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Ipsos quality survey: Audi tops



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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Emmanuel Penneh set to lead the Ghanaian team that will re-assemble the first Nissan Navara made in Ghana



Emmanuel Penneh (Image: Lusawovana Pius- edelman) 

Emmanuel Penneh arrived back in Accra this week, ready to start the next phase of a journey that’s taken three years so far and still has an intensive eight months to run. On Thursday 3 June 2021, the married 44-year-old father of three graduated with his team of 11 Ghanaians from an intense eight-week course at Nissan South Africa’s Rosslyn manufacturing plant outside Pretoria. That was just the first step for them. Now the hard work begins, getting Ghana’s brand-new Nissan assembly plant in Tema, outside Accra, ready to begin re-assembling the first ever Nissan Navaras to be built in Africa early in the New Year.

The graduation is a critical milestone in a process that began back in 2018 with the signing of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding between Nissan and the Government of Ghana, followed by the drafting and promulgation of Ghana’s automotive development policy the following year and then the appointment of Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), as Nissan’s preferred partner last year to ensure that the new facility will be 100% Ghana owned and run.

Penneh is up for the challenge. Speaking at the special graduation ceremony held at the Rosslyn, SKD plant, he said he and his team were proud and honoured, excited and delighted. “This is a historic evolution for Nissan Ghana, Nissan South Africa and Nissan worldwide. This is the plant where the Nissan Navara is being made for the first time in Africa, by Africans for Africa, now we are going home to re-assemble the first Navara made in Ghana for Ghana by Ghanaians!”

Penneh will be the plant manager. It’s a feather in the cap for the 10-year JMTC veteran. Before being approached to lead the team, Penneh was service co-ordinator for the group’s aftersales operations, overseeing five workshops across Ghana. He’s been in the automotive industry for 14 years, with four years at Man Truck Ghana before he joined JMTC.

“It’s exciting,” he says, “it gives a new dimension to my career. After concentrating on the after sales aspect, I’m now coming into the industry that actually builds the vehicles.”

The eight-week training that the team underwent in South Africa had been gruelling, he said, they had no idea what to expect. “It was challenging coming fresh into this industry and discovering so many processes and rules and mastering them, but it’s been exciting.”

He’s exceptionally proud of the team he led to South Africa and the way they’ve conducted themselves. “This (the creation of a Nissan assembly plant in Ghana) is going to be a game changer for ourselves, but also for our country, creating jobs, upskilling people and creating opportunities for local brand ownership.”



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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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