Heels & Horsepower Magazine

VWSA opens Covid-19 vaccination centre for its Kariega employees

To empower its employees and the larger community in the fight against Covid-19, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has begun vaccinating its employees in Kariega against the virus.

The VWSA vaccination centre, which was set up at the VW PeoplePavilion near the plant in Kariega, began administering the Pfizer vaccines to VWSA employees on 2 August. In its first week, the centre vaccinated 426 employees, with plans to vaccinate 150 employees per day from this week onwards.

The process to establish this vaccination centre started a few months ago, with the centre being approved and accredited by the Department of Health as a workplace vaccination site. The centre is staffed with four professional nurses, some of whom are contract staff and some from the company’s Wellness Centre, as well as two administrators. 

As one of the largest employers in the Eastern Cape, we take the responsibility of protecting our employees and the community against Covid-19 seriously

– Dr Robert Cisek, VWSA Chairman and Managing Director

At the current pace and envisaged planning, it would take the vaccination centre approximately 16 working days to vaccinate all willing employees who have not yet received both doses of the vaccine, after which the company plans to expand the vaccination programme to VWSA’s on-site service providers and then the loved-ones living in the same household as VWSA employees.

VWSA employee Siphiwo Alwyn receiving his first Covid-19 jab from Sister Zanele Mboniswa

The vaccination centre functions separately from the Covid-19 testing facility which was set up by VWSA last year, and which continues to provide free drive-through Covid-19 testing for employees in Kariega. By the end of the first week of August, the facility had performed in excess of 6 800 tests since its opening.

“VWSA has played an instrumental role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic so far,” said Dr Robert Cisek, VWSA Chairman and Managing Director. “As one of the largest employers in the Eastern Cape, we take the responsibility of protecting our employees and the community against Covid-19 seriously. This vaccination centre is an important part of fulfilling that duty, and I am proud of each employee who supports us in our duty by choosing to vaccinate.”

Introducing Audi’s most powerful diesel engine: The Audi SQ7 and SQ8

Local pricing and availability

The SQ7 and SQ8 TDI are officially available for sale in South Africa in limited numbers as part of a once-off launch opportunity. The models are priced as follows (inclusive of all taxes) and comes standard with a five year Audi Freeway Plan:

Audi SQ7 TDI quattro                              R 1,679,500

Audi SQ8 TDI quattro                               R1,848,500


Mobility tips to minimise your expenditure and maximise your savings

Your car could be the first major financial asset that you will own and manage. Here are some handy tips that could save you money and help preserve your asset. 

Your car could be the first major financial asset that you will own and manage. As with any asset, the key to maximising its performance, longevity and saleability is ensuring that you take care of it and keep it in the best condition possible. One way is to familiarise yourself with some handy tips that could save you money and help preserve your asset. 

With July as National Savings Month drawing to a close, the focus has been on key aspects around saving and financial planning. As such, it is a good time to examine the household budget and see where savings can be made, including on your vehicle, recommends leading vehicle and asset solutions provider WesBank. Getting car insurance, a tracking device and other value-added products are great for ensuring that you maintain the value of your car. 

The freedom of movement afforded to you by having your own vehicle is unparalleled, however it is important to ensure your vehicle is well maintained

– Kutlwano Mogatusi, WesBank Motor Communication Specialist

However, on a day-to-day basis, here are a few tips that WesBank suggests you follow to assist you with managing and minimising your monthly expenditure, which could also lead to better savings.

  1. While driving, use a navigation system or app with real-time traffic monitoring to avoid traffic congestion, which wastes fuel.
  2. Weigh up the route options. Though it might be quicker on the highway, remember to take into account toll charges, where applicable. For intra-city travel, it could be more affordable to avoid tolled highways whereas, for inter-city journeys, tolls might be cheaper than the cost of extra fuel on back roads.
  3. Clear out any unnecessary clutter in your car that could weigh it down, resulting in unnecessary and excess fuel usage.
  4. Use the correct fuel grade for your vehicle model. If you are not sure, speak to your dealer for the best advice on what fuel to use to ensure optimum performance for your car.
  5. Replacing worn tyres is essential for vehicle safety on the road but can be expensive and is not covered in service/maintenance plans. Ensuring your car’s wheel alignment is set correctly will prevent premature wear and tear, fueled in part by aggressive driving habits, and will positively affect your fuel consumption. 
  6. Car insurance policies are like a safety net to protect your car. There are a variety of insurance policies available on the market – do your research and tailor a policy to accommodate your specific needs. Check in periodically with your insurer and negotiate lower premiums. A claim-free history will do wonders for your premium, and insurers are more likely to negotiate with low-risk clients. If your car is financed, it is important to note that having insurance is mandatory, so cancelling is not a wise (or possible) option. Also consider bundling your car and home insurance for a lower premium.
  7. Check your car license disc expiry date. Keeping on top of renewal payments will minimise late renewal penalties. On the subject of penalties, it is equally important to follow the rules of the road. A traffic fine or infringement is an avoidable and unnecessary expense in your budget.

