africa

List of News and Information about africa on 4WheelsNews.com

News and Information about africa

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Chuck Norris is tapped to be Fiat Professional brand ambassador in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe

It is common knowledge by now that after American actor Chuck Norris was born, he drove his mom home from the hospital. Sounds impossible, right? Got you. Back in 2008, the internet was blowing up with various Chuck Norris memes that referenced his super human strength and immortality. Due to this unexpected fame that made him an Internet cult hero and a genuine web phenomenon, Fiat Professional decided to hire the martial arts expert as their new brand ambassador for a range of advertisements that will air in June, hoping to bank on his "perpetual toughness.”

The notable martial artist will now lend his macho image to Fiat Professional as the commercial vehicle brand's official spokesperson in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Norris will also star in the Italian automaker's ads, and we are excited to see how the producers will give life to his famously powerful character. However, the ads will not be viewed in the United States due to the fact that the American martial arts star will advertise for foreign pickup and vans including the Fullback, Doblo and Ducato. But thank God for YouTube as we can see any hilarious moments make the must-see list.

Nonetheless, Norris is also the perfect person to advertise for Ram's truck, if the company so decides. Moreover, Chuck Norris is a respectable and well-liked actor by the public worldwide. Fiat Professional commented that a research test was conducted across Europe and it yielded results that named him up as the best brand ambassador when it comes to relevance, affinity and appeal for professional consumers. Officials within the Italian automotive company even confessed that Norris' amazing, ironically surreal actions, which have reached an impressive large audience, played a huge part in helping them choose the martial arts actor.

Read the entire article Chuck Norris is tapped to be Fiat Professional brand ambassador in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe

Mobius Motors tries to build and sell a car suited for African consumers

Mobius Motors is trying to accomplish what other carmakers has failed so far – building a car for Africa. If people have been gone to Mobius’ showroom in Nairobi, Kenya, they could have seen a vehicle that is somewhat a cross between a pickup and a car and has no flashy dials, electric windows alloy wheels.

The Mobius vehicle, which has no windows except for the front windshield, has been stripped to make it sturdy and affordable as possible. Mobius sales manager Aman Ghai told Reuters that the carmaker is not trying to reinvent the wheel, but is just trying to make a vehicle “that is a bit tougher."

Africa has been known as a supplier of raw materials for building vehicles, but has so far has no large manufacturing base and is perceived to be not able to create a quality product on its own. That is where Mobius Motors is coming in – to design, build and sell a quality vehicle for Africa.

Read the entire article Mobius Motors tries to build and sell a car suited for African consumers

Land Rover Defender Africa Limited Edition makes its debut

Land Rover has just announced the Defender Africa, a new edition limited that will be available globally. The bad news is that Land Rover will only produce 50 units of the Defender Africa Edition so if you really want one you’d better call your dealer as soon as possible.

According to the manufacturer, the Special Edition Defender marks over 67 years of boldly going where no other vehicle has gone before. As you can see from the photos, the Defender Africa features a Santorini Black finish and a red roof which takes its inspiration from Africa.

Complementing the exterior are the black saw tooth alloy wheels and Defender Africa decal. The interior shows black seat covers with red piping and the vehicle is offered with Bluetooth telephone connection.

Read the entire article Land Rover Defender Africa Limited Edition makes its debut

Ford wants to increase number of manufacturing sites in Africa

Ford Motor Co. is intending an expansion of its manufacturing sites in Africa, as it launches new models like the Mustang and expects industry-wide sales to surge 40 percent by 2020. Jim Benintende, Ford’s head of operations in the Middle East and Africa, told Bloomberg in an interview that “everything is pointing toward a surge” in the African economy.

He remarked that Ford has heightened its focus in Africa, similar to moves made by other major US corporations such as General Electric Co. GE recently disclosed to spend $2 billion in Africa by 2018 and double its workforce in the region.

Benintende, who was tapped to manage Ford’s operations in Africa, is currently formulating a regional growth strategy for chief executive Mark Fields. His plans entail increasing the number of factories that Ford has in Africa, with Nigeria being considered as possible location, Benintende said.

Read the entire article Ford wants to increase number of manufacturing sites in Africa

Ford Motor Co. plans to launch 25 new models in Africa and the Middle East by 2016, in line with its projection that the driving age population in the region will surge 31 percent by 2023 to 1.7 billion people. Lined up for the market are Ford Mustang, Fusion and other models in the region.

Jim Benintende, head of Ford's operations in the Middle East and Africa, said the carmaker expects overall auto sales in Africa to expand by 40 percent in the next six years to 2.1 million vehicles.

