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June 14, 2018

Witness

WHEELS EDITORIAL: ALWYN VILJOEN 082 4589 332

Toyota celebrated the 86th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours last week with a trio of one-off versions of the GT86 coupe, each in a different livery to celebrate past Le Mans wins. MORE NEW CARS ON PAGE 2, RACING ON PAGE 4

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Foton built in Mkondeni China’s best-selling small trucks assembled alongside Powerstar workhorses in Pietermaritzburg THE builder of Powerstar trucks in Mkondeni is now also assembling light and medium commercial vehicles from Foton. This follows a joint venture between Foton and Powerstar whereby the plant in Mkondeni will assemble 3T, 5T, 7T and 8T trucks from Foton, and rebrand these as Powerstar trucks. Bob Wang, chief executive officer of Ever Star Industries, said since 2014 Ever Star Industries’ focus has been to become a onestop solution for transport owners active in mining and construction, where Powerstar has been most successful. This means offering solutions across the construction equipment/vehicle spectrum, from yellow equipment (Shantui bulldozers, front-end loaders, forklifts etc), to heavy and extra-heavy commercial trucks (Powerstar and Powerland truck tractors, tippers, mixers etc) to the colossal off-road heavy-duty rigid dump truck (NHL). With this range on offer, either through agent agreement or joint venture, Ever Star Industries is able to provide more customers with end-to-end solutions. Wang is very enthusiastic about all the brands in Ever Star Industries’ portfolio, as he explains the group’s reasoning behind the latest joint venture. “Since 2014 we have been introducing more models to the southern African market. Our leading brand remains Powerstar with the V3 and VX ranges. However, we found that the range was too narrow and this was one of the reasons we introduced in 2014 the two Powerland models — a tipper and a truck tractor — to fill the gaps,” Wang said in a statement. “Now we are expanding the offering by bringing in the medium truck range from Foton. “Our Powerstar trucks are assembled in Pietermaritzburg and all carry the Powerstar insignia. “The medium ranges from Foton will follow suit with the Powerstar badging. We are equipped strategically to handle the broad range of vehicles, both in the sales arena and the critical aftermarket service, repair and maintenance area,” said Wang. He said the Powerstar trucks

Bob Wang, CEO of Ever Star Industries. PHOTOS: ALWYN VILJOEN have changed the perception about anything made in China not lasting in Africa’s demanding conditions. “Today we have many loyal customers who have been with the Powerstar brand only, for over 10 years. Because we manufacture locally and are able to source locally, over 20% of parts and components, we can offer a faster build/delivery time from order book to dealer vehicle despatch. “Our aftersales activities offer the same benefit to our customers, with parts that are readily available, mostly immediate or overnight supply. We apply that very same superior standard for aftersales support, no matter which brand,” says Wang. Looking at future trading conditions, Wang said South Africa’s economy is not getting worse and said he expects to see a slow

recovery in the next two to three years. He also believes commodity price increases will see the mining industry in Africa flourish and provide further vehicle sales and service opportunities. A recovering Chinese economy will provide further impetus for resource demands. While the timing of this JV may appear out of sync with current public pessimist outlook, Wang remains cautiously optimistic about South Africa’s transport industry. “We will see much of the same results this year in vehicle sales as last year, maybe slightly better. “Our market differentiator is a good offering from a wide range of vehicles to suit any need, good quality products with low lifecycle cost, and superior service in maintenance and repair. “After establishing a good reputation in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Wang next plans to also sell trucks Malawi, the DRC and Zambia. “We’ll continue to introduce more of our own brands from China, like adding products to our Powerstar brand. “This will increase our own brand representation beyond the current 50% of our portfolio. “We will expand our plant from the current 1 000 units capacity to accommodate new higher-specification vehicles in future. While we will maintain focus on our volume sellers, tippers and water tankers, we will

be in a new position to magnify our market penetration in mining, construction as well as a number of other sectors,” said Wang. Rodney Selesnick, head of truck sales, said the aim is to sell 600 to 650 units for the year, excluding sales of the latest Power-

star FT range of medium-weight trucks, originally from Foton. He said financing remained “a challenge”. “Despite this the slight growth in newcomers in small and medium-sized fleets is comforting.” Two chassis cab Foton trucks will be offered with either a 7,5

or 8,7T gross vehicle mass. Both are powered by the Cummins ISF 3,8-litre engine, 115 kW/500 Nm) coupled to a six-speed ZF Ecolite manual transmission. A full air-brake system is fitted with an auxiliary exhaust brake. Each model carries a 120-litre aluminium fuel tank.