The point is not to compromise the wellbeing of your car, but to invest in the most cost-effective ways to keep it running.


“The point is not to compromise the wellbeing of your car, but to invest in the most cost-effective ways to keep it running at its optimum performance level. Doing so could mean more savings to your budget in the long term,” says Kutlwano Mogatusi, WesBank Motor Communication Specialist. 

“The freedom of movement afforded to you by having your own vehicle is unparalleled. However, it is important to ensure your vehicle is maintained and in the best condition to avoid incurring unnecessary costs and expenditure.”

July 2021 Car Sales Figures Take a Knock

Civil unrest and adjusted Level 4 lockdown had a negative effect on car sales during the month of July 2021. Lebogang Gaoaketse, Head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank gives us the break down

The momentum being gathered in South Africa’s new vehicle sales recovery was given a harsh blow during July as civil protests tore through large parts of the country. In addition, the majority of the sales month was spent in adjusted Level 4 lockdown and the ongoing impact of stock shortages was exacerbated by disruptions in the logistics chain at ports.

July brought the fragility of the motor industry back into stark focus.

– Lebogang Gaoaketse, Head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank

“July brought the fragility of the motor industry back into stark focus,” says Lebogang Gaoaketse, Head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank. “Not only did the month bring physical impacts, but the resulting consequences in business and consumer confidence will continue to challenge the industry’s recovery for months to come. Once again, the industry’s resilience is being put to the test.”

WesBank remains optimistic, however, for the industry’s continued recovery. Rejuvenation of rental fleets, progress in the country’s vaccination rollout programme and revitalisation of the economy in general will all contribute towards building the South African motor industry,” says Gaoaketse. “The industry needs to remain focused on delivery and the inevitable demand that will rise in the medium term.”

Although July sales recorded 1.7% growth year-on-year to 32,949 units according to naamsa | the Automotive Business Council, the month declined 13.6% compared to June sales. WesBank says the market experience was reflected in demand, with the bank’s application rate comparatively slower.

While the country encountered yet another speed bump during July, there are many reasons to believe in the continued recovery of the market.


The passenger car segment grew 9.1% year-on-year to 20,575 units but that was a far cry from the 24,497 units sold in June. The real effects of consumer confidence can be seen in the dealer channel sales, down 1.1% year-on-year and significantly worse off (-15.8%) than June.

Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales hurt even more, down 8.1% at 10,266 compared to 11,165 in July last year. Sales through the showroom floor also got dealt a 9.8% knock and the picture compared to last month’s sales, was significantly worse.

“While the country encountered yet another speed bump during July, there are many reasons to believe in the continued recovery of the market,” says Gaoaketse. Low interest rates, the return of adjusted Level 3 lockdown regulations, and some improvement to civil stability will provide a good basis for the industry’s determination to once again shine through.”

What Questions Should You Be Asking When Buying A Pre-Owned Vehicle?

Buying a car for the very first time can be extremely daunting if you don’t know how to go about it.  Fortunately, Motus Retail and Rental has compiled a list of simple questions which take the pain out of the car buying process.

Buying a new vehicle is a huge financial commitment so shopping around for the best deal is imperative. Very often pre-owned cars, even those with low mileage, can be found for quite a few Rands less than their new car equivalents, but there are a few questions you need to ask before signing on the dotted line.

Who am I buying from?

Who you buy a pre-owned vehicle from is by far the most important consideration for any car buyer.  While many websites advertise cars that are being sold by private sellers, buying a pre-owned vehicle in this manner has its risks. Vehicles sold privately or through stand-alone dealerships are largely voetstoots.

TIP: Be sure to research sellers by having a look at their website, social pages, and Google ratings.

Dealing with a national dealer group such as Motus, who owns all the vehicles that are listed for sale, affords the consumer peace of mind and recourse as well as a larger variety of vehicles to choose from.

What should I buy?

