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Ipsos quality survey: Audi tops

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Audi was once again the shining star in the annual Ipsos Passenger Car Product Survey with seven Gold awards.

The quality of the cars and light commercials sold in the country has improved to such a degree in recent years that Ipsos SA, which has been tracking the automotive industry in this country since the early 1990s, says it has revamped the scoring system for its annual Vehicle Quality Survey.

Facts and figures obtained from telephonic interviews conducted in 2015 with more than 8,000 owners of 17 participating brands were used to compile the survey. The brands involved equated to 77% of the total number of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCV) sold through retail dealer channels. It was made up of 71% of car sales and 90% of the LCVs retailed.

“We changed our approach and the methodology used in this annual survey in 2015 because we, as a syndicate, were finding that a high proportion of inherent vehicle design issues and shortcomings were not being reported and that the frequency of these complaints had increased over the past few years,” explained Patrick Busschau, the Ipsos automotive business unit director.

“This is actually a credit to the industry because the issues that bother customers nowadays are more likely related to their individual expectations around the product experience as opposed to straight and simple defects, which are rated on a scale of the number of problems per 100 vehicles.

“The quality of vehicles being produced today is very high, with few significant problems.

“Admittedly, there are many more product recalls by the manufacturers these days, but most of these are precautionary and provide the dealer and manufacturer with the opportunity to show their commitment to customer satisfaction by handling the recall well.

“So the goalposts have changed and we have changed our measurement accordingly to allow for the design issues to be incorporated into the measurement index figure.

“However, there is a weighting applied where actual quality defects have a slightly higher impact on the customer experience and so a proportionately greater impact on the scoring.”

Winning models

While Audi was the biggest winner, the next best was Toyota with five Golds followed by Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan (two Golds each) and Volvo (one Gold).

Audi won Gold as the Best Luxury Car Brand overall, as well as Best Top Hatch (A1 and A3 Sportback), Best Medium Sedan (A4 and A5 Sportback), Best Top Sedan (A3) and Best Sports Coupe (A5 coupe).

Toyota won its five Passenger Car Gold awards for the Best Small Hatch (Yaris), Best Top Hatch (Auris), Best Small Sedan (Corolla Quest), Best New Volume Passenger Car (Corolla Quest) and Best Volume Passenger Car Brand.

Volkswagen won two Golds for Best Small Sedan (Polo) and Best New Volume Passenger Car model (Up). Nissan’s two Golds came from the Best Entry-Level Car (Micra) and Best Volume Passenger Car Brand overall. In addition, the Nissan Micra, with an index of 49, was the highest-rated passenger car overall.

Mercedes collected Gold for the Best Top Executive (E-Class) and Best Multipurpose Vehicle (B-Class). Volvo earned Gold for the Best New Luxury Passenger Car (V40).

Volvo also won two Gold awards in the Recreational Vehicle Category, for Best Small Recreational Vehicle (XC60) and Best New Recreational Vehicle (XC60), while Audi won Gold in the Small RV category (Q5). Volkswagen took Gold for the Best Large Recreational Vehicle (Touareg). The Touareg, with an index score of 22, was also the vehicle with the highest product quality rating overall.

Toyota made a virtual clean sweep of Gold awards in the LCV category with seven. The Hilux collected Golds for the Best Petrol Single Cab, Best Diesel Single Cab and Best Diesel Double Cab. The Hilux was also the best One-Tonne Single Cab Commercial Vehicle Brand and the Best Double Cab Commercial Vehicle Brand, while Toyota was the Best Light Commercial Vehicle Brand overall.

Hilux Single Cab

The best quality rating for LCVs overall was achieved by the Hilux single cab petrol with an index figure of 37.

Nissan won Gold for the Best Three-quarter Tonne Pick-up (NP200) and the Best New Light Commercial Vehicle (Hardbody petrol single cab). General Motors SA (GMSA) took Gold for the Best Diesel Single Cab with its Isuzu KB.

There are also awards for the best manufacturing plants, although these are about as unscientific as they come.

The GMSA plant in Port Elizabeth won Gold for the Best Passenger Car Plant, although it only makes the Chevrolet Spark, which won nothing outright but was the best scoring locally made vehicle with 58 problems per 100 vehicles. That is how Ipsos decides on the award.

Bizarrely, GMSA took Gold ahead of Mercedes and Toyota, despite Mercedes’ East London plant having recently received an award for the best Mercedes manufacturing facility in the world. Toyota won the Gold award for the Best Light Commercial Vehicle Plant for its facility in Prospecton.

Source: Business Day

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Manufacturing

Egypt, Toyota Tsusho discuss manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses

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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

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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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Durban Car Terminal handles over half a million fully built units

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DURBAN – The Durban Car Terminal broke a South African (SA) record, handling over half a million fully built units (FBU) in the 2018/19 financial year.

Amanda Siyengo, the Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) General Manager for Bulk, Break Bulk and Car Operations said, “A combination of a shift in the operating model, improved planning, dedicated operational teams and collaboration with customers and shipping lines have seen the terminal exceed its annual average of 480 000 FBU”.

This has resulted in the terminal handling 510 936 FBU which comprises of passenger, commercial, static mafi cargo and high and heavy vehicles.

The terminal had undergone an operating model change which entailed taking over the outsourced driving service function so that it was handled internally. Siyengo added that this achievement had not been an easy task, commending terminal management on and improving efficiencies such as units handled per hour with and ship working hours

“Facilitating seamless logistics planning and operational execution for original equipment manufacturers plus collaboration with shipping lines, is very critical in eliminating bottlenecks and ensuring that automotive exports and imports are handled efficiently for the South African economy,” said Siyengo.

The Durban Car Terminal is also focusing on creating more storage capacity to meet the industry demand, driving a high performance culture and being innovative in solutions it provides. Introducing the automated service instruction entry (SIE) to over 100 customers, supply chain partners and various other stakeholders is an initiative that is work in progress however, improves the SARS clearance process from 72 to 24 hours.

There have also been significant investments in the SA automotive sector that supported higher production capacity which led to better than expected export volumes countrywide.

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Automotive Production and Development Plan incentivizing the industry for increasing local content from 38% to 60% ex-factory price, has also played a significant role in increased numbers after its introduction in 2013. SA’s motor industry currently builds about 600 000 vehicles per annum, which is 0.7 percent of the global consumption. The SA government would like to see this grow to about 1 percent in 2035 when the SA Automotive Masterplan expires.

SA, through TPT’s Durban Car Terminal is the single largest car terminal in Africa. They have previously created a web-based, general cargo operating system called GCOS which enhances security of break bulk cargo and automotive, offering simple user interface and greater data integrity compared to the old manual method.

GCOS is a commercial product that some of the West African terminals are already utilizing and one of these is the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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