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RADIATOR AND 2K CAR, FLEET & INDUSTRIAL PAINT SALE BUMPER SALE!!! THINNERS, MASKING TAPE, PRIMERS, BODY FILLERS & BODY STRIPES The assembly line at Ever Star Industries in Pietermaritzburg started building Foton’s small, rigid trucks alongside the much larger Powerstar truck tractor shown here.

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WitnessWheels

MOTORING

June 14, 2018

NEW MODELS IN BRIEF

VW has released a Polo with a GTI badge, which sells for R375 900. This pays for a cabin with all the buttons and under the hood, VW’s proven 2.0 TSI engine (147kW / 320 Nm), sport suspension and an XDS differential lock that turns the Polo GTI into a compact sports car. It comes standard with a 3 year/120 000km warranty, 3year/45 000km Volkswagen Service and a 12-year anticorrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15 000 km. PHOTO: QUICKPIC

Electric Freightliners steal Tesla thunder After looking like it was lagging behind Tesla, Volvo and Nikola in the electic truck race, Daimler last week shot ahead with the launch of the long range electric Freightliner eCascadia truck (centre), and the shortrange, medium-sized chassis for electric trucks or buses (left and right). Daimler plans to deliver the first 30 units of these two trucks to customers in North America by the end of the year. PHOTO: DAIMLER

Load hailer in KZN Droppa next plans to deploy its ‘Uber for loads’ in KZN cities ALWYN VILJOEN Suzuki Auto has re-introduced the Suzuki Dzire as a stand-alone brand on a bigger platform. Three models are on sale, all driven by a 1.2 litre engine (61 kW/113Nm) matched to a five-speed manual or auto box. Prices start at R161 900 for the 1.2 GA Manual. All models are sold with Suzuki’s acclaimed 5-year/200 000 km mechanical warranty and a 2-year/30 000 km service plan, while student finance is available. PHOTO: MOTORPRESS

BMW dealers expect the new X5 in November, and will offer two diesels, the flagship M50d quad-turbo straight-six diesel, (294 kW /760Nm), or the six cylinder xDrive30d (195kW and 620Nm). Mzansi prices and specs will be announced nearer to launch, and options range from air suspension and an electronic rear differential lock, to massage seats, heated armrests and a 26cm touchscreen. PHOTO: BMW

Uniti last month received “an expected preorder” of over €50 million (over R773 million) for its carbon-fibre monohul, electric two-seater, which the Swedish startup plans to bring to market late next year. Northern European cities where internal combustion engines face bans and “last mile” vehicles are much better than bicycling in winter, will get first deliveries of the the Uniti One. Additional markets for the vehicle will be added progressively shortly thereafter. Uniti does not have a dealership network, the cars can instead be ordered direct on their website or via partnerships with consumer electronics retailers. Preorder entails a €149 (over R2 300) deposit to secure a spot in the growing queue for the first deliveries on www.uniti.earth. PHOTO: UNITI

DROPPA, billed as South Africa’s first “Uber for bakkies” is soon coming to KZN. The app, available for Android and Apple, is the brainchild of Khatutshelo Mufamadi, who used his own bakkie for deliveries in his spare time while working as a computer programmer at a bank. Seeing a gap in the market, he started working on an e-hailing service for bakkies and trucks in 2015 and after investing R200 000 of his own capital and raising a further R1,4 million in seed capital, he launched the app late last year. Since then Droppa has signed up 450 users in Gauteng, with new drivers daily adding to the pool of Droppa vehicles, currently approaching 80 in number. Mufamadi told Wheels the company will in the first quarter

of next year expand to Durban, Maritzburg and Richards Bay. To apply to become a ownerdriver for Droppa requires completing on the company website the name and phone number of the Droppa driver, plus supporting documents of the company or sole proprietor. Successful applicants are listed on the app and receive a cap and T-shirt for mahala. Mufamadi told Wheels he is looking for drivers with vehicles ranging from half-tonner bakkies to 8-tonner trucks. Vehicles must have valid RWC, with reasonably low mileage. The smaller the load the lower the rate, the minimum is R200 within five kilometres, after which the client pays R6/km. For four-ton loads the minimum charge is R2 000 within five kilometres plus R25/km thereafter.

