Do not be blinded by the price tag when buying vehicles for your fleet

Dr Molapo

Dr Molapo, Head of Fleet Management at Standard Bank

The most common mistake that businesses make when buying vehicles for their fleet is to give too much weight to the purchase price. Vehicles with the lowest price tag on the showroom floor can easily turn out to be the most expensive choice for fleet owners.

Dr David Molapo, Head of Fleet Management at Standard Bank, advises prospective fleet buyers to calculate the total cost of ownership over the entire useful lifespan of each of the vehicles that they consider buying.

Only then will their true value become clear, allowing for proper comparisons between different brands, models and the entire class of vehicles.

For example, fleet buyers may go for half-ton bakkies instead of one-tonners, simply because smaller vehicles carry a lower price tag. However, if a half-tonner has been bought to perform the job of a one-tonner, maintenance bills will push the life-time costs of a half-tonner way beyond that of a bigger bakkie,” says Dr Molapo. It ends up being too expensive regardless of its purchase price.

“Once the use and application of the vehicle has been considered and the correct class of vehicle chosen, the range of brands and models within that class can still be quite bewildering. Again, careful calculation of the total cost of ownership of each vehicle on your short list can help you to make the best choice.”

Dr Molapo says total cost of ownership is made up of instalment payments (or purchase price if the vehicle is bought outright in cash), fuel consumption, maintenance costs, tyres, insurance, tracking and licencing.

He illustrates that the purchase price of a vehicle can well be less than half of its total cost of ownership.

For example, a small 1.6 sedan with a showroom price tag of R220 000 that has travelled for 120 000 kilometres over 48 months will accumulate a total cost of ownership of R465 000, broken down as follows:

  • Repayments               R262 022 (purchase price financed at 9.25%)
  • Fuel                             R105 907
  • Maintenance               R39 237
  • Insurance                    R38 400
  • Tracking                      R12 000
  • Tyres                           R6 689
  • Licencing                     R1 344

Certain components of the total cost of ownership are clear, such as the repayment, tracking and licensing. However, calculating the amount of fuel and maintenance that a vehicle will require over its life span is more complex than it seems.

The first step should be looking at the official figures from the manufacturer, says Dr Molapo. But keep in mind that they typically reflect the use of the vehicle under ideal circumstances. Fuel consumption, maintenance and tyres will certainly be higher than manufacturers' professed figures if a vehicle does a lot of dirt-road travelling or stop-start city driving.

Dr Molapo recommends that a buyer supplements the manufacturers' claims with information gathered from other fleet owners, industry bodies, the Automobile Association, vehicle reviews in the motoring media and advice from their vehicle financier.

Apart from the cold cost calculation, the human factor must also be considered. For example, the most careful predictions of the total cost of ownership of a vehicle will often be inaccurate if the vehicle is used by a bad driver. While driver training may seem like an unnecessary extra expense, it can reduce the total cost of owning a vehicle significantly.

Therefore, it is important to consider the specific use of the vehicles, and fleet owners should think beyond the potentially unrealistic savings of a low purchase price, and consider the total cost of ownership before committing to a purchase,” concludes Dr Molapo.

Also view:

Vehicle Finance, Car Insurance and Road Safety

Buying and Selling a Vehicle – Informed decisions and the Vehicle Retailer

Fleet Management, Logistics and Road Safety

Prize money and quality confirmed for 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek

No Comments »Written on October 6th, 2014 by
Categories: Bicycles and Mountain Bikes, Vehicle
BridgeCPT2013stagestartlrweb

There will once again be a strong international field lining up at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, which starts on Sunday. Photo by Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia

The significant prize money purse as well as the high quality race environment at the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will be unaffected despite the recent decision by Bridge, the event’s title sponsor, to apply for business rescue, according to Race Director, Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Event Management, the company that owns and organises the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.

The sixth edition of the seven-day international mountain bike stage race in South Africa’s Western Cape province has attracted a strong field, which includes a number of current and former national, continental and world champions and a total of over 400 riders from 15 countries.

Bridge, a provider of short-term unsecured credit, decided in early September to apply for business rescue as a result of, among of factors, the rapid deterioration of confidence in the unsecured lending industry following the placing of a major player into curatorship.  The business rescue process allows for a legal framework to restructure Bridge to enable it to continue as a sustainable business.

“We have been in contact with all our sponsors over the past two weeks and I can confirm that the 2014 edition of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will not be affected on any level and will go ahead as planned with all the relevant rider benefits and prize money,” said Rademeyer on Monday.

