Welcome to the weekly edition of Droomers Weekly your leading news and information source on Nissan, Droomers Nissan and the motor industry in general. Our objectives are to be informational, educational and relevant. We will also appreciate comments, complaints and suggestions and you can e-mail us at email@example.com.
The Datsun legend is surging to new heights in South Africa. With just under two years back in the local market, and leading the competitive and ultra-challenging A-segment - there is no doubt that the brand is poised to remain a recognised leader on the local motoring scene.
Leading the challenge for Datsun’s ‘rebirth’ in South Africa has been the Datsun GO, which true to the values that have been part of Datsun’s history, has carved an enviable niche for itself in South Africa. Its target market, drivers in the 18 to 30 year old category - many of them first-time new car buyers - have responded to the opportunity to buy a vehicle that not only offers appealing styling, but also value for money motoring.
“South Africa is undoubtedly the most challenging market on the African continent. Motorists are knowledgeable and have their pick of brands when it comes to satisfying their needs. It is a unique market which literally offers a ‘global choice’ when it comes to cars, and competition for market share is fierce. This is particularly so when the economy isn’t faring well, people are budget conscious and buying a new car is a major decision that is not taken lightly,” says Vincent Cobee, Global Head of Datsun.
“However, we had no doubt that the Datsun GO, which had made its mark in several international markets, was the right vehicle to re-introduce the Datsun brand to South Africans. We also believed that the market was ready for a new entrant in the entry-level A-segment.
“We were confident that value for money and attractive maintenance and running costs would appeal to a young market looking for the opportunity to own a brand new car - one that had the personality underlining the feelings of freedom that are vital to trend-setting ‘Risers’ in the South African market.”
“The fact that we are announcing the broadening of the Datsun offering, with the Datsun GO+, proves that we are truly part of the local market. We are also excited to be offering the values that have made the Datsun GO a winner with individual motorists, to the business sector with the introduction of the GO+ Panel Van. This will appeal to business owners looking for an urban workhorse that carries the largest payload in its category, along with extremely attractive operating costs in the light commercial vehicle segment.”
Placing a ‘hands-on’ perspective on the achievements of the Datsun brand in South Africa, Des Fenner, General Manager of Datsun South Africa, pointed out that since its introduction in October 2014, The Datsun GO had:
Set a record in A–segment with an appealing total sticker price of R89 900, when it was first introduced.
“Of all the achievements notched up by the Datsun GO in its short history, the Kinsey Report is undoubtedly the most significant, as it monitors the cost of everyday motoring,” said Mr Fenner.
The GO scored well in the three major categories to evaluate the costs of maintaining and repairing cars, and which were applied to a total of 74 vehicles across nine motoring categories (all costs monitored included VAT).
When all categories were taken into account, the total for the Datsun GO parts basket came in at a significant low of R37 631.73, ahead of its stable-mate, the second vehicle in the segment, the Nissan Micra (at R44 479.41).
Comparative costs for the same basket of spares for the most expensive vehicle in the entry level segment of the market came in at R91 209.93 - more than twice that of the Datsun GO!
“Our major achievement since re-entering South Africa has been making it possible for a new generation of drivers to acquire their first brand new vehicle, and so break through to independence.
“The Kinsey Report affirmed our other primary objective; making the Datsun GO one of the easiest and most economical vehicles to keep on the road, something that is particularly important when the present financial pressures on personal motoring budgets are considered,” said Mr Fenner.
“During July 2016, Naamsa reported that a total of 44 883 new vehicles were sold. This reflected a substantial decline, down by 9 222 vehicles (or 17%) of the 54 105 vehicles sold in the comparative month in 2015.
“In the same month, Naamsa also reported that total sales for cars with a cubic capacity of 1 400cc or less, totalled 2 507. Of these sales, the Datsun GO’s volume was 277 cars, making it the best seller in the A-segment.
“When compared to sales of more expensive models in other segments, the A-segment, based on sales, is undoubtedly the most sustainable in the present market. We expect sales to stay at around these levels with the Datsun GO+ and GO + Panel Van attracting additional sales for Datsun.
“Times may be tough, but there is always going to be an appetite for quality, attractively priced entry level models in South Africa. Our aim is to continue to provide choice to buyers needing to monitor their budgets without compromising on dealer support - something we now offer through 99 dealers across the country,” said Mr Fenner.
The global automotive industry and many related facets of the business are changing rapidly as the digital revolution causes major disruption. This makes it essential for motor businesses to adapt or die.