Creator of Droppa, Khatutshelo Mufamadi. PHOTO: FIN24 As with Uber, Droppa clients — the people to whom deliveries are made — receive the driver’s details and the vehicle registration number on their cellphones when they request a drop, and a map allows them to follow location of the Droppa vehicle. Goods are insured in the case of damage or loss while in transit

or in storage. “We cater for all household and office furniture with different vehicle types to meet all your delivery need. Our secure payment methods allow you to get the right truck at your doorstep and will be with you at the destination of your choice,” states Mufamadi on the website. What aspiring partners want to know is how much they can earn from Droppa, and Mufamdi said the driver gets 85% of the fee, while Droppa takes 15%. Mufamadi was one of two companies from South Africa who pitched his business against 6 000 other start-ups at the Viva Technology Conference in Paris in May. He said he returned from France with several leads to grow Droppa and apart from the three cities in KZN, will also expand to the Western Cape next. More on www.droppa.co.za

Mossel Bay Isuzu clocks more than a million AN 18-year-old Isuzu 250 Diesel Double Cab has travelled over one million kilometres and is still going strong. Much like its retired owner, David Manley from Mossel Bay, the Isuzu bakkie is still just as busy as before it hit the one-million kilometres mark about a year ago. In fact, Manley and his wife, Gillian, took the bakkie on an adventure just a month after it hit the milestone — which demonstrates Manley’s confidence in the reliability of his Isuzu 250 Diesel LE. “Our last trip to Etosha in Namibia was done in July last year, as we had a week to kill after Gillian and I hiked the Naukluft trail and started the Fish River Canyon trail. We travelled up on largely — now — very bad gravel roads via Walvis Bay and the Skeleton Coast. The vehicle has been to Etosha before, so it knew the way! “Our Isuzu has also travelled extensively around South Africa, mostly with a boat on the roof taking my son from regatta to regatta during his high school

David Manley and his dog, Bonny, with his old faithful Isuzu 25 Diesel LE. PHOTO: QUICKPIC years,” said Manley, a retired ship surveyor. Almost a year after hitting one million kilometres and going on the adventurous trip to the Kalahari and back, the Isuzu bakkie is now used for general transportation and farm work, such as pulling out alien vegetation on the Manleys’ farm at Ruiterbos outside Mossel Bay. “The bakkie was bought new in 2000 from CP Nel Motors in

Mossel Bay and has given me sterling service. The vehicle was serviced by CP Nel up to 200 000 km, and thereafter I did the routine services myself. “The engine and turbo are original and have never been opened. I had the brakes and suspension serviced independently as required. The engine still uses no oil between oil changes,” Manley said.

The bakkie’s timing gears were renewed at 500 000 km and an exchange gearbox installed at 540 000 km. “The vehicle is getting a bit rusty ... I did not think it would last this long, so I stopped body maintenance around the 800 000 km mark. That is the vehicle’s body, not mine, which continues to age no matter what I do!” Manley said. — Supplied.


MOTORING WitnessWheels

June 14, 2018

Made to drive far on little SHAY KALIK moves swiftly along in a car that guys in ‘rokkies’ like a lot IN Japan, they know a thing or two about making small cars. In famously frugal Scotland, real men wear rokkies and know all about saving money. In India, car adverts are not based on the 0-100 dash, but their cents per kilometre running costs. In all three of these countries, the new Suzuki Swift is a winner. The hatch won the Researchers and Journalists Conference (RJC) Car of the Year award in Japan; the Compact Car of the Year in Scotland and by the time you finish reading this, chances are they’ve sold another Swift in India, where a new Suzuki is sold every three minutes. The new Swift was also named a top three finalist of the World Urban Car of the Year, so you can imagine I moved, well, swiftly when I got a chance to drive the new hatch at its local launch at Ballito last week. Already available at Suzuki in Pietermaritzburg, the new Swift follows in the tread marks of over 19 000 units from the previous model years. André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa, said judging by how swiftly the new model is selling abroad, he believes the Swift will continue to delight drivers in Msanzi too. When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, which is why Isuzu kept the K12M engine from the previous model. My mechanic mates tell me this engine is bulletproof and as light on fuel as you are with the right foot, right? For those who want to know how, a compression ratio of 11:1 — high for a small petrol engine — makes the fuel burn better, so you use less. The four over-stroked pistons make 113 Nm at 4 200 rpm, enabling slow driving in third gear. And getting out of first and second gear is how one saves fuel, as anyone with a car that shows real time consumption can tell you. Peak power is 61 kW at a high 6 000 revs.