“The decision by Bridge to honour its commitment to the race in particular and mountain biking in general is to be respected and appreciated.

“We have a very committed group of sponsors who work with us closely to ensure our events continuously deliver the highest standards. Besides Bridge, our title sponsor, Klein Karoo International, Fairview, Wilde Juice, Cape Brewing Co, 32GI and Giant bicycles are all headline and partner sponsors at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.

“Another important aspect of the Bridge sponsorship of the Cape Pioneer Trek is that they have allowed us to retain our tone as an event that’s challenging, but sympathetic. We do our best to make every participant – be they a world champion or a weekend warrior – feel like an important part of the event. It’s one of the reasons we get so many returning participants each year,” added Rademeyer.

Since 2012 when it took on the Cape Pioneer Trek in a five-year sponsorship agreement, Bridge has given the event a significant boost, particularly in the prize money department, which has helped the race secure International Cycling Union (UCI) grading status. Bridge has also been responsible for increasing the women’s category prize money at the Cape Pioneer Trek so that it is equivalent to what the men earn. The total prize money for all categories for the 2014 event is over R450 000 (approximately US$45 000).

The 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will be held from 12-18 October 2014. For more information on the event, visit www.capepioneer.co.za
Also view:

Mountain Bike Events / Planning and the Safety of Bikers

Mountain Bike Safety and Riding on the Trail

Endurance Sports, Driver Fatigue and Road Safety

 

De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz continue to excel at Rally of Morocco

No Comments »Written on October 6th, 2014 by
Categories: Car Insurance, Vehicle

Morocco rally day 2

Stage 2 of the Rally of Morocco saw crews traverse 211 km of rough terrain, including a short dune crossing. As with yesterday's opening stage, Toyota Imperial Hilux driver Giniel de Villiers ended second, just 1:22 behind the stage winner. But while the opening stage was won by Orlando Terranova of Argentina (MINI All4Racing), it was Qatar's Nasser Al-Attyah (MINI X-Raid) who triumphed today.

De Villiers, with German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz reading the notes, posted a time of 02:25:53 - just 1:22 behind Al-Attyah. More importantly it was 2:19 faster than the time posted by Terranova, who ended the stage in 4th position. This performance sees De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz maintain their second position overall, with the gap to Al-Attyah, who now leads, just 39 seconds.

According to De Villiers, today saw some close racing between themselves and early leader Terranova: "We caught him fairly quickly this morning, and managed to pass easily. But Orlando is a tough competitor, and he overtook us again some time later. We were stuck in his dust for quite a long time, but when we reached the dunes he made a mistake and we went past again."

This left De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz to pick their own way through the dunes, which they did without mishap, arriving at the bivouac first today, despite losing time to Al-Attiyah.

"We had a small issue with the front brake pads this morning," added Team Principal Glyn Hall. "The brakes were snatching rather than biting progressively, but despite this snag, the crew did us proud."

In the overall standings it is Al-Attiyah who now sets the pace, with De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz in second. Stage 1 winner, Terranova, has slipped down into third place, with Erik van Loon of the Netherlands (MINI X-Raid) in 4th. Bernhard ten Brinke, also of the Netherlands, rounds out the Top 5 in his Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux.

Tomorrow's stage starts in the town of Erfoud for the final time, and sees crews heading towards Zagora, in the Southwest of the country. At 314 km stage 3 is also the longest of the event, and promises to be a turning point for many of the crews. The Rally of Morocco finishes on Thursday October 9th, with a finale in Marrakech.

Fans can follow the action via Toyota's social media: www.twitter.com/toyotasa (#hiluxvsmorocco); and www.facebook.com/toyotasouthafrica.

Toyota Motorsport South Africa acknowledges its sponsors and specialist official supplier and technical partners:

Toyota, Imperial Toyota Group, Duxbury Netgear, Innovation Group, Toyota Financial Services, SAA Cargo, Sat4Rent, Bosch, Castrol, DeWalt, Donaldson, Edgecam, 4x4 Mega World, Hallspeed, Mastercraft, NGK, Oakley, SKF, Spanjaard, freeM, Smiths Industries and TFM.