Filters on car websites help shoppers to narrow down their search according to the parameters which are important to each individual buyer.  These could include budget, model, specification, model year, or mileage. By applying filters when doing an online vehicle search, car buyers can quickly and easily create a shortlist of vehicles worth viewing in person.

TIP: The age and mileage of pre-owned vehicles will affect the price but anomalies to watch out for include cars with high mileage in comparison to their age. A good average is 20,000 – 25,000km per year.

Consumers often browse for choices online but affirm their decision from the touch and feel moment

– Corné Venter, CEO of Motus Retail & Rental SA
Is the vehicle as advertised?

Visiting the dealerships on your shortlist allows you to physically inspect the facility and the vehicle, and to ask more specific questions.

“Consumers often browse for choices online but affirm their decision from the touch and feel moment. Fortunately, when shopping with us, whatever the consumers select is exactly what they will get upon delivery,” said Corné Venter, CEO of Motus Retail & Rental SA.

Is the warranty and service plan still valid?

Warranty and service plans are time and mileage-based and expire when one of those parameters is reached.

TIP: If you are considering a vehicle without a service plan, you need to be more aware of the technical condition of the vehicle or have it checked by an independent expert.

Does the car have a full service history?

A full-service history means that the car was well maintained and this will have a direct bearing on the warranty of the vehicle.

TIP: A service history should be a serious consideration for any buyer as it can eliminate surprise costs in the future.

Has the car been in an accident?

An accident history that includes a minor bumper bashing that has been correctly repaired is nothing to worry about, however, buyers should lookout for any signs of serious damage or shoddy car repairs during the car’s life. 

TIP: An easy way to spot a repaired vehicle is via uneven body panel gaps and alignment.

Can I take it for a test drive?

A buyer should insist on taking the car for a test drive. This will allow you to get a feel for the vehicle, check that everything works as it should, and allow you to identify any apparent issues.

TIP: Turn off the radio to be able to hear any strange noises and take note if the vehicle veers to either side.

Have any major components been replaced?

If major components like the windscreen, tyres, or brakes have been recently replaced, this could save you extra money in the medium term. Conversely, if any of these items will need replacing soon, that could mean extra costs on the horizon.

TIP: Take note of the tyre tread as replacing tyres can be a costly exercise.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how trivial you think they might be and it is better to ask than assume. Listen careful to not only what the salesman says but all how he says it and use your intuition if you are not comfortable or confident with the answers you get.. Remember that you will be ‘stuck’ with the car you settle for for a minimum of 60 months so you need to be as certain as possible about the decision you make.

Volvo Cars is first car maker to explore fossil-free steel

Volvo Cars may soon have bragging rights as the first car to feature steel components made via a fossil-free production process.

Volvo Cars is teaming up with Swedish steelmaker SSAB to jointly explore the development of fossil-free, high-quality steel for use in the automotive industry.

The collaboration makes Volvo Cars the first car maker to work with SSAB on its HYBRIT initiative, the steel industry’s most ambitious and advanced projects in fossil-free steel development.

HYBRIT was started by SSAB, iron ore producer LKAB and energy firm Vattenfall. It aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is expected to be the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking technology, with virtually no carbon footprint.

As part of the collaboration, Volvo Cars will be the first car maker to secure SSAB steel made from hydrogen-reduced iron from HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden. This steel will be used for testing purposes and may be used in a concept car.

In 2026, SSAB aims to supply the market with fossil-free steel at a commercial scale. Volvo Cars aims to also be the first car maker to use fossil-free steel for its own production cars.

As we continuously reduce our total carbon footprint, we know that steel is a major area for further progress.

– Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars.

“As we continuously reduce our total carbon footprint, we know that steel is a major area for further progress,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars. “The collaboration with SSAB on fossil-free steel development could give significant emission reductions in our supply chain.”

In the city of Luleå in the North of Sweden, the construction of the HYBRIT pilot plant is on schedule. The plant is being built by the HYBRIT partners: SSAB, LKAB — whose exceptionally pure iron ore deposits are nearby — and Vattenfall, who is committed to offering fossil-free energy in one generation.
Image: SSAB South Africa

“We are building an entirely fossil-free value chain all the way to the end customer,” Martin Lindqvist, President, and CEO at SSAB said. “Our breakthrough technology has virtually no carbon footprint and will help strengthen our customer´s competitiveness. Together with Volvo Cars, we aim to develop fossil-free steel products for the cars of the future.”

Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Daqing, China

The global steel industry accounts for around 7 percent of global direct carbon emissions because the industry is currently dominated by an iron ore-based steel-making technology, using blast furnaces depending on coking coal.