Aside from the 25 new models, Ford will also introduce new technology like its voice-activated Sync communications system and its turbo-charged engines. Benintende told Bloomberg in an interview that Ford is seeing significant opportunity in Africa, adding that the region will be growing over the next few years.

Read the entire article Ford to roll out 25 new models in Africa and the Middle East by 2016

Nissan has appointed Paul Willcox as the new chief of Europe and Takashi Hata as new boss of its operations in Africa-Middle East-India, filling vacancies resulting from a Nov. 1, 2013 management shuffle implemented by chief executive Carlos Ghosn to address what he called as “soft” performance.

Willcox was Nissan’s head of sales and marketing for Europe until September when he departed the Japanese carmaker to lead Volkswagen Group’s operations in the United Kingdom.

He is now coming back to Nissan, taking over the post vacated by Trevor Mann, who was promoted as Nissan’s global chief performance officer with oversight of all regional businesses.  Nissan recruited Takashi Hata from affiliated transmission maker Jatco Ltd.  He will join Nissan on Feb. 1, 2014.

Read the entire article Nissan names Paul Willcox as new chief of Europe, Takashi Hata new boss in Africa-Middle East-India

Over 2,000 workers at BMW's Rossyln site in South Africa have launched a strike action over pay.  Guy Kilfoil, BMW's spokesman in South Africa, said that the workers’ strike at the Rosslyn site just outside Pretoria has likely resulted to a loss of production of nearly 1,700 3-series sedans as of the end of Wednesday.

Kilfoil said production of the cars will be re-allocated to other BMW plants around the world. He said the situation affects BMW’s reputation with customers “quite badly." The Rossyln site builds 82,000 cars annually, almost 70,000 of which are exported to countries like the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. O

n the other hand, the country’s biggest union for the manufacturing sector -- the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) – is planning to launch a national strike in the auto industry from Aug. 19, 2013, following deadlocked wage negotiations, a senior union official disclosed to Reuters.

Read the entire article BMW workers are striking in South Africa; output affected

Africa will replace China as global center of low-cost manufacturing, no thanks to a changing demographic in the Asian country, according to Sheryl Connelly, global consumer trends and futuring manager for  Ford Motor Co.  Connely remarked at the 2013 CAR Management Briefing Seminars that changing demographics will force carmakers and suppliers to reconsider their future product and production plans.

She said China’s decades-long one-child policy will mean that the country will have its peak worker population in 2014, after which the number of active workers will slowly decline while the number of retirees and other dependents surge.

Connely quip that due to this, China will have a hard time keeping its place as a low-cost manufacturer, a designation that “will move to Africa." As Ford’s official futurist, Connelly is tasked with forecasting potential scenarios to enable the carmaker to prepare for both expected and unexpected events.

Read the entire article Low-cost manufacturing seen to shift from China to Africa

Ian Gorsuch is reprising his previous role as McLaren's regional director for the Middle East and Africa. Gorsuch returned to his prior post on July 1, 2013, making him in charge once again of running McLaren's operations in the Middle East and Africa as well as overseeing the rollout of the new McLaren P1 hybrid supercar later this year.

He will report to Greg Levine, sales and marketing chief at McLaren. McLaren unveiled the new P1 hybrid supercar at the 2013 Geneva auto show and planned to build only 375 examples, each having a starting price of EUR1.07 million.

McLaren said that around 10 percent of the 375 examples are set to be sold in the Middle East, with nearly all allocation sold. Gorsuch replaced Mark Harrison, who assumed a senior position at McLaren's headquarters in Surrey, England.

Read the entire article Ian Gorsuch is back as McLaren chief for Middle East and Africa

Workers at Mercedes-Benz's East London site in South Africa have stopped their two-day strike following crisis talks between management and the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA). According to local reports, workers at the plant commenced their strike on May 27, 2013 after the company decided to probe into stoppages in its paint shop earlier this month.

NUMSA is demanding a 20-percent pay increase for the sector, which may give rise to another manufacturing unrest in the country. Mphumzi Maqungo, national treasurer for NUMSA, told Reuters that if their demands are not met, they have no option but to “go to the streets."

The South African rand dropped to a four-year low against the dollar on May 20, 2013, after Mercedes confirmed that the strike affected production at its East London site.

Read the entire article Strike at Mercedes-Benz site in South Africa ends after 2 days

General Motors’ regional head in Africa said that in the next couple of years, its annual vehicle sales are expected to increase by almost 20% to reach the 2 million mark as the growing middle class has been upgrading from motorbikes and jalopies to new cars. Last year, GM sold 180,000 vehicles in Africa, accounting for a market share of 10% and placing it narrowly behind Toyota, which posted sales of 237,000 in this continent.

