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8 important things that happened in South Africa’s car scene this week

These were the eight biggest stories in South Africa’s automotive scene this week.

Toyota bets big on hybrids

Toyota South Africa made headlines this week when it announced its new strategy for the local market.

The company is bringing in no fewer than 10 hybrid vehicles as well as a few battery-electric models, with the first introductions taking place in 2024.

Next-gen VW Amarok Single Cab launch date and pricing revealed

After being sold in double cab guise only, VW has revealed the pricing and launch date of the next-generation Amarok Single Cab.

The bakkie will hit local showrooms towards the end of May with two engines on offer and a choice of two-wheel and four-wheel-drive foundations.

Court battle over 5-year driver’s licences

Civil rights organisation AfriForum is heading to court to fight South Africa’s five-year driver’s licence validity period.

This follows the third breakdown in less than 18 months of the only driver’s licence card printing machine in the country.

AfriForum contends that the country’s legislation does not clearly distinguish between a driver’s licence and a driver’s licence card, nor stipulate that it is a crime to drive with an expired driver’s licence card.

Jeep introduces 5-seater Grand Cherokee

Jeep launched the five-seater Grand Cherokee in South Africa this week, bringing the line-up to a total of six models.

Previously, the SUV was only available with three rows of seating for up to six or seven passengers, with the new model introducing a two-row configuration to the local market with slightly smaller dimensions.

All Grand Cherokees are powered by a 3.6-litre, naturally-aspirated V6 and boast one of the most complete standard equipment packages in the luxury SUV segment.

Flagship Mazda CX-60 South African specs and launch date

Mazda has revealed that its upcoming flagship vehicle, the new CX-60, will make local landfall in June.

Starting at just under R740,000, the new Mazda will be sold in two specifications both featuring a 2.5-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol motor.

The CX-60 is the first model in the manufacturer’s catalogue of next-generation products which includes a CX-50, CX-70, CX-80, and CX-90.

The CX-80 is expected to be headed our way in the future, too, however, the CX-50, CX-70, and CX-90 probably won’t be sold locally as they are earmarked for the North American market.

Woolies goes electric

Woolworths in partnership with DSV and Everlectric has become the first South African retailer to use electric vehicles for its online deliveries.

The battery-powered panel vans offer up to 300km of range as well as better torque and acceleration performance than the diesel vans they are replacing.

Additionally, they will exclusively be charged from renewable energy sources thus enabling Woolworths to cut over 400,000kg of tailpipe carbon emissions on an annual basis.

Toyota upgrades Supra

Toyota has updated the GR Supra in South Africa with a more powerful engine, a redesigned cabin, and the introduction of a new gearbox.

For the first time, the two-seater can now be had in both manual and automatic from a starting price of R1,417,500.

The underlying components have also been enhanced ever-so-slightly allowing for a more engaging and controllable ride, according to the company.

Hyundai H-100 being targeted by hijackers

Following an uptick in hijackings over the past few months, Fidelity Security Group CEO Wahl Bartmann revealed that the Hyundai H-100 truck is now being targeted by criminal syndicates in South Africa.

These Hyundais are often used as last-mile delivery vehicles and carry valuable cargo, making them easy targets for opportunists and seasoned hijackers alike.

Bartmann also said the VW PoloNissan NP200, and Toyota CorollaFortuner, and Hilux are among the most-targeted passenger cars on the road as demand for these vehicles’ components is high in the illicit parts market.

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