This message came through loud and clear at the biennial CAR Conference held at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit as part of the South African Festival of Motoring last week, where the overall conference theme was “Consumer Trends and Disruption: How SA automakers can drive the change required to adapt to a new future.”
The arrival of self-driving autonomous cars sooner rather than later was also a topic for many of the speakers.
Martyn Briggs, an industry principal of Frost and Sullivan in the United Kingdom and one of the keynote speakers, presented on the topic “Megatrends and the future of mobility”, an area of the industry where he is an expert. His address was an ideal scene-setter for the intriguing series of presentations that followed.
A lot of what Briggs told the delegates was admittedly about future developments but he also had plenty of facts and figures about what was happening right now in terms of ride sharing, car sharing and ride hailing apps as well as the increasing use of apps to assist in finding a parking space in congested cities.
Briggs went on to explain how digital dealerships using small showrooms in shopping malls, with only one or two cars on display and doing business online, were proving increasingly successful in the UK. He predicted that this trend is expected to spread worldwide.
Briggs added that most people now know exactly which car they want to buy by the time they entered the relevant dealership and on average only visited the dealer only twice when doing the deal to buy a new car.
Briggs said that car design is another aspect of the automotive world that is being influenced by the changing digital landscape and the manner in which more and more vehicles are being used these days. This is resulting in the so-called trifecta design proposition whereby traditional body styles like hatches, sedans, MPVs and SUVs are being crossed and morphed to make hybrid designs. Examples here are the Suzuki SX4 and Tesla Model X.
Shayne Mann, the managing director of Mann Made, a brand experience company, summed up the rapidly changing automotive landscape when he said: “Technology is disrupting every industry worldwide and motor retail is not going to be spared. Disruption is coming - from online retail to driverless cars - and those who don’t learn to innovate now will find themselves left behind.”
Mann, who has already been involved in developing virtual automotive showrooms for local dealer groups, offered sound advice and examples of how dealers can catch the wave and start innovating faster.
He says that It’s “time to reboot!”; it is not necessary to throw away the expertise and physical footprint offered by traditional dealerships, but rather to re-imagine their role in an uncertain (but exciting) future.
Chris de Kock, the managing director of Wesbank, the country’s leading vehicle finance house and the main sponsor of the Festival of Motoring, continued in the same vein about the need for change. He said that the current linear process of buying a car - search, sell, finance, buy – had to change as it was inefficient, did not offer a personalised experience and was expensive for the customer.
De Kock said WesBank was mulling the various disruptive technologies that will deliver the desired experience to the customer. Options include Platform Business Systems, Blockchain, Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things.
The need for change was reinforced by Dave Duarte, the founder of Treeshake, a consultancy dedicated to growing digital marketing capability, who also served as the master of ceremonies at the conference.
He set the scene by explaining that the growth towards a digital world in South Africa was driven by the fact that the number of active website users in the country, which now numbered 18-million people, was already double the number of cars on South African roads.
Other thought-provoking statistics that were put on the table by Duarte were that 45.9% of 1 000 people surveyed in SA would be willing to buy a car online and that only 17 people out of more than 4 000 interviewed in another survey said they were satisfied with the current car buying process; all the others wanted change.
Duarte warned dealers that quick responses were necessary when dealing with potential buyers online. “They are not prepared to wait long for feedback to queries.”
The founder of Treeshake also explained that buyers of new vehicles were using general websites such as Gumtree when buying a new vehicle and not only using these sites for buying used vehicles. This trend has resulted in many dealers now using Gumtree and similar online websites to advertise both new and used models.
Delegates to this well-attended conference, which enjoyed backing from Gumtree, Tracker and Sasol, were certainly not left in any doubt that the digital world was the way to go if they still wanted to be in business in the future.
Mike Whitfield, the President of NAAMSA and Managing Director of the Nissan Group of Africa, painted an encouraging picture of the future of the South African motor industry when he was one of the keynote speakers at the CAR Conference last week. He spoke on the topic “The automotive industry in 2020 and beyond; moving with the times.’
This important biennial motor industry conference was co-located with the SA Festival of Motoring at Kyalami and was very well attended.
Besides his comments on the SA industry, Whitfield was also able to give an insight into the industry in Africa following a recent visit to Nigeria as a member of a delegation from the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM).
He stressed the importance of the local motor industry’s contribution to SA’s overall economy where it accounts for 7.5% of GDP and a massive 33.5% of the country’s manufacturing output. SA now ranks 21st in the world in terms of annual vehicle production, but this figure of 650 000 units manufactured locally last year accounts for only 0,7% of total global output. The industry objective is to lift this to 1% by 2020.