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Safe Driving on Gravel

 

2014 Berlin Marathon won in record time using Continental rubber technology

Adizero adios boost

  • Another victory on Adidas shoes with cutting-edge Continental compound
  • Third world record involving the leading international tyre manufacturer since 2011
  • Beats the previous fastest time by a massive 26 seconds
  • Range of Adidas shoes with Continental rubber compound for running and outdoor segments expanding rapidly

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, 1 October 2014 – Continental is best known for its industry-leading tyre and automotive products, but the company is setting new records in the world of athletics, too. It provided the rubber compound used on the adidas shoes worn by top African athlete Dennis Kimetto, who not only won the 2014 Berlin Marathon, but set a new record in the process.

The 41st running of this high-profile event, held at the end of September, was dominated by the 30 year-old from Kenya. He crossed the finish line under the Brandenburg Gate in a world-record time of 2 hr 02 min 57 sec.

The final stage saw Kimetto engaged in a thrilling battle with his compatriot Emmanuel Mutai. Both men used the same adizero Adios Boost 2.0 shoes that feature compounding technology from Continental. Mutai finished just 16 sec behind Kimetto.

Kimetto and Mutai both beat the previous world record (2:03:23) set last year by fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang.

Continental, based in Hanover, has for some time been supplying sports goods manufacturer adidas with special rubber compounds that endow its shoes with a marked improvement in grip on all surfaces.

Due to their exceptional performance, these Continental-augmented adidas shoes are becoming widely adopted by top athletes around the world. Most notably they ease the load on the athlete’s joints and draw on the expertise of Continental’s tyre developers to deliver top stability on wet and dry asphalt, thus saving the decisive seconds in pursuit of new personal bests and world records.

Ever since adidas and Continental began their technology-based cooperation they have been progressively expanding its coverage. Today more than 80 different running and trekking shoes for men and women are already on the market.

All of these shoes have soles with extremely high grip made from special rubber compounds devised by Continental. And there are more new models and innovations in the pipeline. Experts at Continental are currently developing sole compounds for extreme conditions, including snow and ice, aiming to offer professional and amateur runners even greater safety.

Also view:

Running / Jogging and Road Safety

Capture

Modern Luxury from Paris Show – with Trendsetters from Mercedes, AMG and smart

No Comments »Written on October 3rd, 2014 by
Categories: Car Insurance, Vehicle

B Class in Paris

Paris - A family-friendly electric car, a luxury saloon with compact car fuel consumption, perfect city cars for more driving fun and sports cars that also cut a fine figure in 30 km/h zones - it is with this unique array of new models in five vehicle classes that Mercedes-Benz (B and S-Class), Mercedes-AMG      (C 63 and GT) and smart (new fortwo and forfour) are setting powerful accents at the world's busiest motor show. Instead of short-lived fashions, the inventor of the automobile is presenting long-term trends for modern luxury - also and in particular when it comes to sustainability. The best examples are the new S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, the first luxury saloon with a combined fuel consumption of less than three litres, and the battery-driven version of the new B-Class, which celebrates its world premiere in Paris. Also in the spotlight for the first time is the new Mercedes-AMG C 63, the sporting pinnacle of the C-Class line-up.

"With the new Mercedes-AMG C 63, our performance experts demonstrate once again that characteristics like 'family friendly' and 'race-track ready' need not be contradictory," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, speaking at today's Mercedes press conference at the Paris Motor Show. The new top model in the C-Class line-up makes its debut on the Seine in two body versions - as a saloon and estate car. Both combine outstanding performance with unrestricted everyday usability and functionality. The C 63 is driven by a 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine closely related to the power unit in the equally new Mercedes-AMG GT.

"The potential of this engine is best described with three figures: four litres of displacement, two power levels and one certified fuel consumption of just 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Thanks to its amazing efficiency, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 is the world's most fuel efficient V8 model - over 30 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor and significantly more efficient than its less powerful competitors with six-cylinder engines.

The power spectrum ranges from 350 kW in the C 63 to 375 kW in the C 63 S. The AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with electronically regulated shock absorbers, the mechanical rear differential lock and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programme are among its extensive array of standard equipment.

Mercedes-AMG GT: Fascinating sports car "handcrafted by racers"

The Mercedes-AMG GT celebrates its show premiere in Paris, taking the Mercedes-Benz sports car brand into a top-flight segment that is new for the company. Its front mid-engine concept with transaxle and intelligent aluminium lightweight design create the foundation for a highly dynamic driving experience. The basis for AMG's signature Driving Performance is the newly developed AMG V8 biturbo engine, in the GT with 340 kW and in the GT S with 375 kW.

