Thursday, 11 February 2010


TOYOTA SAYS: Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) yesterday announced the vehicles to be included in its recall service campaign to correct the accelerator mechanism in these cars.

The list of affected vehicles is the result of an exhaustive technical study which covered all Toyota vehicles on sale in South Africa. The affected passenger vehicle models are:

Toyota Corolla (February 2007 to January 2010)     – 45 040 vehicles
Toyota Auris (June 2006 to January 2010)         – 6 665 vehicles
Toyota Verso (October 2008 to January 2010)         – 841 vehicles

This equates to a total of 52 546 Toyota vehicles that will form part of this campaign.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


GM SAYS: NASA and General Motors are working together to accelerate development of the next generation of robots and related technologies for use in both the automotive and aerospace industries.

Using leading edge control, sensor and vision technologies, NASA and GM engineers and scientists came together through a Space Act Agreement at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to build a new dexterous humanoid robot capable of working side by side with people – whether that means helping GM create safer cars and safer manufacturing plants or assisting NASA astronauts on dangerous space missions.


NISSAN SAYS: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Tuesday announced financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2009, ending March 31, 2010, as well as for the first nine months. In the third quarter, the consolidated net income after taxes totalled 45 billion yen (US $480 million, euro 340 million). The better-than-expected results were due mainly to additional sales volumes driven by scrapping incentives in major markets, sales volume growth in China and the effective execution of countermeasures put in place following the global financial and economic crisis.

Net revenues were 1.9962 trillion yen (US $21.33 billion, euro 15.01 billion), increased by 9.9% compared with a year ago.  Operating profit was 134.1 billion yen (US $1.43 billion, euro 1.01 billion), and the operating profit margin came to 6.7%. Ordinary profit was 112.7 billion yen (US $1.20 billion, euro 850 million).

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Crossover vehicles are becoming more and more common worldwide and South Africa isn’t lagging too far behind in those stakes. Before going any further, a crossover vehicle is one that features attributes found in a number of models. In the instance of the new Peugeot 3008, those models are sedan, SUV and station wagon. It’s a car that crosses over – not politically – from genre to genre.

“Through its non-conformist approach and resolute styling, the Peugeot 3008 is a genuinely pioneering vehicle. It offers original solutions and extended versatility to those customers seeking a practical, safe, reassuring and hugely enjoyable motoring package,” explains Jean Francois Bacos, MD of Peugeot Motors South Africa.

“By blending the best attributes of the most popular contemporary market segments into one vehicle concept, the Peugeot 3008 is a true crossover in every respect. It opens up new motoring horizons, and will appeal to buyers on both an emotive and a rational level.”


Volkswagen South Africa has finally heeded the call to put the range-topping Scirocco on par with its GTI sibling in terms of power. Launched in April 2009, the two-door coupe is now being sold with a 2.0-litre TSI engine with 155kW, just like the GTI. Previously it was available with the old 147kW motor which seemed a little out of place considering it was a brand new car. This also puts it on a better footing with the upcoming Scirocco R which normally makes 195kW but will be detuned to about 188kW for the Mzansi market.

Its peak torque is 280Nm made between 1700rpm and 5200rpm. VW says the Scirocco TSI (red SI) will be offered with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed DSG transmission. Sprint times are 6.9 seconds for the 0 – 100km/h dash and top speed is 240 km/h for the manual and 238km/h for the DSG.

Volkswagen Scirocco Pricing
2.0 TSI Manual (R325 200)
2.0 TSI DSG (R339 700)

Monday, 8 February 2010


When the BMW M3 first came out, Porsche had reason to feel frightened. Here was a compact premium coupe that would give its iconic 911 a run for its money in handling, speed and space, at a much lower price. Today the shoe is in the other foot. BMW’s 7 Series really has something to fear in the new Panamera.

Anyone who says the Panamera is ugly hasn’t seen it in the metal. Sure there are suspect areas, like the rear and the parts of the roof. The front end is of course classic Porsche, which in English means it looks like a 911. The front grille on the lower bumper, sharp teardrop eyes, simple rounded lines on the bonnet and sides. I noticed how “Porsche” the Gran Turismo is when glancing rearwards on the side mirror to be greeted by its bulging shoulder line. How “Porsche” is that? Topping it all off is there rear end featuring simple but elegant lines. By modern design standards it may very well be called boring, or at least it would invoke some sort of feeling.

Porsche doesn’t care, actually. Back in 2002 when the Cayenne broke cover for the first time some traditional Porschephiles were left aghast. Or so the mainstream motoring media would have us believe. Actually the company’s closest clients were all invited, at various stages (myself included, although on a more professional level) to go view the car. We were all quite impressed. Years later that SUV has become its maker’s biggest selling model, outselling the 911 3:1 in most cases.


FORD SAYS: Less than six months after Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company president and CEO, revealed the new Figo to India, the first production model was driven off the assembly line today with the Honourable Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu D. M Karunanidi in attendance.

Dr. M K Stalin, Honourable Deputy Chief Minister, Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India, Raj Nair, Ford vice president of operations, Asia Pacific and Africa, Sandip Sanyal, Ford executive director of operations for India, and nearly three thousand employees of the newly expanded facilities were on hand to take part in the Job 1 ceremony.

"Less than six months ago, Ford Motor Company reaffirmed its commitment to transform the plant located here outside of Chennai into a regional manufacturing centre of excellence," Boneham said.  ''It's a great honour to have you with us as our projects and investments are turning into reality and as our first Ford Figo comes off the assembly line."


GM SAYS: The Chevrolet Cruze, GMSA’s new offering in the high volume ‘C’ segment of the passenger car market offers value for money and exceptional build quality and safety. These combine with economy of operation and highly competitive parts pricing to provide a recipe for low total cost of operation over the life of the vehicle. The solid global reputation of the iconic Chevrolet brand adds an element of security when the time comes to sell the vehicle on to a new owner.

GMSA offers the Chevrolet Cruze in a range of four models with value packed pricing of R174 192 for the 1.6 L; R186 126 for the 1.6 LS; R204 133 for the 1.8 LS and R244 440 for the top-of-the-range 1.8 LT.  Prices include VAT and a three year/60 000km Service Plan that takes care of all normal serving costs over this period leaving just normal wear parts and exceptional items for the owner’s account.