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D20 hatchback leads Chinese onslaught



Chinese automaker, Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), has begun its onslaught on the local car market with the introduction of a new D20 hatchback and sedan ahead of early 2018 when the company’s R11bn production and assembly plant in South Africa is expected to turn out the first locally produced BAIC vehicles.

At the recent media introduction, BAIC showed both versions of the new D20 and announced that the 5-model hatchback (fully imported at this stage) will lead the charge. The hatchback is attractively priced from R149,990 to R209,990 which makes it strongly competitive in its segment.

No low-budget

Even though the D20 is competitively priced it is no low-budget, soulless commuter chariot. The nifty hatch has plenty of European character with strong hints of the original Mercedes-Benz B-Class on which it is based.

By agreement with the German three-star manufacturer, the D20 also rides on the same basic platform that Mercedes uses for its Smart ForFour.

The BAIC (pronounced “bike”) D20 hatchback will be available in two specifications: ‘comfort’ and ‘fashion’ and even the least expensive, entry-level ‘comfort’ variants have standard kit such as a leather-trimmed steering wheel, reverse alert, power windows, height adjustable headlights and fog lights.

The ‘fashion’ trim models have all of the above plus a sunroof, daytime running lights, aircon, elegant alloy wheels, folding side mirrors, and a high-class audio system with a 6.5 touch screen, CD player, GPS, USB, radio and six speakers.

On to the inside

The cabin of the hatchback feels airy, comfortable and user-friendly and it has a rear seat that splits 60:40 and a backrest that can be folded flat to provide 1190 litres of load space.

Occupant safety is also well looked after with front airbags, ABS with EBD, child safety locks, two ISOFIX child seat mountings, automatic fuel cut-off and height-adjustable headlights.

The D20 offers two engine options – a 1.3-litre which produces 75kW and 128Nm and a 1.5-litre engine that kicks out 85kW and148Nm, both linked to a five-speed manual box. The two top models in the range have four-speed auto boxes.

Both the hatchback and sedan were on display at the local media introduction and both variants impressed with the smart European looks, perceived build quality and spacious, comfortable interiors.

Initial impressions of the D20 were very favourable and it scores well in most key departments. However, this was just a static viewing and the real test will come behind the wheel and on the road.

An added attraction

At its current prices, the D20 hatchback range compares favourably with others and its “newness” will no doubt be an added attraction.
BAIC is currently establishing a chain of 21 dealerships in key cities in South Africa and showroom floors should soon have the new hatchbacks on display and in stock.

The BAIC manufacturing plant is being constructed (in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation) in the Coaga Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth and full production is expected to commence next year.


The models and prices of the new BAIC D20 (which include a five-year/120 000km warranty) are:

  • D20 Hatch 1.3 M/T Comfort – R149,990
  • D20 Hatch 1.5 M/T Comfort –R168,990
  • D20 Hatch 1.5 M/T Fashion – R179,990
  • D20 Hatch 1.5 A/T Fashion – R189,990
  • D20 Sedan 1.5 A/T – R209,990


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BGI Ethiopia Gets New keg tracking solution- Keg Track&Trace



BGI Ethiopia (Source: 8Sigma)

Montelektro, a leading system integrator in the brewing industry, and 8Sigma, a premium MES provider delivered solution KegTNT (Keg Track&Trace) to a brewery in Addis Ababa.

KegTNT is a software solution that tracks kegs throughout their life stages while inside the brewery and within the whole supply chain.

In addition to the mentioned brewery, during 2021, KegTNT will be implemented in two more breweries owned by the same company, BGI Ethiopia, whose long brewing tradition dates to the first half of the 20th century. The BGI Ethiopia’s owner is French Castel Group, one of the largest African and among the world’s ten largest beer producers.

The Ethiopian customer required a new, modern solution that will enable them to better manage its keg fleet, reduce costs related to the ownership of kegs, improve quality control, ensure better maintenance supervision, and to prevent possible keg losses.

Montelektro and 8Sigma’s scope of supply included the implementation of KegTNT solution that collects and saves all the data about kegs’ lifecycle, tracking it by using the RFID technology.

Its main purpose is to provide real-time tracking and traceability of each keg in the fleet, and better maintenance and quality control.

