For 25 years waiting rooms and living rooms have been anchored by the thick wedge that was AutoTrader’s flagship – a magazine with pages densely packed with cars for sale from all throughout the country. This month the magazine says goodbye to the South African public; a milestone that is both an end and a bold new beginning, and goes fully digital for the first time. AutoTrader CEO George Mienie said, “The magazine was the start of our business and was the heart of the business for 15 years before the transition to digital started in 2008. At one stage it was so popular that our printers told us we had to hold off as the magazine size was going to break the binder! In fact, there were several instances when AutoTrader was late to retail shelves as a result of it having broken the binders. But today we live in a far more exciting reality. There’s no doubt that it’s time to fully embrace the digital age.” The move to online only is the result of visionary thinking and extensive research, a process that has been in operation for nearly ten years. “We launched our magazine in 1992 and our website in 1998,” said Mienie. “It was in 2008 that we realised our magazine had a shelf-life. The internet was developing so fast, and the possibilities of what could be done online were so vast.” Mienie and his team hit on a novel way to track the change. As with all AutoTrader policy making, they put the process in the consumers’ hands, monitoring changing consumer preference as a guide to when it would be time to make the full digital jump. “We had to let our customers decide, after all, it’s their platform,” said Mienie. “We created two unique sets of telephone response numbers, one printed in the magazine and the other on our website. We then knew whether our users were responding via the magazine or the website, and through tracking it month-by-month we could see how quickly their preference was changing.” Having a finger on the digital versus print pulse . . .
Fashionable fabrics, inspired interiors and wall-to-wall trendsetting décor will adorn the Cape Town International Convention Centre from the 27th to 30th April 2017 as Decorex Cape Town – co-sponsored by Plascon and Caesarstone – takes over the city. In line with the 2017 theme, ‘Make your space your living dream’, visitors to South Africa’s premier décor, design and lifestyle exhibition will be immersed in natural fabrics, revitalising tones and quality products all centred around a vision of reclaiming a space of sanctuary, disconnected from the relentless noise and distraction of the modern world. Cape Town, which leads the way in décor excellence nationwide, can expect to see only the highest quality products and décor set to international standard, as well as the country’s most creative designers who will be showcasing the latest trends. Visitors can interact with the country’s top designers where the latest trends will be accessibly featured in a variety of room settings. The Decorex Designer Spotlight will showcase the work of iconic Cape Town designer Dylan Thomaz while stylish living ideas can be picked up at the Decorex Trend House, where each room of this home scape will be transformed using relevant @Home furnishings, providing a pragmatic and visual representation of the 2017 trends. Anyone looking for a change in hue can visit the Plascon stand where the highly anticipated 2017 colour palette will be revealed. And for the latest in international-level kitchen products and appliances, visitors are invited to Franke Kitchen Design Project where four local kitchen designers will compete to create the ultimate ‘Simplicity in Design’ kitchen. Not to be missed this year is one of the show’s highlights, ‘We are Cape Town’ which is a dazzling standalone exhibition within Decorex Cape Town and acts as an enticing forerunner to 100% Design South Africa’s main event, which is held in Johannesburg at Gallagher Convention Centre from 9 to 13 August . . .
