This Week In The News

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  • South Africa's motoring industry will likely produce its first electric car in 2026, the trade minister said on Monday.

  • New GWM Ora electric car recalled in Australia due to a programming hiccup that could lead to the battery-powered vehicle electrocuting its operator if it is improperly disconnected whilst charging.

  • Kia and Hyundai have announced an innovative new ‘Uni Wheel’ drive system that aims to revolutionize the design and packaging of future electric vehicles. Uni Wheel (which stands for Universal Wheel Drive System) is described as a functionally integrated wheel drive system that moves the main drive system components to the vacant space within the wheel hub. (A very technical read, but well worth the effort.)

  • Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda caused a stir when he openly questioned an EV-only strategy in the quest for carbon-neutral automobiles. In remarks made to reporters in Thailand, Toyoda argued a sound strategy should include hybrids and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

  • Crossovers have rapidly become one of the most popular body styles in South Africa, accounting for a sizeable 18% of the entire market in 2022, or 96,534 units out of the 529,557 new vehicles sold in the country. 

The sales and market share of crossovers in South Africa between 2018 and 2022, according to data compiled by Ford, were as follows:


The medium and long-term outlook for the second-hand vehicle market in South Africa

The vehicle market remains in a state of flux due to frequent power cuts, ongoing increases in the repo rate and various other factors influencing the total cost of vehicle ownership.

According to the credit bureau TransUnion, rising vehicle prices and diminishing disposable incomes made it challenging for consumers to purchase vehicles, resulting in motorists holding onto their cars for longer, which led to a shortage of high-quality used vehicles.

The TransUnion VPI report shows the used-to-new ratio declined YoY from 2.1 in Q2 2022 to 1.8 in Q2 2023, indicating the mentioned limited access to quality used vehicle stock.

According to the report, used-vehicle prices have experienced, on average, a more significant increase than new cars, with the report recording a price increase of 9.8% in Q1 2023 (3.5% above inflation).

Interestingly, the report also showed that older cars (three years old) showed an even greater price increase – with prices rising between 15.8% and 19.6%.

“These trends suggest consumers are becoming more discerning as they seek value in a challenging market,” the report said.

Despite this, digital marketplaces are transforming the way buyers and sellers interact over the sale of vehicles. The popularity of these platforms is a testament to the shift.

The table below shows the top 10 brands sold, arranged from the lowest to the highest average listing price. Models within these brands range from 1990 to 2023.

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The average ticket value, financed, for November 2023, within the Blue Chip Dealer Group, was R 317 456.00.


No immediate plan to cut EV taxes in South Africa

South African consumers will have to wait longer for the price of electric cars to come down after the trade minister kicked the issue into touch.

Trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel said changing customs duties at this stage is unlikely to affect the local production of electric vehicles (EVs) for export.

The news is likely to disappoint the motoring industry, which has been lobbying government for years to cut the import duties on EVs, which are significantly higher than for vehicles with internal combustion engines. Governments in many other markets have moved to incentivize the sale of EVs; in South Africa, the opposite is true.

“We will talk to the industry from time to time to decide on the optimal moment to change import duties”.
“At an appropriate point in time, we will look at that as a measure,” Patel said on Monday at a briefing on the release of government’s long-awaited white paper on EV’s.


Did you know:

  • South Africa is the world’s 14th-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions, and it burns coal to generate more than 80% of its electricity.

  • Most automakers have an 8 to 10-year or 160,000 km warranty period on electric car batteries.
  • There have been two major battery recalls in recent years, both related to similar battery pack flaws in the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV and the Hyundai Kona Electric. The remedy for both of these recalls was a sweeping battery replacement program covered by the manufacturers. Other than these two recalls, though, battery replacements in the recurrent community remain rare.

  • When vehicles were first introduced in 1886, few families could afford them and ownership was considered a luxury? Today, there are 1.4 billion cars—that's about one car for every seven people!


Quote of the day:

Do nothing and nothing will change.