The scope also included a tablet application for tracking operations inside the brewery and a smartphone application for the sales agents. From now on, maintenance, laboratory, and warehouse staff can use tablets equipped with an RFID reader to manage everyday tasks related to the keg fleet. Sales agents can also report, track, and resolve all complaints through the application on their smartphones. All information is available in real-time, so staff can react immediately and identify potential problems even before they happened.

Within this project, KegTNT was also integrated with a keg filling plant (capacity of up to 900 kegs/h) that is fully automated and robotized. This integration enables the brewery to automatically collect and analyze data about kegs’ filling, like production rates, reject rates, downtimes, and other elements required for an efficient production.

These features of KegTNT should help BGI Ethiopia not only to improve resource utilization and the management of keg fleet, but also to preserve its good reputation and a desirable market position.

“Last year was very challenging for the whole world. The brewing industry, just like all others, was in turmoil. We are satisfied because we have managed to conclude the project in one of the three contracted breweries in the circumstances of travel restrictions. On this occasion, we would also like to thank Montelektro for their trust and partnership on another project we have successfully delivered together.”, said Vladimir Lukić, director at 8Sigma.

Apart from the mentioned project, 8Sigma and Montelektro continue to cooperate. The most important common project is the development and implementation of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) solution for the brewing industry, named BeerVision.

BeerVision schedules, tracks, and manages all production activities inside a brewery, from raw materials to the finished product – beer.

During production, this Industry 4.0 solution collects and analyzes data about the brewing process in real-time and provides fully integrated data for all operational activities. It connects and integrates the process control system (PCS) with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

With BeerVision, companies can make decisions faster and easier and manage their businesses much more efficiently. It also helps them improve their product quality and reduce costs.

Issued by 8Sigma


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Egypt, Toyota Tsusho discuss manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses



CAIRO – 13 October 2019: Egypt and Toyota Tsusho discussed on Sunday how the giant Japanese company can contribute to the government’s plans to manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses.

During his meeting with President and CEO of Toyota Tsusho Mr. Ichiro Kashitani, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli emphasized Egypt’s keenness to best utilize its resources by reducing diesel exports’ expenses and transferring diesel-fueled vehicles to natural gas-powered ones or to bi-fuel vehicles that are capable of running on two fuels (natural gas and gasoline) through offering payment facilities.

Mabdouli further stressed that the transfer process needs to be implemented through manufacturing companies that working on Egypt’s soil, in order to enhance local manufacturing, and transfer expertise, according to a cabinet press statement about the meeting. He also ensured that the government is serious in its plans to implementing the transfer process through providing funding programs and incentives to encourage owners of old microbuses.

These ambitions go the lines with the government’s latest unveiled plan in August, aiming to turn 50,000 vehicles into gas-powered annually.

Mabdouli also stressed the government’s readiness to discuss the details of the implementation of the program and accelerate the process according to a specific schedule.

For their part, Toyota Tsusho delegation presented their proposal of “manufacturing high quality microbuses in a way that will meet the Egyptian government’s converting the fuel-powered vehicles.”

Also Read Switzerland’s Head of Economic Cooperation, Development at SECO to visit Cairo

In a previous interview with Business Today Egypt magazine, Toyota Tsusho Kashitani explained his company’s strategy about using diversified fuels, based on the global trend to electrification, while maintaining an environment-friendly technology.

“In order to realize the fuel transfer plan by government, natural gas field development would be necessary to be accelerated and we are ready to support it by expansion of the offshore rig project as referred above,” Kashitani added during the interview.

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Messe Frankfurt studies holding international textile exhibition in Egypt



Shirts- CC via Maxpixel/ Sony Ilce-7

CAIRO – 19 May 2019: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH is studying holding an international fair for textile products in Egypt for the first time, announced Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in a statement on Sunday.

“The exhibition will be an important platform for bringing together exporters and importers from around the world to exchange experiences and views in this field,” the statement read.

The exhibition comes in light of Egypt’s strategic plan to be a trade hub serving the African countries, the ministry said, noting that the country aims to be an international center for all international exhibitions.

Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH Uwe Behm said that the company has been cooperating with Egypt for 100 years, adding that the company aims to hold this big international exhibition due to Egypt’s distinguished and strategic geographic place in Africa and in the Arab World.

Egypt Today

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