One lady and two gentleman bravely travelled a distance of 443 557 km and delivered over 12,000 bales of hay weighing a total of 3456 tonnes! This was the journey of Boytjie, Boertjie and Die Lady – three trucks donated by Volvo Trucks with the purpose of assisting farmers that have been struck by the drought throughout South Africa. The facilitation of the deliveries to over 1200 farmers in various sectors that have been affected by the drought was done through Boere In Nood a non-profit organisation that was established in 2015. “We realised that while the drought is taking its toll on a lot of communities the people that feel the impact of the drought first hand is very often one of our customers – farmers. To this end we investigated various manners in which Volvo Trucks Southern Africa would not only be able to assist the drought stricken farmers but also see first-hand the impact of the assistance given to the farmers,” says Valentia Hobbs, General Manager, Marketing and Communication. Volvo Trucks not only offered the three trucks but also provided drivers and diesel to the vehicles that would travel a total of 443 557 km’s around South Africa. The truck drivers were often the unspoken heroes of the day as they faced some harsh words in lieu of the good work that they were doing. “We are proud of our association and the impact that we have been able to make through this collaboration with Boere in Nood. The work may be far from over, however, it is a privilege to have been able to make a real difference to the people affected, as well as the animals whose lives were saved from the deliveries of the feed” concludes Valentia. To see more about the journey that Boertjie, Boytjie and Die Lady embarked on please visit https://www.facebook.com/VolvoTrucksSouthAfrica/videos/992956357504363/ . FACTS about the Volvo Trucks Boere in Nood project: The project cost Volvo Trucks over R3million Total farmers helped: 1232 Total amount of feed . . .
For the second consecutive year, the Tintswalo Atlantic lodge in Hout Bay will host a special ‘Phoenix Charity Dinner’, in commemoration of the devastating Western Cape fires of 2015, which also claimed the original lodge. The event will take place on Wednesday, 3 May 2017, at 18:00 (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE). The evening is set to commence with drinks and a spectacular dinner with live musical entertainment, followed by a fundraising auction during which guests will be able to bid on exciting auction items while contributing to a worthy cause – this year in support of Thula Thula Hout Bay. This local disaster relief organisation was founded in 2015 to address a need for centralised, community-oriented collections and distributions. Composed of a group of local residents, the non-governmental organisation proactively prepares for disaster relief in partnership with residents, retailers and businesses. Thula Thula also seeks to educate the public in order to prevent or control fires. Funds raised at the Phoenix Charity Dinner will be used to employ trainers to educate young people about the best course of action during fire threats, in an effort to help reduce fire disasters affecting local homes. Lisa Goosen, CEO of Tintswalo Atlantic says Tintswalo holds this cause very close to its heart, and would like to contribute to a group that is helping those suffering a similar, and often worse, loss to the one experienced by the lodge. Tickets are available at R1,200 per person, and tables of 10 will receive a special rate of R10,000 per table. To make a night of it, dinner guests are also encouraged to book one of the hotel’s luxury Suites at R10,780 per couple, which includes the charity dinner, as well as breakfast the following morning. The Phoenix Charity Dinner will be co-hosted by event sponsors, Little Black Book, Julie Killias Events, and Shakierah Abrahams. For further information and to book tickets and overnight stays, please call: Tel 021 . . .
Using superior design techniques and quality products, the Decorex SA Trend House will give visitors real-world examples of how the 2017 trends can be transformed into a #livingdream home. To be Featured at the Durban show from 18 to 21 March, the design of the Trend House will artfully connect this year’s inspiring trends with the Decorex SA ‘Make your space your living dream’ theme. “It has been such an inspiring experience carefully analysing each revitalising trend and bringing it to life in various spaces,” explained Anita Bloom, Creative Director: Decorex SA. “The Trend House will be a true representation of the nurturing calm that underscores 2017 with a move away from self-involved technological obsession to a more naturally-inspired, soothing sense that really rejuvenates the body and soul. And, in order to achieve this, we will be using only the best range of South African furnishings and décor, kindly sponsored by a number of exhibitors.” The full installation will be a tangible representation of what’s on offer at the @home stores – including furniture, décor, bar accessories, soft textiles and art - with visitors able to meander through the Trend House, gaining inspiring ideas for the translation of these products in their own #livingdream space. “Decorex is a wonderful platform for professionals in the industry, trendsetters, as well as homeowners who are perhaps upgrading their homes or looking for new ideas and inspiration,” Renee New, Head of Divisional Operations and Commercial: TFG Jewellery and @home. “The Decorex brand comes with authority and credibility, known for always being ‘on point’ with the latest looks. This resonates with the @home brand as we strive to offer our customers a credible value offer of beautifully crafted and ‘curated’ settings, inspired by global trends but accessible to the South African market. Decorex inspires and this is exactly what we want our customers to feel when they visit our stores and engage . . .
