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5 important things that happened in South Africa’s car industry this week

These were the five biggest stories in South Africa’s automotive industry this week.

Russia could cost South Africa R435 billion

South Africa runs the risk of being excluded from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), owing to its continued support of Russia despite the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

This could result in a loss of R435 billion from automotive trading, which is equal to 16.5% of the country’s total GDP, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The U.S. is currently reviewing its list of AGOA-applicable countries, and South Africa’s alignment with Russia means its access to Western markets, which the local auto industry chiefly exports to, could be compromised.

Mahindra Thar launch date revealed

Mahindra has clarified when its new five-door Thar will really hit the market, following rumour-based reports that the SUV would launch in South Africa this August.

The company confirmed that the Thar 5-door would, in fact, not make its global debut on local soil and that it won’t be unveiled in 2023, either.

The upcoming Mahindra is expected to not only be more spacious, but also more luxurious than its smaller 3-door sibling, and it has the likes of the Suzuki Jimny 5-door in its crosshairs.

Strict new driving laws declared legal

The Constitutional Court of South Africa has ruled that the controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act is valid and constitutional, having overturned the previous ruling made by the Pretoria High Court.

Under Aarto, drivers will now accumulate demerit points for road offences that could lead to the suspension or even the cancellation of their licence.

The Act has drawn criticism from groups like the Automobile Association, which claim that Aarto is more geared towards revenue collection than preventing loss of life.

New Mazda CX-60 launched in South Africa

The new Mazda CX-60 has officially gone on sale at a starting price of R739,800.

The SUV is positioned as the flagship of the automaker’s catalogue, with two specifications and several brand-new features.

One highlight of the package is the Mazda Driver Personalisation System, which uses facial recognition to identify the driver and adjusts their seat position, steering wheel, wing mirrors, and heads-up display (HUD) to fit their profile.

New Hyundai Exter under consideration for South Africa

Hyundai has announced that its new entry-level crossover, the Exter, is under consideration for a South African introduction.

While its pricing has yet to be revealed, it is expected to be priced below the brand’s current cheapest SUV, the Venue, which starts at R314,900.

Already on sale in countries like India, the Exter has a few features not normally seen on a vehicle in its price bracket, such as a voice-enabled electric sunroof.

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