Thanks to the aluminium spaceframe, the new GT is lean and mean. The most powerful version, the GT S, has a power-to-weight ratio of 3.08 kg/hp, making it the best in the segment. The GT body-in-white and bodyshell is 93 percent aluminium; the front module is made from super-light magnesium.
Prof. Dr. Weber: "We want to make Mercedes-AMG the most desirable sports car brand in the world. The new GT and the new C 63 are two milestones on this path." By halfway through this year, Mercedes-AMG had already sold 23,000 vehicles worldwide. Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Sales and Marketing: "By the end of the year, we want to have exceeded the 40,000 mark, thereby setting a new sales record."

Another model making its debut in the "dream car" category is the S 65 AMG Coupé, the new twelve-cylinder top model in the S-Class Coupé line-up. Unique V12 driveline comfort, superlative performance and exquisite appointments characterise this elegantly sporty two-door. The AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine with 463 kW and 1,000 Nm of torque underscores its exceptional positioning in the competitive segment.

The New-Generation B-Class: Bestseller in its best shape ever

Another world premiere being presented by Mercedes-Benz in Paris is the new generation of the B-Class. The pioneer and bestseller in the premium sports tourer segment has undergone an extensive facelift and has been substantially upgraded both inside and out.

The current B-Class has paved the way to enormous success in the premium compact segment for Mercedes-Benz. Since the launch of the second-generation B-Class at the end of 2011, the brand with the three-pointed star has sold around 835,000 vehicles from the A, B, CLA and GLA-Classes worldwide, including more than 350,000 sports tourers. In France, the B-Class is one of the bestselling Mercedes models. After Germany and China, the "Grande Nation" is its third biggest market. "In light of this success, we understand very well why other premium manufacturers are now also becoming active in the B-Class segment," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche.

The spectrum of the B-Class facelift extends from its updated bodyshell design and new LED main headlamps to its even more premium and functional interior design. "Our bestseller is now in its best shape ever," says Ola Källenius. "The B-Class is the perfect (family) car for everyone who values practicality, comfort and safety, but without wanting to sacrifice sporting character and performance."

What is unique in the market is the bandwidth of drive alternatives available to B-Class customers. They include five modern diesel and five petrol versions as well as one natural gas variant, the B 200 Natural Gas Drive, and the B-Class Electric Drive with battery power. Added to that are several variants with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

With the B-Class Electric Drive and the B 200 Natural Gas Drive, there are no fewer than two models in the line-up with alternative drive. Both use the modular "ENERGY SPACE" bodyshell concept, where the lithium-ion battery (B-Class Electric Drive) or one large and two smaller natural gas tanks and a 14-litre petrol tank (B 200 Natural Gas Drive) are mounted beneath the floor. This approach means the five-seater retains its notably generous interior and boot space as well as its outstanding variability

B-Class Electric Drive: Spirited, flexible, fully suited to everyday use

With its powerful and torquey electric motor (132 kW, 340 Nm), the new B-Class Electric Drive delivers spirited performance: The dash from zero to 100 km/h takes just 7.9 seconds. The intelligent packaging with the lithium-ion battery beneath the floor ensures plenty of interior and boot space. With 501 to 1,456 litres of space, the fully fledged five-seater offers considerably more luggage room than all of its competitors. It has a range of 200 kilometres, increasing to as much as 230 kilometres with the optional RANGE PLUS mode - likewise a best-in-class.

The New S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID: Efficiency = Performance

A sizable electric range is also among the features of the new Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID. The highly efficient luxury saloon combines the performance of a V8 with the fuel consumption of a compact model.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche: "The S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the first luxury saloon in the world with a certified fuel consumption of 2.8 litres per 100 kilometres and an electric-only range of up to 33 kilometres. The result is CO2 emissions of just 65 grams per kilometre. This means we are already undercutting the CO2 limits planned for 2020 - by 30 percent." The extremely low average consumption is in stark contrast to the high system output of 245 kW and maximum torque of 480 Nm.