Forming the heart of the home, the kitchen is often the most utilised space and requires a purpose-driven design with quality products and appliances, all of which can be found at the KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng Decorex SA 2017 exhibitions, co-sponsored by Plascon and Caesarstone. Decorex SA is not only endorsed by Kitchen Specialists’ Association of South Africa (KSA) but they also welcome the leaders in the kitchen world, Franke, who will be showcasing four ‘Simplicity in Design’ Kitchen Trends-sponsored stands at the 2017 edition. Commenting on the 2017 kitchen trends that visitors can expect to see, Franke SA’s National Sales Manager, Clinton Soutter, explained: “Kitchens design continues to maximise space, which is often limited and we’re seeing the open-plan model retaining popularity. The kitchen continues to be a place where people socialise, and not just perform a task of preparing food. Designers constantly have to ensure every aspect of the design is user-friendly and functional to the individual homeowners’ needs and lifestyle.” He emphasised that, although the theme encourages simplicity, it is in no way ‘simplistic’. “There are much cleverer designs coming through with space being maximised. Every inch and item within the kitchen must have purpose. Visitors to Decorex SA will be interested in seeing the innovative adaptions to products, driven by consumer desires. Where bigger sinks are popular, people are also very water conscious so we are seeing a trend towards wider sinks which have less depth. The kitchen mixer continues to evolve with technology (such as finger touch controls) playing a big role, along with sleeker lines.” KSA is a kitchen industry and consumer association that regulates the trade, ensuring the highest standards are maintained while providing the consumer with assistance. Decorex SA is exclusively endorsed by this renowned regulatory association. Looking to 2017, Stephanie Forbes, National Manager of . . .
Auto Agent, the maker of brilliant car dealer websites in South Africa has partnered with a leading car sales website. This partnership enables car dealers to push their vehicle stock to multiple platforms from their own dealer site. Car dealer website company Auto Agent celebrates it's sixth year of serving South African car dealerships with high quality websites. From it's outset, the goal was to optimise dealer sites for mobile audiences by providing mobile friendly navigation as standard across it's customer interfaces. Used car dealers responded positively to the Auto Agent sales platform with it's mobile friendly navigation and easy to use administration, catering for the website stock management, 3rd party advertising, promotions and staff management. Leads management that features SMS notification, email and database storage that can be output as XLS spreadsheets for later analysis. Most recently, Auto Agent has partnered with cars.co.za (and previously with olx.co.za) to facilitate a streamlined inventory upload across multiple selling platforms. This means that dealers now have 3 powerful sales platforms from which they can generate sales leads: pickacar.co.za, usedcarsforsale.co.za and the recent addition of cars.co.za. This has been one of the strengths behind the Auto Agent platform as it frees the dealer from having to manually load his vehicle stock across multiple car selling sites. Auto Agent is particularly excited to offer Cars.co.za on it's platform as they have become a major player in the online used car sales space. Back in 2011, founder Pierre Theron saw that the used car dealerships were not well served and that many home grown solutions and DIY dealer sites simply generated more admin for car dealerships. Apart from loading to the 3rd party automotive sales websites, car dealers were burdened by having to load to their own websites too, with little benefit. The Auto Agent catchphrase "load once" was coined and dealers were now . . .