You will have to flatten the accelerator to extract the full potential of the vehicles engine and on the Highveld’s thin air, the added mass of just one passenger will make a marked difference in performance of this normally aspirated engine. Very few Swift buyers will want to go faster. Instead, Venter fully expects them to improve on the Swift’s official fuel consumption of 4,9 litres per 100 km. This means Swift drivers will aim to get 20 km from every litre in a combined cycle, or 750 km from the 37-litre tank. For most commuters, this will mean filling up every second month to get to work. And when getting into fifth gear (in either the auto or manual box) en route to the holiday destination, they will travel even further on a tank, which is the whole aim of this vehicle — to go further on every cent. A tight turning circle means easy parking too. Three model derivatives are on sale in SA, starting at just under R160k. To put in perspective how low this is, at the Fury Suzuki dealer in Maritzburg, R160k can also buy you a Honda Brio or — down the road at Nissan — the Micra. Both of these super minis are smaller than the Swift, which comes with aircon, front and rear electric windows, ABS with EBD, Isofix child seat anchors and two airbags. The GL adds a multifunction steering wheel and a rear luggage cover inside and colour coded bits outside. All models are sold with Suzuki’s acclaimed five-year or 200 000 km mechanical warranty and a two-year or 30 000 km service plan.

The new Suzuki Swift takes on all rivals in the R160k range with a promise to go 20 km on a litre of petrol and the proven reliability of its K12M petrol engine. PHOTO: MOTORPRESS

A CORNER IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE

NOW AT JAGUAR PIETERMARITZBURG With its advanced driving technologies the New E-PACE will have you seeking out every curve. Featuring Torque Vectoring by Braking, which increases steering control, you’re assured of precise, agile handling. With intelligent AWD*, which continually varies torque between front and rear wheels, you’re given optimum grip and balance. And with Active Driveline**, for improved dynamics plus greater traction, corners suddenly become even more inviting. Responsive handling. Supreme control. The E-PACE bends the rules, so you can rule the bends.

The Jaguar E-Pace is is scheduled for introduction in October, offering Jaguar Land Rover’s 2.0 litre, fourcylinder turbocharged Ingenium petrol engine in the big sport utility. This 147kW model completes the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.2 seconds, delivering fuel economy of 8,2 l/100km and CO2 emissions of 186 g/km. The new engine features the same collection of advanced technologies found across the rest of the Ingenium engine family. This includes a twin scroll turbocharger, Continuously Variable Valve Lift and variable cam timing which work to enhance power and efficiency as well as drivability. PHOTO: MOTORPRESS

Jaguar Pietermaritzburg 9 Armitage Road, Bird Sanctuary 033 897 8860 pietermaritzburg.jaguar.co.za

*Ts and Cs apply. AWD is standard with D240, P240 and P300 engines. Optional with D150 and D180 engines. **Active Driveline is available with D240 and P300 engines.