But of GM's total sales, 100,000 were delivered to North Africa and 70,000 were sent to South Africa, which means that just 10,000 went to the poor but quick-growing countries in between. At the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Johannesburg, GM Africa managing director Mario Spangenberg said that this is where they see a big opportunity for growth.

In Africa, GM’s sales volumes in Africa are regarded to be very small. Last year, GM posted sales of 6 million vehicles outside its traditional U.S. market. Spangenberg wants to take advantage of the growing overall market in Africa, considered to be one of the regions in the world with the fastest growth.

Read the entire article GM expects increased sales in Africa in the next two years

As the growth in the private sector in Africa has lessened its reliance on government business, Toyota Motor Corp has turned its attention to its consumers, Toyota Africa CEO Johan van Zyl said during the Reuters Africa Investment Summit. Toyota has entered South Sudan last year, bringing its markets in Africa to 54 countries.

Toyota estimates that the east and west African auto markets will achieve a 5% growth this year. He said that consumer marketing has become “very important” in numerous countries, noting that Toyota had previously transacted with many African governments exclusively. Last year, Toyota posted sales of 237,000 vehicles in the continent, giving it a market share of 14%.

However, it is faced with more competition from its Chinese and Indian counterparts such as Chery Automobile and Tata Motors, which are more experienced in assembling and marketing budget cars in promising markets. But van Zyl said that Toyota has been concentrating on attracting frugal consumers to its inexpensive cars and its Etios brand, which was launched in India in 2010.

Read the entire article Toyota turns its attention to Africa

Fiat has named Alfredo Altavilla as the chief executive of the carmaker’s operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), effective immediately. He will be replacing the retiring Gianni Coda, who has served 33 years at Fiat.  Altavilla will leave his position as chief executive of Fiat's truck-making unit, Iveco.

However, he will continue to coordinate the business development activities for Fiat Group. As new CEO of EMEA, Altavilla serves as a key aide to Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne. Altavilla and Marchionne are the only Fiat executives sitting on the board of Chrysler Group. Marchionne expressed gratitude to Coda’s long service with Fiat, which included eight years as the Italian carmaker’s head of Group Purchasing.

Coda joined Fiat Group in 1979, rising to become head of the carmaker’s Latin America and the Fiat-Lancia business units. He was named as head of Group Purchasing in 2004. Altavilla joined Fiat in 1990 and has served as chief of the carmaker’s China, Turkey and powertrain operations. He was credited for developing partnerships between Fiat and other carmakers like General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen from 2000 to 2004.

Read the entire article Fiat names Alfredo Altavilla as CEO of Europe, Middle East, Africa areas

The Datsun brand may soon arrive in Africa. Nissan Motor Co. is considering the move in order to be more competitive against Indian and Chinese automakers when it comes to attracting the middle-class consumers, according to a senior executive. Nissan thinks that Africa is a market that’s becoming gradually more significant as it is growing quickly.

Nissan has revealed plans to spend over $122 million to double its production capacity in South Africa, according to Autonews. Nissan revealed months ago that it will be reviving Datsun in Indonesia, India and Russia, to attract first-time buyers in growing markets. But a cheap entry-level vehicle is necessary to widen their market share in Africa’s low-income consumers.

Toshiyuki Shiga addressed reporters during a briefing at Nissan’s plant in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria. He told them that the automakers based in Korea, India, and China are acting more aggressively in the emerging markets. However, Shiga said that they’re still studying the plan and so no decision has been made yet.

Read the entire article Nissan wants to introduce its Datsun brand in Africa

Nissan Motor Co.’s low-end Datsun brand may soon be available in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, according to CEO Carlos Ghosn. Nissan is planning to offer Datsun cars in those regions after launching these models in Indonesia, India and Russia beginning in 2014, Ghosn stated while being interviewed in Hong Kong by Bloomberg Television.

Ghosn said that the company will “go step by step.” He also gave assurances that it will be “affordable.” Ghosn wants to revive the Datsun brand after about 30 years to meet the demand for low-end vehicles in emerging markets as part of Nissan’s strategy to widen its share of worldwide sales to 8% by March 2017.

Nissan said that Datsun, its No. 3 global brand, is expected to make up to around 50% of sales in these markets within 5 years. Ghosn said that in China, Nissan hopes to build vehicles at “full-speed.” He added that stockpiling in the country is “not an issue” for Nissan as he believes that the Chinese auto market is expected to increase 7% to 8% in 2012.

Read the entire article Nissan to introduce the Datsun brand in Middle East, Africa, and Latin America
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