Africa Automotive January-February issue 2023 digital

Africa Automotive prides itself to be the ONLY Africa’s leading and MOST authoritative magazine for the automotive industry in Africa with printed copies for the automotive industry decision makers in both government, NGO’s and private sector. The Bi-monthly magazine offers cost effective advertising services that get results and improves growth in the auto B2C and B2B sector, keeping an eye on latest technologies in Africa and across the world, the magazine predominately covers the developments in the Africa auto industry.

Africa Automotive prides itself to be the ONLY Africa’s leading and MOST authoritative magazine for the automotive industry in Africa with printed copies for the automotive industry decision makers in both government, NGO’s and private sector. The Bi-monthly magazine offers cost effective advertising services that get results and improves growth in the auto B2C and B2B sector, keeping an eye on latest technologies in Africa and across the world, the magazine predominately covers the developments in the Africa auto industry.


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January-February issue l 2023

Africa Automotive

January-February issue 2023 Volume 5 issue no. 25

Auto Lighting

illuminating the road ahead

In this issue......

3 Key Automotive

Technology Advances

To Watch...

How used car exports to Africa

could become the development

opportunity of the decade...

Essential car fluids you

should be checking


Pg 28 Pg 18

Pg 32

Africa Automotive News l 2023 1

Contact us:

Email: info@africaautomotivenews.com

Tel: +254 774 288 100

Web: www.africaautomotivenews.com

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@ Africa Automotive News

January-February issue l 2023



Current Issue

Auto lighting ~ Illuminate

the road ahead & much

more...enjoy the issue!




News Briefs 4

Events 10

Innovation 12

Opinion 18

Safety Tips 36



Augustine M. Rang’ondi


Managing Editor

Monica Robina


Senior Editor &

Marketing Lead

Dorcas Kang’ereha

Automotive lighting: Illuminating the road ahead



Violet Ambale

Harriet Mkhaye

Irene Joseph

Innocent Momanyi

Sales Executives

Paint Protection Films: keeping your vehicle's paint from

fading and maintaining its glossy appearance for longer

How used car exports to Africa could become the

development opportunity of the decade

East Africa

Jimmy Mudasia

Lydia Kamonya

Caiser Momanyi

Vincent Murono

Sheila Ing’ayitsa

South Africa

Paul Nyakeri

Sean Masangwanyi

Lisa Brown

Thembisa Ndlovu


Emelda Njomboro

Uche Maxwel

3 Key Automotive Technology Advances

To Watch

Essential car fluids you should be checking regularly

How to clean headlights using 2 popular methods

Automotive sector in Nigeria attracts about US$1bn worth of





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Africa Automotive News l 2023 3


January-February issue l 2023

Pesapal launches an Automation Solution for fuel retailers

Pesapal has launched a new

Forecourt Management

Solution (FMS), the first

solution developed

specifically for Africa that delivers

integrated payments alongside

monitoring and data tools. The new

FMS, which is already operational in

Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, drives

the automation of fuel and retail

management processes and it also

seamlessly connects distribution

points and digital payments backed

up with tools to reduce costs and

pilfering, while improving the

customer experience.

Pesapal Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Agosta Liko noted that independent

petrol station operators and large

forecourt networks are changing

up their business models with

convenience services, new fuels and

battery charging.

“This makes it a more exciting,

complex and risky game to be in.

We are helping them automate and

digitize so they can focus on growing

their businesses,” he added.