For Volvo Cars, the CO2 emissions related to steel and iron production for its cars amount to around 35 percent in a traditionally powered car and 20 percent in a fully electric car of the total CO2 emissions from the material and production of the components going into the car.

Pre-production of the new Volvo S90 in the Daqing manufacturing plant

The collaboration with SSAB is the latest initiative that supports Volvo Cars’ overall climate action plan, one of the most ambitious in the car industry. The centrepiece of the plan is Volvo Cars’ ambition to be a fully electric car brand by 2030, with only pure electric cars in its line-up.

Yet the plan goes beyond addressing tailpipe emissions through all-out electrification and also seeks to tackle carbon emissions in the company’s wider operations, its supply chain, and through recycling and reuse of materials.

In the short term, these and other steps aim to reduce the life cycle carbon footprint per car by 40 percent between 2018 and 2025. By 2040, Volvo Cars’ ambition is to be a climate-neutral company.

CAR TIP OF THE WEEK: Driving During Load-shedding

Load-shedding is causing havoc on our roads by creating additional traffic and further challenging road conditions. Here are a few tips to managing the added stress that the outages contribute to everyday driving: 

  • Familiarize yourself with load-shedding schedules 
  • Attempt to avoid areas experiencing outages during your travel times with the help of apps like Google Maps.
  • Give yourself additional travel time so you avoid feeling pressurised while driving.
  • Do not drive in the yellow lane while waiting in congestion at a traffic light. It worsens the traffic for other motorists, makes it more dangerous to re-enter traffic later on, and may incite anger from other drivers.
  • While intersections should be treated as four-way stops, often this does not happen making it necessary that you double-check every path that crosses yours before going. Rather take longer to cross than not make it across at all.
  • If you find it difficult to remain calm in congestion, find ways that can assist in relaxing you such as selecting relaxing music before you leave.
  • Watch the Points People directing traffic and give them the respect that they deserve for the help they provide. 
  • If another driver is displaying reckless, selfish or any other questionable behaviour, rather ignore them and move out of their way than get upset or try to intervene.

As frustrating as it may be, accept that load-shedding is a reality. Get into your car prepared for the challenges this creates and then manage them calmly and safely. When you let frustration rule your decisions behind the wheel, the situation becomes dangerous.

Source: MasterDrive

27 custom Range Rovers with South African-inspired colour names available in Mzansi now

To highlight the near endless colour spectrum available to customers as bespoke commissions, Land Rover South Africa has made 27 custom Range Rovers in a variety of special hues available to customers in Mzansi.

Similar to the one-of-a-kind Range Rover Sport built as a tribute to the Springbok Rugby Team and finished in the exact Pantone green to match the national squad’s specific logo in 2019, all 24 Range Rover Sports and three Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamics were put through final paint processes at Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) department in Warwickshire, England.

The eight specially-formulated colours have been assigned South African-inspired titles to add a local element to the project, and all 27 vehicles are already on sale at Jaguar Land Rover retailers around the country. The special collection includes 20 Range Rover Sport SVRs finished in Stimela sa Sebusuku, single Range Rover Sport SVRs in izi Khaleni Plum1000 Hills GreenNamaqua Orange, and Egoli Yellow, and single Range Rover SVAD units in Bantry BlueSibudu Stoneand Sudwala Eve

Stimela sa Sebusuku

In addition to the unique paint offerings, each of the Range Rovers also receive custom door sill plates etched with the words ‘Built by Special Vehicle Operations’ and circular B-pillar badges etched with ‘SVO BESPOKE’ logos.

All 27 customers destined to own these vehicles will receive certificates of authenticity, each embossed with SVO logos matching respective special paint finishes and naming the South Africa-inspired colours.

South African customers interested in custom-painted Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles are not limited to these 27 offerings only, as personal colour preferences can be applied to Range Rover Sport SVR, Range Rover SVAD and Jaguar F-PACE SVR vehicles through SVO’s match-to-sample service. Whether it’s a specific brand identity, favourite pair of shoes, family heirloom or anything at all, SVO can match the colour as closely as possible using latest technologies to deliver unparalleled finishes at its dedicated paint facility.

Egoli Yellow

The scope of personalisation also includes a near limitless range of interior trims and leather options through SV Bespoke, so that discerning customers can specify a vehicle to exacting preferences.

South African customers can contact any Jaguar Land Rover dealer for potential bespoke commissions to be fulfilled by Special Vehicle Operations in the UK. 