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WitnessWheels

MOTORING RACING

June 14, 2018

McKelvey aims for new record at Hakskeenpan ALWYN VILJOEN

When there is mud, KZN rally racers Dean Redelinghuys and Amon Meyiwa (CTH Transport) are in their element. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Rally resurgence Rebel racing group attracts sizeable field to Secunda race ALWYN VILJOEN THE finest form of car racing — rally — is experiencing something of a local resurgence after many years of steadily shrinking fields. A lot of the credit for this resurgence has to go to self-confessed adrenaline junkie Cobus Groenewald. After years of rally racers moaning about Motorsport South Africa being too this and too that, Groenewald found the Africa Regional Rally Organisation (Arro). On Arro’s website, rally racers who compete under Arro state their aim is to make motorsport in South Africa accessible, safe and fun for everyone. The racers have been racing under the international affiliation of the national federation, the World of Motorsport ZA, (Womza) since 2013 and while Arro’s events come with all the usual bickering associated with racing, the organisation’s support base is growing. One such supporter is Dean Redelinghuys from Pietermaritzburg, who invited Wheels along to the second round of the Womza National Rally Championship, which was held in Secunda on Saturday, Apart from us KZNers, a relatively large field of 26 other cars had entered, with racers from the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Some crews worked from the back of a bakkie, and they had lots to do, as this year’s tracks on the farm Holfontein had several rough sections that saw 11 cars retire. The marshalls also used stop watches and soon trusted the drivers to nominate their times. After the seventh stage was cancelled, racing concluded with a shambolic night stage and 16 cars in parc fermé. KZN competitors Redelinghuys and navigator Amon Meyiwa, as well as eventual class winners Marco Ferreira and Hannes Pienaar, were among the crews who got “a bit lost”. At the jovial prize-giving ceremony Groenwald apologised in Afrikaans for the race being “a bit of a shambles”, but thanked all who travelled far to have fun against other rally addicts. That is the part that Motorsport SA events have been missing in recent times — the fun.

Class winners Marco Ferreira and Hannes Pienaar make dust in their WRX. PHOTOS: ALWYN VILJOEN

PIETERMARITZBURG biker Matthew “Bushy” McKelvey aims to take back his Guinness World Record for the greatest distance on a motorbike in 24 hours. He set the record of 3 257,5 km in 2014, averaging a blistering 200km/h around the Phakisa 2,5 km oval track near Welkom. That was his second attempt, after the first attempt in December 2013 saw him crashing in the rain. He went back to Welkom and broke by 7,6 km the record set by American Russell “Rusty” Vaughn on a 2010 Harley- Matthew ‘Bushy’ McKelvey. Davidson FLHTK Electra-Glide PHOTO: ALWYN VILJOEN Limited in Texas in August 2011. Then a year ago, on June 13, anoth- Nuvo and his organisation, Out On er American, Carl Reese, went and A Limb. rode 3 410,2 km in 24 hours on a McKelvey started his two-wheeled BMW K1600GT, smashing McKel- records with another distance world vey’s record by 160,3 km. record, having ridden a scooter over Next week, McKelvey travels to 1 400 km in 24 hours. Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape He is also a double amputee with to take it back. two prosthetic legs and his Out On McKelvey last week told Wheels he A Limb project supports and enables used 17 tyres and burnt through people to do more despite any physiR5 700 worth of fuel in his previous cal challenges. 24-hour record-setting ride, and his More on www.ooal.org.za next attempt to regain his title will • alwyn.viljoen@witness.co.za consume more of the same, Did you know? only, fuel is a lot more ex• Ov er 300 people rem pensive now. oved thousands of tons of pebbles from Ha McKelvey is gratekskeen Pan to ensu re the Bloodhound’s ful for the support of attempt to set a new world land sp the Northern Cape eed record will have government, Össur • MTN have erecte a smooth run. d five Prosthetic Solueach 70 metres hig mobile phone towers, h, so the world ca tions, KTM South Afn follow the Bloodho und’s attempt. rica, Garden City Commercials, Pirelli tyres, iStyle Bikes, BDK Auto Shop, GoPro,

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Sisters Yvonne and Bianca Theunissen from Sabie “had to fix a ball joint” halfway through the rally, “but the thing bliksemed out again”, gifting podium placers (inset) Caro Storm and Andrea Raaths the informal title of fastest all-women team of the day.

Duminy ready to move up DANIEL Duminy is champing at the bit ahead of the fourth round Engen Polo Cup at the East London Grand Prix Circuit Saturday. Ballito’s fastest teen has had a positive start to the season, including several top-10 finishes. CV Joint Daniel said the East London Grand Prix Circuit is the speCialists fastest in South Africa with a few daunting, high-speed for CV joints, ball joints, corners and the SMD Racing Polo was tuned and ready. tie rod ends, wheel bearings. Good points from the coastal track will see Daniel rocket up the championship log — there are just 10 341 GReYlinG stReet points between 10 cars in the title race. Pmb. 033 342 9174/75 — Motorsport Media.

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Wheels _14_June2018  

Motoring across KwaZulu-Natal since 1904.

Wheels _14_June2018  

Motoring across KwaZulu-Natal since 1904.

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