Liko stated that with FMS, petrol

station owners can remotely monitor

and control LPG and fuel dispensers

and that the solution automates

how these talk to tank gauges, price

displays and payment systems which,

as usual with Pesapal, integrate

mobile money, cards and online


“We have spent months working

with petrol station owners across

East Africa and we have consistently

heard about a lack of affordable

monitoring and data tools for our

unique environment. Many owners

want to transform their forecourt

into a multi-use hub, but they are

Pesapal launches an Automation Solution for fuel

retailers |image: courtesy

flying blind at the moment,” said


The CEO mentioned that Pesapal

provides a back-end reporting

tool and allows station owners to

link Point of Sale (POS) and other

technology platforms to forecourt

operations with additional functions

including centralized price changes,

RFID-based attendant tagging,

automatic indenting of products and

posting of outlet data to head office


Ana Green Tech Africa Company launches Electric Tuktuks to

promote Green Energy in Mombasa

Mombasa based tech

company Ana Green

Tech Africa has launched

electric three-wheelers

commonly referred to as Tuktuks

which are expected to hit the

market by March this year. The

company, an affiliate of Green Tech

Africa, an East African company

that sells electric vehicles with the

aim of promoting green energy and

creating sustainable growth through

employment and innovation.

The tuktuks Model Geni-80 are

manufactured in China and were

assembled at the Associated

Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) in Miritini.

The three wheelers carry three

passengers and are fitted with a

battery power of 4.38 kWh with

a range per single charge of 100


Speaking during the event, Amina

4 Africa Automotive News l 2023

Ana Green Tech Africa Electric Tuktuks|Image

courtesy| image: Ana Green Tech Afric

Ibrahim, the company director said

that they had a vision to build their

own manufacturing plant in the

next four years which will open job

opportunities for many residents.

“Our entry into Mombasa is focused

on making the county to be the hub

of Ana Green Tech supporting all our

other offices in Ethiopia, Djibouti,

Rwanda, Uganda and other East

African countries. This will also see

us putting the city of Mombasa on

the Kenyan map of electric vehicles,”

said Ibrahim.

The Geni-80 has a portable charge

with it, and it can be charged at

home on regular socket outlet like a

mobile phone.

“It has no Engine, so avoids engine

repair and overhaul and is also cost

saving on spare parts because it has

no periodic serviced parts like the air

filter fuel filler, oil filter and doesn’t

need oil and lubricants,” Ibrahim


The current market price for the

tuktuks is Sh500,000 but she said

that once here the actual price will

range for between Sh550,000 to

Sh600,000. So far the company has

installed two charging points within

the county, one around Agha Khan

and the other at Sabaki Motors in


January-February issue l 2023

Egypt to launch first locally manufactured electric vehicle at

affordable price

The Arab Academy for Science,

Technology & Maritime

Transport (AASTMT)

has announced that it

would launch Egypt’s first locally

manufactured electric vehicle (EV)

within six months at an affordable

price in the Egyptian market.

In statements to the state news

agency MENA on the sidelines of

the seventh Cairo International

Exhibition for Innovation, the Dean

of the Applied Research Department

at AASTMT Mohamed El-Ghamry

said that the EV will be available at

the affordable price of EGP 95,000.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly is

paying big attention to the Egyptian

EV project, which is being financed

by the AASTMT, El-Ghamry added.

The project includes two EVs that

are being designed in cooperation

with the private sector, he said.

The first EV had already been used

Image: courtesy for illustration purposes

during the 27th UN Climate Change

Conference (COP27), which was held

in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city

of Sharm El-Sheikh in November,

El-Ghamry added. Work is underway

to launch the second EV, which is

designed to accommodate a family

of five, he said. Local components

make up more than 60 percent of

the EV and its speed is 60 km/hr,

Ghamry explained.

The first EV will operate on a Liion

battery, whose estimated life is

12 years and comes with a 10-year

Kenya to assemble 130 Chinese electric buses in 2023


warranty, the AASTMT official said.

It is an economy vehicle, said El-

Ghamry, adding that its operation

cost does not exceed 30 percent of a

diesel vehicle.

The body of the EV will be fully

manufactured in Egypt and only

some electronic parts will be

imported at least for the time being,

Ghamry said. Local components are

expected to make up 100 percent of

the EV within two years, he noted.