Bantry Blue
South African-inspired colour descriptions

Sibudu Stone: Inspired by the ancient cliffs of the Sibudu Cave in Kwa Zulu Natal, Sibudu Stone is a rich, pearlescent grey-blue shade which dances dramatically off the Range Rover’s elegant silhouette.

Sudwala Eve : Inspired by the darkest chambers of the oldest caves in the world, this exclusive Sudwala Eve finish exudes an enigmatic aura as moving as the historic South African landmark itself. Like the 2.8-billion-year-old dolomite rocks which comprise the Sudwala cave system, the Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic commands respect like no other.

izi Khaleni Plum

Bantry Blue: Inspired by the cool, azure Atlantic waters and cerulean sky of Bantry Bay in the Western Cape, Bantry Blue is a deeply intense colour evocative of summer escapes that will delight occupants and onlookers equally. Spellbinding in appearance, this colour applied to the Range Rover’s clean but purposeful lines has a most magical effect.

Stimela sa Sebusuku: Inspired by the rich history trains have had in shaping South Africa, Stimela sa Sebusuku translates from isiZulu as ‘Midnight train’. This deep satin black finish underlines the Range Rover Sport’s athletic lines while paying tribute to the iconic mode of transport responsible for making Mzansi what it is today.

Namaqua Orange: Inspired by the famous Flower Route north of Cape Town that is transformed in springtime by a phenomenal exhibition of flowering daisies, Namaqua Orange is an vibrant hue fitting of the Range Rover Sport SVR’s energetic nature.

1000 Hills Green

Egoli Yellow: Inspired by Johannesburg – the city of Gold. Egoli yellow is a vibrant yellow hue, evocative of South Africa’s sunshine and the warmth of Mzansi’s people.

1000 Hills Green: Inspired by the verdant greenery in the rolling hills of Kwa-Zulu Natal, this lush, electric green has been applied to the Range Rover Sport SVR to create a show-stopping vehicle like no other.

Izi Khaleni Plum: Inspired by the deep purple sunset often witnessed near an impressive rock formation in Coffee Bay, izi Khaleni Plum is a lively colour for a lively SUV. Translated from Xhosa, izi Khaleni means ‘Place of thunder’ – a fitting title for the most powerful Land Rover in history.

New on the Tarmac: Meet the Ferocious new Audi R8

No other Audi is closer to motor racing: The Audi R8 is the dynamic spearhead and the fastest volume-production model of the Audi Sport brand. The revised version of the high-performance sports car as a Coupé and Spyder hosts an even sharper design. VIP customer deliveries of the dynamic Audi R8 V10 performance quattro have officially begun in South Africa.

This is part of a pre-launch strategy ahead of the performance sports car’s official retail launch from 1 April 2021.


The V10 is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2 FSI engine paired to a 7-speed S tronic gearbox, offering 449 kW and 560 Nm of torque. The Audi R8 V10 Coupé sprints to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, and the Spyder takes 3.3 seconds. Top speed is a blistering 329 km/h.  

Audi R8 customers can enjoy the standard high-gloss black styling package as a sporty exterior look to their sports car. The front splitter, the sill trims and diffuser are all finished off in black accents, with an option to upgrade the exterior look to the gloss carbon RS exterior parts which creates an aggressively sportier look. 

LED headlamps and rear lights with dynamic turn signals and high-beam control are standard with an option to upgrade to the Audi laser light at an extra cost.


The new look extends to the interior of the Audi R8 with its driver focus orientation. New options here include the R8 sports seat with fine Nappa leather and diamond stitching as standard. Customers are able to select between the upholstery colours of red, white or black.

The operating concept, the Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI

The driver sits in the new Audi R8 like in a race car. The entire operating concept focuses on the driver alone, who can operate all key functions without having to take their hands off the steering wheel or look away from the road. 

The R8 performance multifunction steering wheel plus integrates three satellite buttons in addition to its push-buttons for the MMI. One is used to start and stop the engine, the second is used to select the basic modes of Audi drive select and the third for the performance programs.

Other key standard equipment includes: rear view camera, electric and folding exterior mirrors, comfort key, parking aid plus, R8 sport seats, seat heaters, tyre mobility kit with a tyre pressure monitoring system (to name a few).


Local pricing and availability

The updated Audi R8 range is priced as follows (inclusive of all taxes) and comes standard with a five year Audi Freeway Plan:

Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance quattro        R3,336,000

Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance quattro       R3,592,500