Whitfield said the business environment currently was both tough and complex, with macro economic factors such as high interest rates, a weak rand and ongoing fluctuations in the fuel price. Other major influencers affecting the industry were rapid advances in technology, new players in the automotive industry, such as Uber, Google and Tesla, as well as changing consumer behavioural patterns.
“Fortunately we enjoy ongoing support and stimulation from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), highlighted by the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), which runs to 2020, and its predecessor, the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP), both of which has contributed to the local motor industry’s growing international competitiveness.
“These programmes have resulted in huge amounts of capital investment over the years, including R24-billion between 2011 and 2015, with R7.6-billion slated for investment this year,’ said Whitfield. “The focus on efficiencies has also resulted in the number of vehicle platforms manufactured in South Africa being slashed from 42 in 1966 to only 12 in 2016.”
Already the DTI has appointed a technical team to assist in the development of a post 2020 master plan aimed at ensuring the long term sustainability of the industry in terms of policy and support mechanisms. Other objectives are to increase investment, production and exports while creating more job opportunities.
In view of Nissan’s extensive involvement in the development of electric vehicles it was understandable that Whitfield focused on this form of alternative power when discussing the rapidly changing landscape in terms of vehicle technology.
Although the take up of electric vehicles has been slow in SA Whitfield says he believes the expanding network of charging stations being established jointly by Nissan and BMW will increase sales of these vehicles in the future.
Whitfield presented some interesting views on the growth of alternative mobility options with changing vehicle ownership patterns, shrinking dealerships, virtual sales, an emphasis on low cost fleet servicing and the ongoing development of mobility technology by the OEMs.
Whitfield, in his position as Vice Chairman of AAAM made interesting observations in his presentation about the situation of the motor industry in the rest of Africa. He said there were challenges in terms of unclear automotive policies, high levels of ownership of vehicles by fleets, strong used car markets together with large numbers of so-called grey imports, while finance to purchase vehicles was a major stumbling block due to the high interest rates charged.
However, there were also opportunities, including viable automotive assembly sectors, inter-regional trade, self-sustainability and an entry into the global automotive industry,
Whitfield summed up by saying that for the SA motor industry to flourish until 2010 and beyond it was vital that all the players moved with the times in terms of innovation, new thinking, finding creative solutions and different ways of doing things.
Your vehicle’s oil level must always be checked when the vehicle is cold and parked on a level surface. Never exceed the maximum mark on the dipstick as this will cause heavy fuel consumption and possible engine damage, a perfect indication will be 2 mm below the maximum mark.
Japanese automaker Nissan Motor has come up with a new type of gasoline engine it says may make some of today's advanced diesel engines obsolete.The new engine uses variable compression technology, which Nissan engineers say allows it at any given moment to choose an optimal compression ratio for combustion - a key factor in the trade-off between power and efficiency in all gasoline-fuelled engines.
Summer is fast approaching and motorists across South Africa need to ensure that along with the more pleasant weather, their cars, and their attitudes on the road, also need to be in tip-top shape.
Gymnastics sensation Max Whitlock has become one of the first Team GB athletes to be presented with an all-gold Nissan LEAF following his medal triumph at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games yesterday. The Nissan ambassador made headlines around the world when he took two gold medals – securing gold on the floor and pommel horse – on what has been dubbed ‘Sensational Sunday’.
A woman was killed when a truck, loaded with Takata airbag detonators caught fire and exploded in front of her house. Many other houses in the area were damaged in the blast.
WHEN you are the fastest man in the world, it makes sense you would like fast cars.
As if going for three 100m gold medals in three successive Olympic Games wasn’t enough, Usain Bolt is trying to achieve another triple — he wants a third Nissan GT-R.
The genuine car enthusiast first fell in love with the car after fellow Jamaican athlete Asafa Powell told him to look at the model.
“I checked it out and it was just the ultimate car. So I got one,” he toldSun Motors
South Africa's roads can be a dangerous place. Apart from the usual risk of crashes you would usually associate with driving, our roads are also notorious crime hotspots being targeted by violent criminals.
With the focus on Women's month drawing to an end, here are some driving tips to help keep female drivers safer on local roads.
Remember the 1991 Nissan Sentra, the basis for the outstanding B13 Sentra SE-R? Man, that was such a great car. But sadly, it appears that Nissan has finally decided to cancel the B13 Sentra.
Don't worry, though. The current Sentra isn't going anywhere. But as The Truth About Cars reports, you will no longer be able to buy a 25-year-old Sentra brand new anymore. And it's all because of the meddling government.