The electric motor contributes 85 kW of power and 340 Nm of torque. Dr. Zetsche: "The S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the vanguard in our extensive plug-in hybrid offensive. By 2017, we will introduce nine more Mercedes models with this highly efficient drive technology. This means that, on average, we will bring a new hybrid model to market every four months."

smart four four

The New smart fortwo and forfour: Even more French, even smarter

"The new generation of the perfect city car is now even more French and even smarter than ever before. At still just 2.69 metres long, the ultra-compact smart fortwo continues to be built at our plant in Hambach. And the new smart forfour is being manufactured in cooperation with our partners from Renault," says smart boss Annette Winkler. "The new models appeal to both the heart and the head in equal measure and are the 100-percent embodiment of joie de vivre. That's why Paris is the ideal place for the public premiere of the new smart family."

Short overhangs, compact length, high steering turn-in - the new smart models have the very best prerequisites not only to squeeze into every parking space, but around every corner, too. Thanks to a 100-mm wider track, the wheels have been shifted even farther outwards. These characteristic proportions offer excellent visibility and manoeuvrability and, together with the rear engine, facilitate an occupant cell with an unmatched level of room in an extremely compact space.

The new smart models come to market with two modern three-cylinder engines, complying with the Euro 6 standard, as well as the new five-speed manual transmission and twinamic six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The successful safety principle of the preceding model based around the tridion cell has been retained. Advanced assistance systems, previously reserved for higher vehicle classes, raise safety and comfort even further. They include the standard-fit Crosswind Assist and features such as the forward collision warning function and Lane Keeping Assist.

The multimedia systems in the new smart models are also to the very highest standards, with comprehensive smartphone integration, real-time navigation and intuitive touchscreen control as well as the impressive JBL sound system. Likewise out of the ordinary are the three optional equipment lines passion, prime and proxy. They stick firmly to the unconventional exterior design with its bi-colour concept. In true smart style - individuality and comfort meet innovation, functionality and select materials.

 

The all-new Mazda3: Innovating the sports compact

No Comments »Written on October 2nd, 2014 by
Categories: Car Insurance, Vehicle

Mazda 3

Since the launch of the first generation in 2003, through the second generation and up to the present, the Mazda3 has consistently exceeded both customers' expectations and the industry standards. Responsive handling ensures driving pleasure while excellent environmental and safety performance is topped off with an emotive design complemented by the highest level of craftsmanship. It is no surprise then, that the Mazda3 has established itself as one of Mazda's core models. It is sold in over 120 countries around the world and accounts for more than 30% of Mazda's annual sales volume.

"There is no doubt that the Mazda3 represents the Mazda brand, and in order to take this key model to the next level, we made it our mission to deliver a product which would exceed the expectations of both long-standing fans and potential new customers. We knew that in addition to further enhancing the vehicle's basic performance and delivering a generous serving of Mazda's renowned driving pleasure, it was essential to offer something new; something never before seen in the segment." says David Hughes, Managing Director Mazda South Africa.

Mazda 3 interior

"Therefore, we made innovating the sports compact our theme, and set about achieving this innovation by considering the vehicle from the customers' point of view. Our aim was to appeal to the customer on two different levels. We wanted to create a stunning first impression that captures the eye and increases in impact when you climb inside as well as a deeper-level appeal that customers will come to understand and appreciate more fully over the years of ownership. The dynamic design captivates viewers at first glance and drivers will note the nimble and linear feedback the first time they get behind the wheel. Our goal with the Mazda3 was that the Mazda-unique experience of unity between car and driver would become stronger and deeper with each passing mile. The soulful design, packaging, high-quality interior, and outstanding environmental and safety performance all incorporate this quest to appeal to the customer on a deeper level; to make the vehicle something more akin to a life partner than a simple possession." concludes Hughes. 

The all-new Mazda3 brings together the very best Mazda has to offer. At a single glance, the design conveys the unique, instantaneous power of which the Mazda3 is capable. The dynamic expressions of KODO design, from the broad powerful stance, to the bold and rhythmical undulations of the body surface, suggest the exhilarating drive that awaits. The Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine models employ the full suite of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, which delivers both responsive driving and outstanding environmental performance. While the carried-forward renowned MZR 1.6 engine for the low to mid-range models continues to deliver exceptional performance.

The all new Mazda3 is designed and built to the highest standard of performance and reliability. This standard is backed up by a 3-year unlimited kilometre factory warranty. To provide complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year roadside assistance, a 3-year service plan and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.

Mazda 3 2

Awards for Figo and EcoSport in Kinsey Report

Ford vision

Two Ford nameplates have been honoured with category wins in the annual Kinsey Report, which details parts and maintenance costs for new vehicles sold in South Africa. The 2014 report is the 25th edition of the publication, and marks the eighth award in the last ten years, for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA).

