herself from work without permission, and in the face of her employer’s lawful and reasonable instruction, a Court is entitled to grant relief to the employee if the failure to obey the order was justified or reasonable.”   In the given facts, Joyce had a fearful apprehension of suffering misfortune if

she failed and/or neglected to respond to the call of her ancestors to attend the course, hence her refusal to report for duty. Furthermore, there was no operational reason on the employer’s side justifying a refusal of unpaid leave. The employer needed to weigh up those considerations in order to make a rational decision. “African traditional beliefs were part of many South Africans’ cultures. The right to hold such beliefs was constitutionally protected. As the employee had genuinely believed that she had no choice but to attend the training, her dismissal for misconduct had been unfair.”   Consequently, it follows that Joyce’s dismissal for misconduct was unfair.

“Training Employees for the Future” High employee turnover has been a longstanding issue within the automotive retail industry and it shows no sign of slowing down. With consumer expectations continually evolving and new technologies constantly being implemented in the work space, it is now, more than ever, critical that automotive companies ensure that staff members constantly receive the best training possible to ensure that they remain competitive. The automotive industry is rapidly evolving in terms of technology in all departments - and it is crucial that Companies keep pace with this and ensure that employees receive constant training from manufacturing, parts & spares, dealership networks and show rooms and are abreast of developments. Training features are published in Automobil in April and November each year, focused on providing the readers and automotive business owners with insight into which programmes are available to automotive industry representatives.

Contact Greg Surgeon on 0834496137 or E Mail 60 OCTOBER 2017

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The RMI welcomes these new businesses into membership



ABC Motorsport ACD Ferndale Apex Automotive Connection


Kempton Park

Randburg Johannesburg

AutoZone Polokwane Automan Fitment Centre


GT Atlas I

Rescue 101

Ikamva Fleet Management


East London S


SM Mathobela Spray & Panelbeating

JA Repair & Service Centre

Bay Hydraulics & Chroming


Richards Bay

Sandton Repo Cars SMD Auto


Construction Hammanskraal

Ketjudith Motors


Summit Auto

Kimberley Car Centre


Supa Quick Vereeniging

Spraytek Panelbeaters

Klasique Mechanical Workshops

Cape SUV

Dave’s Panelbeaters Destinie Trading Donford Helderberg DTEC Motors

Pinetown Empangeni Rail Strand


Tasheel Auto Repairs Centre

Marcypro Pretoria

Tekton Autobody Repairs Paarl

Marlin Mechanical Repairs

Tekton Autobody Repairs Wynberg

Cape Town Cape Town


Mono Technique


The Tyre Rack

Muba’s Auto Works


The Volks Yard Workshop


Etuners Cape Town

Tongaat Paarl



Nicol Mobile Repairs

Equipment Repair Maintenance

Strand Vereeniging

Kempton Park

E Ephy’s VW Services and Repairs





Randfontein Johannesburg Empangeni

Benkale’s Mechanical Engineering &



Ramatlaohle Mokopane



R&M Autobody Worx

Randfontein Alberton Cape Town

Cape Town

NJ Motors NRC Autobody


Nyalunga Towing & Panel Beating


With a membership of 7 500, the RMI provides a very effective collective voice that gives members considerable clout in negotiating better trading conditions. As the lead voice in the motor industry, the RMI is a member-driven organisation that constantly seeks solutions to concerns raised by members in the day-to-day running of their businesses.

Wicked Cars


Johannesburg Pretoria

Z ZLS Motors Trust





Abandoned Solutions

011 450 0550



Aer O Cure

011 444 6454


Africa Automotive Aftermarket Solutions

011 870 6000

19 & 27

Alert Engine Parts

011 870 0300


Audi Parts

086 0434 838

40 & 41

Autocosmos Biz (Electrolog)

012 327 6210


Automobil Association Technical College

011 799 1068


Automotive Industry Development centre

012 564 5000



012 450 2222


Fram Filters

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64 OCTOBER 2017



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Upping the ante

Nissan’s trail-blazer is now focused on offering affordable autonomous driving. TU-Automotive’s Andrew Tolve reports


he car that kick started the electric vehicle revolution, the Nissan Leaf, is back with a semi-driverless second generation model. Nissan unveiled the EV last month in Tokyo and Las Vegas, highlighting the vehicle’s selfdrive systems – including ProPilot Assist and ProPilot Park. A bigger battery helps the model compete with some of the EVs that have come along in its wake – with 240km possible on a single charge it has twice the range of the original Leaf. Still on the autonomous drive front, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill – dubbed the Self Drive Act – which replaces the patchwork of laws that currently regulate the deployment of robot cars in the US. To encourage development of autonomous vehicles, the bill increases the total number of self-driving cars allowed on US roads to 25 000 within one year and 100 000 within three years. It now moves to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass with bipartisan support.

On the environmental front, Audi wants to use solar power to increase the range of its electric vehicles. The carmaker is partnering with Chinese solar company Hanergy to put thin film flexible solar cells into panoramic glass roofs. The goal is to feed solar energy into the internal vehicle electrical system, including air conditioning and other electrical appliances, thus freeing up more of the primary battery to power the engine. Panasonic has built a similar application for Toyota Prius Prime vehicles in Japan, and Elon Musk has discussed similar plans for future Tesla Model 3s. The first Audi prototype is due out by the end of 2017. In other news, Mercedes-Benz has launched a free smartphone app that lets drivers know if they’re ready for an electric or hybrid vehicle. The app runs in the background while drivers move through their daily routines with their existing cars and compares the data it collects with the parameters of electric and hybrid vehicles.



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And Volkswagen and IBM plan to develop digital mobility services together. The aim is to make digital services smarter thanks to IBM’s AI-based Watson technologies. A solution called We Commerce will be the first joint development that appears in Volkswagen’s existing WE digital ecosystem. This will be an integrated service

José Muñoz, Chairman of Nissan North America, recently unveiled the 2018 Nissan LEAF in Las Vegas. The car’s debut followed the LEAF’s global launch in Tokyo, Japan

that provides drivers with personalised recommendations for action at the right place and time, from restaurants that serve the type of food they want to retailers that sell the types of goods they like to buy. Meanwhile, Bosch has launched Perfectly Keyless, an app that turns a smartphone into a car key. As drivers approach their vehicles, on-board sensors identify their smartphones and automatically unlock the car. No key is needed to start the engine either or to lock the car again at the end of a journey. The solution also allows owners to send virtual keys via the cloud to other smartphones – a plus for carsharing providers. Finally, crash avoidance technology is starting to save lives according to a new study from the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study examined 5 000 crashes in 2015 on America’s highways and revealed that lane-departure warnings and blind spot monitoring lowered rates of singlevehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes by 11%. Further, they lowered the rates of injury crashes by 21%. Had those two technologies been integrated into all passenger vehicles in 2015, the study concluded that there would have been nearly 85 000 fewer crashes with 55 000 fewer injuries.

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Automobil October 2017