Have you perhaps discovered a strange-looking 'spanner' in your boot? It's called a tow hook and will aid you in towing a vehicle, provided you know how to use it correctly.
A tow hook can be easily overlooked, and ignored.
Automobile specialist Paul Kasker explains how to tow a vehicle using a tow hook. The tool is is found in most modern vehicles and can be used in a few easy steps.
Nissan is the automotive sponsor of the ongoing Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. But what exactly does that mean? Besides the commercials, logo placements, and ability to use copyrighted Olympic terms in their ads and on social media, in this case it also means supplying the fleet that helps run this edition of the Olympics.
Earlier in August, Wheels24 reported that a Californian wildfire was reportedly caused by a car driving on its rim.
The friction between the rim and the road ignited sparks, which led to a blazing fire that firefighters struggled to bring under control.
The resulting blaze destroyed many acres of forest and damaged homes.
A Nissan electric sports car could be feasible by the turn of the decade, according to Gareth Dunsmore, director of electric vehicles for Nissan Europe.
Speaking at the dynamic launch of the Nissan BladeGlider electric concept car, Dunsmore said that while it would be possible to produce an electric sports car now, the market has to be ready for it – and while it isn’t yet, by 2020 the demand for electric vehicles will be much higher.
Although Spring seems to have sprung in parts of South Africa, the country could experience a few more more wet weeks before Winter finally comes to an end.
The cold, wet winter months put a lot of extra strain on your vehicle that can affect its performance throughout the rest of the year.
The last thing any driver wants is for their car to breakdown. The best way to prevent this is to have your vehicle maintenance properly checked and prepared.
It only took British racing driver and gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy two days to learn how to drive on two wheels in a Nissan Juke. Hoy most recently drove for Nissan in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Nissan-powered Algarve Pro Racing car in the P2 class.
"When I caught the roll and was suddenly driving on two wheels," said Hoy, "it was such a rush of adrenaline and relief in equal measure -- an amazing experience."
If you’re in the market for a set of wheels, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information and options out there. Do you go for a hot new babe or a formerly loved darling? To put your mind at ease, here are 4 things for you to ponder so that you can find the perfect match to suit your lifestyle and your wallet.
Herewith some feedback about the Sunday 4 September 2016 sponsored ride by Hein Kroff from Kroff Cycles: “KROFF CYCLES/DROOMERS NISSAN se Padfietsoefening vanoggend in die mooiste Bolandse Lentedag plaasgevind. Min wind, temperatuur net reg en ‘n lekker groot groep van 35 ryers wat opgedaag het.
Johan (Fanie)Malan was die Ridemaster van die rustige groep terwyl Danie (Droomers) Marais die vinnige manne Du Vlei toe gebring het op n galop. Die uwe het vanoggend saam met Wessel Fourie se klandistiene groep weggetrek om te sien met watter geheime oefenmetodes hulle mee besig is. Barend Burger het vanoggend ontpop as n sprinter toe hy die sterkman Alfred Bier in die sprint voor Du Vlei geklop het onder luide toejuiging van die ryers wat toe al sit en koffie drink het - dink Alfred gaan die week bietjie spoedwerk doen en vlg week probeer die bordjies verhang.
Almal het so binne 15 minute uitmekaar by Du Vlei aangekom en toe is daar hard gesels en koffie gedrink. Baie wyshede is kwytgeraak wat ek so mettertyd met julle sal deel.
Johan (Gras)Theron sé dat dit so ‘n mooi oggend was dat die jakkalsmannetjie wat hy langs die pad gesien het ‘n lus in sy oë gehad het - hoop maar hy het bedoel dat die dier uitgesien het na die mooi dag wat voorlé!
Die bergfietsrygroep van die Williams broers, Luke Williams en Johan Jonck het ook by Du Vlei by ons aangesluit vir koffie - lekker klomp mense bymekaar.
Lucky Draw is vanoggend gewen deur eerstemaalryer Christelle Botha.
Die pad terug Paarl toe het meeste van die groep saam teruggery tot by Wellington waar ‘n paar ystermanne en ystervrou Elfriede Wolfaardt besluit het om nog Bainskloof ook uit te ry - ek sal maar nog ‘n paar weke oefen voor ek saam met hulle daar opry.
Baie dankie aan DROOMERS NISSAN vir die Energybars en die volgvoertuig.
Lekker oefen die week wat kom - ons maak vlg naweek weer so.
Compiled by Danie Marais
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