This year’s winners include the Figo1.4-litre Ambiente derivative– which also won its category in 2013 – as well as the EcoSport 1.0-litre EcoBoost Trend derivative, which has proven popular with buyers, and led sales in its segment for the last six months.

The Kinsey Report evaluates parts baskets for new models, with winners being vehicles that have the lowest replacement costs for their baskets. These include regular consumables and service items such as spark plugs; air, oil, and pollen filters; wiper blades; as well as brake pads and shoes. Pricing of long-term maintenance items is also considered, including brake discs or drums; cam belts or timing chains; shock absorbers; and clutch assemblies.

Regarded as an essential resource for Fleet owners, the report also covers replacement costs for exterior body items that could be damaged in light accidents. Here the parts bin consists of items such as the bonnet, bumpers, doors, glass, wheels, headlights, and tail lights.

For the Figo, its parts bin totaled R43 199.80, which comprises 31.79% of its retail purchase price. The EcoSport won its category with a parts bin of R58 414.02, representing 25.41% of the chosen model’s retail price.

“We want consumers to not only have high-quality vehicles that last longer, but that those vehicles are also affordable to maintain,” said Mark Kaufman, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service, FMCSA. “This is especially important for the Figo and EcoSport, which are volume-selling entry-level models in their class that offer buyers excellent value in their categories.”

TomTom Telematics celebrates 15 years of WEBFLEET

Ctrack FleetConnect_01

– TomTom Telematics this month celebrates the 15th anniversary of WEBFLEET, its award-winning fleet management platform.

Launched in 1999, it has grown to become the most widely-adopted telematics SaaS platform in Europe, providing businesses with actionable insights into fleet operations.

Over the last 15 years, WEBFLEET has been used to improve mobile operations in every sector imaginable; transport and logistics, utilities, construction, meal delivery, breakdown assistance, car sharing schemes. WEBFLEET has tracked the movement of everything from space shuttles to portable toilets, from sports officials to exotic animals.

“Our client experience shows us that WEBFLEET today saves businesses around the world an estimated €80 million a month and 11.5 million litres of fuel every day,” said Thomas Schmidt, Managing Director, TomTom Telematics.

“The innovative approach to fleet management established 15 years ago remains as strong today and WEBFLEET continues to evolve, providing customers with ever smarter ways to achieve their business goals.”

WEBFLEET’s market-leading position was recently recognised by ABI Research, which named TomTom Telematics among the top three companies in the world for commercial vehicle telematics.

Maps by TomTom_logo

WEBFLEET: a snapshot of continuous innovation

  • WEBFLEET was launched in September 1999 as one of the very first web-based telematics interfaces, with plug and play in-vehicle hardware.
  • connect, the open API, was introduced in 2004 to allow for seamless integration into existing business applications
  • The world’s first connected PND was launched in 2007, integrating with WEBFLEET to allow for two-way driver communication and navigation without the need for additional hardware in the vehicle.
  • WEBFLEET reached new heights of innovation in 2009 with dashboard functionality, providing at-a-glance information for quick business decisions.
  • TomTom Telematics’ ecoPLUS device was introduced in 2010, giving managers a real-time view in WEBFLEET of the fuel efficiency of every fleet vehicle, showing where and when fuel is wasted.
  • In 2011, WEBFLEET OptiDrive is launched displaying performance indicators for speeding, fuel efficiency, idling and braking all on one easy to read indicator bar. Active Driver Feedback is launched at the same time, giving drivers live feedback on their performance such as fuel efficiency, excessive steering and braking, on their PRO navigation device.
  • The WEBFLEET Mobile app is also launched in 2011, bringing fleet management to the smartphone
  • WEBFLEET sets the industry standards in information security by achieving ISO 27001 certification
  • In 2013 WEBFLEET’s App Center is introduced, an online resource showcasing the range of business applications available for integration with WEBFLEET
  • In 2014 WEBFLEET becomes the most open fleet management platform by providing 2 more API’s -LINK.connect and PRO.connect – to allow third party applications to integrate with WEBFLEET.

 

Alexander Forbes Insurance offers tips for preventing car theft

hijacking tools seized (1)

Alexander Forbes Insurance (AFI) has urged owners of luxury vehicles to ensure they are adequately insured following reports of a spate of thefts by suspected syndicates targeting luxury vehicles in Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and Western Cape.

Gari Dombo, the MD of AFI, says vehicle owners should be more vigilant about preventing car thefts.