When the iconic Dodge Challenger arrived on the scene for the first time in 1970 it was heralded as a major player in the world of muscle cars by motoring enthusiasts. At the time of its release it was a direct competitor to the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. The Challenger though was larger, far more luxurious and more akin to the Mercury Cougar. Ultimately however what sets this car apart from its rivals of old in this day and age is its rarity. Low production numbers means these beauties are few and far between, making it a prestigious collector’s car. Durban based company, AMCAR Imports have their hands on a Dodge Challenger exclusive, the first ever replica of the 1970 Dodge Challenger Dynacorn body. Dynacorn are officially licensed to the world’s biggest muscle car manufacturers which adds an authentic stamp to AMCAR’s project. In addition the car will be installed with a brand new, 2016 Hellcat Hemi V8 engine directly from Chrysler USA. The experience folk at AMCAR who specialise in importing and restoring American muscle cars are now standing by to customise this 1970 classic to a lucky purchaser. AMCAR CEO, Craig Buck says the beauty of this project is that the buyer will receive an exact replica of the 1970 Dodge Challenger with the car technology of today. “What this means is that we will sell the car with the old school look, original components but with modern and state of the art specifications,” Buck said. Buck who is hugely experienced in the industry says AMCAR borrows their approach from popular American car modification mogul, Chip Foose who pioneered the art of restoration and modification: Restomod. “The thinking behind this is that we want to give our customers the best of both worlds,” Buck explains. “We mix old and new technology for performance and reliability. This car will be fitted with a modern steering system. The latest in breaking technology, upmarket suspension and bigger tyres. The brand new . . .
The Bridge on the N4 that crosses the Groot Marico River has been damaged due to recent storms in the region during December. Liam Clarke commercial manager of Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, operator of the N1N4 toll route, explains that one side of the bridge is damaged. For safety reasons, traffic restrictions on the bridge were introduced from 8am Friday, 13 January 2017. These temporary restrictions will continue until further notice. “Bakwena has implemented a manual stop/go system. Vehicles will be able to use only the one side of the bridge that isn’t damaged. This is to enable Bakwena to assess the full extent of the damage. Only then can we establish what further action is required and how long remedial work may take. We are confident the bridge is in no immediate danger to road users. Restricting traffic to one side of the bridge will reduce the amount of traffic and wear and tear on the bridge per hour. This is in interest of the safety of road users,” says Clarke. This option was determined as the most effective by Bakwena’s team of engineers. They also considered the alternative of completely closing the bridge. “However, closing the bridge altogether would have meant a 36km detour for motorists. “We call on motorists to exercise caution and restraint while we assess the damage. A more detailed announcement will be made as soon as the extent of the damage and works required is evaluated,” concludes Clarke. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Barloworld Equipment Southern Africa has unveiled a state-of-the-art robotic system that has modernised the way the refurbishment of track shoes for Caterpillar bulldozers is done. The robot has effectively replaced the manually driven and monotonous process of refurbishing the track shoes with an automated, end-to-end mechanism that requires little human involvement. The technological advancement in refurbishing track shoes will significantly reduce refurbishment costs for clients, improve product quality, and cut the turnaround time it takes to rebuild track shoes, thereby generating financial benefits for customers through reducing downtime. “Before the robot was introduced, it took five days for two people to manually refurbish the tracks for a D11 bulldozer. The robot does the same work in 20 hours, with one operator. “There are many competitors in the market that provide the same service. It’s very important for us to be faster and more price-competitive than our competitors,” said Sean Walsh, senior general manager at Barloworld Equipment. People now do 5% of what they used to do manually, reducing exposure to heat and potential injuries, as the robot does the welding and also handles materials (steel bars) used to refurbish bulldozer track shoes. Now the Barloworld Equipment operators can focus on the more complex tasks they are trained for. Currently the robot refurbishes track shoes for D9, D10 and D11 Caterpillar bulldozers. In future, it will have the capacity to refurbish track shoes for D7 and D8 Caterpillar bulldozers. “We can repair track shoes and the track links, enabling our customers to get a second life on their machines. When the machines are parked due to inactivity or breakdowns, our customers lose money. The short turnaround time will reduce downtime for our customers to enable them to make money,” said Burger. How does the robot work? The robot, nicknamed “Tokolosie”, has two arms. The first arm (the gripper) . . .