“The majority of us don’t think about how to prevent car theft until it is too late and unfortunately car theft is a reality,” he says.

Hugo van Zyl, chief executive of the South African Insurance Crime Bureau was quoted in the media as saying luxury vehicles are being targeted by syndicates who acquire information of a servicing dealer. A criminal knowing when a service is due poses as an employee of the dealer and offers to collect the vehicle for service. When it is handed over the criminal absconds with it.

Dombo says owners of luxury vehicles should have comprehensive motor cover.

Dombo offers the following tips to reduce the chances of your vehicle being stolen:
1. Always lock your car doors as often car thieves are opportunistic looking for an easy target.
2. To avoid loss through remote signal jamming, physically check that the driver’s door is locked before leaving the car.
3. Park in a secure well lit parking lot near the security cameras or security guard.
4. Don’t leave your belongings in plain sight, place handbags and laptops in your boot; or rather leave valuables at home.
5. Keep track of your spare keys and make sure that your car keys are hidden at home and not visible through a window or door.
6. Make certain your car is left in park, with the parking brake up and steering wheel turned to point the front wheels towards the curb as this makes it harder to tow your car.
7. Never leave an unattended car running.
8. Secure your car by fitting your car with an alarm system, anti-smash and grab, immobiliser and ignition disabler, and tracking device, engrave your vehicle identification number (VIN) on expensive car parts to make it unattractive to car thieves and harder for them to dispose of.

Dombo adds that in light of the current luxury car syndicate it is best to take your car into the service provider yourself, so that you can prove that the car was delivered to the servicer.

Also view:

Tools used by modern day car thieves

De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz in action for Toyota in tough Rally of Morocco

Rally of Morocco

South Africa's Dakar star, motorsport legend Giniel de Villiers, will be taking on the tough Rally of Morocco, which starts on October 4th, 2014. Together with long-standing navigator, Dirk von Zitzewitz, De Villiers will challenge nearly 160 other competitors, including big names such as Nasser Al-Attiyah, Orlando Terranova (MINI All4Racing), Lucio Alvarez (Toyota Hilux) and 2014 Dakar winner Nani Roma (MINI All4Racing).

Competing as the Toyota Imperial South African Dakar Team, De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz aim to gain valuable seat-time before the 2015 Dakar, and also test some new components for the Toyota Hilux in the process.

"The conditions in Morocco are similar to large parts of the Dakar," says De Villiers. "And since this is also quite a long race, it is an ideal opportunity to test components and settings, and also to get reacquainted with the Toyota Hilux."

The Rally of Morocco takes place over six stages, with a total race distance of 1,442 km. Starting in the town of Erfoud, the route heads North and West to Cheggaga via Damia and Merzane, before a grand finale in Marrakech.

De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz will be supported on the event by Team Overdrive, who supply race logistics and support to a large number of Toyota Hilux crews. A small team from South Africa will also be in Morocco to look after Giniel and Dirk.

"We are excited to be competing internationally again," says Team Principle Glyn Hall. "Giniel and Dirk can only benefit from the additional seat time, and in terms of testing, the Rally of Morocco will be invaluable. With that said, we are already assembling the 2015 Dakar Toyota Hilux vehicles in the workshop."

Testing for the Dakar has been under way throughout 2014, with a programme that covers more than 4,000 km over the course of the year. Despite this significant amount of testing, the Rally of Morocco remains a great event to confirm some durability items, as well as certain performance aspects of the car.

"We will have around 15 specific items to test during the race," continues Hall, "including gear ratios, cooling, brakes, suspension and more."

The vehicle that De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz will be campaigning in Morocco has seen action in the hands of Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie, on the local Donaldson Cross-Country Championship. This is Poulter's first full season in the championship, but the Castrol Team Toyota Hilux has already been on the podium on four occasions.

Fans can follow the action via Toyota's social media: www.twitter.com/toyotasa; and www.facebook.com/toyotasouthafrica.

Toyota Motorsport South Africa acknowledges its sponsors and specialist official supplier and technical partners:

Toyota, Imperial Toyota Group, Duxbury Netgear, Innovation Group, Toyota Financial Services, SAA Cargo, Sat4Rent, Bosch, Castrol, DeWalt, Donaldson, Edgecam, 4x4 Mega World, Hallspeed, Mastercraft, NGK, Oakley, SKF, Spanjaard, freeM, Smiths Industries and TFM.

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