The AASTMT announcement

comes less than a week after

the announcement by Chinese

automotive maker Geely and its

agent in Egypt Abu Ghaly motors

that it would launch two models of

its first electronic EV in Egypt, the

Geometry C. The first model, the GF

400 km, will be sold for $37,000

while the second model, the GF 550

km, will be sold for $39,000.

image for illustration purposes|image credit: Basigo

Kenyan's Associated Vehicle

Assemblers (AVA), has

announced that it will

assemble 130 electric

buses manufactured by Chinese

automotive firm BYD in 2023.

Matt Lloyd, Managing Director of

AVA, told Xinhua in the Kenyan

capital of Nairobi that so far it has

assembled 15 BYD electric buses for

the local market that were imported

as a collection of parts.

“The advantage of BYD is that it is

one of the world’s leaders in the

manufacture of electric vehicles and

the level of quality of the vehicles

is very high,” Lloyd said on the

sidelines of an electric vehicle forum.

Lloyd observed that locally

assembled BYD buses have high

safety standards and will therefore

enhance Kenya’s overall road safety.

He revealed that his firm has gained

modern automotive technology

through the technical advice it has

received from BYD.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 5


January-February issue l 2023

NIRA Dynamics sets its sights on Electric Vehicles

with new garage opening

NIRA Dynamics, leading

provider of sensor fusion

software services for the

automotive industry, is

proud to announce the opening

of its new garage that will focus

on supporting electric vehicle

manufacturers. The garage will

help support a comprehensive

suite of services that are tailored to

meet the needs of electric vehicle


As the automotive industry

continues to shift towards more

environmentally friendly solutions,

NIRA Dynamics recognizes the need

to develop cutting-edge software

services that can help accelerate

this transition. The new garage will

enable the company to provide

unparalleled support to electric

vehicle manufacturers and help drive

innovation in this rapidly evolving


“At NIRA Dynamics, we are

committed to providing our

customers with the latest technology

and supporting their need to succeed

in the fast-paced automotive

industry,” said Lisa Åbom, CEO of

NIRA Dynamics. “The new garage is

an important step towards achieving

this goal and we are proud to be

making a positive impact on the

future of transportation.”

The new garage will provide

support to a range of software

services that will help electric

vehicle manufacturers improve

safety, battery regeneration,

battery management and

sustainability. These services will be

complemented by NIRA Dynamics’

image: NIRA Dynamics

existing suite of software solutions,

including tire pressure monitoring,

wheel safety services and

advanced driver assistance systems


“The opening of our new garage

is a testament to our commitment

to innovation and supporting the

transition to a more sustainable

future.” said Lisa Åbom.

INEOS Automotive Partners Coscharis Motors in Nigeria

INEOS Automotive has named

Coscharis Motors as its official

retail partner in Nigeria. Nigeria

is now the sixth market in Sub-

Saharan Africa to join the INEOS

Automotive brand, following South

Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and


In 2017, INEOS Chairman Jim

Ratcliffe, a car enthusiast and

experienced adventurer, identified

a gap in the market for a stripped

back, utilitarian, hard-working

4×4 engineered for modern day

compliance and reliability. INEOS

Automotive Limited was formed

and a senior team of automotive

professionals assembled to bring

the vision to reality with a fresh

perspective of 4×4 development and


Combining rugged British spirit

with German engineering rigour,

the Grenadier will be a truly

uncompromising 4×4 built from the

ground up. Engineered to overcome

all conditions, it will provide best-inclass

off-road capability, durability

and reliability to those who depend

on a vehicle as a working tool,

wherever they are in the world.

“We are carefully selecting our

partners across the SSA region, to

find people who know their local

market and customers, and also

understand our brand,” said Tim

Abbott, INEOS Automotive Head

of Region South Africa and Sub-

Saharan Africa. “Coscharis Motors

shares our belief that the INEOS.

Grenadier is the perfect vehicle

not only for Nigeria, but for the

continent. Our shared passion

for off-roading, along with their

excellent reputation in the

automotive industry, makes it the

perfect partnership for Grenadier in


INEOS Grenadier Partners Coscharis Motors in

Nigeria| image: courtesy

Commenting on this partnership,

the President/CEO of Coscharis

Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka said: “We

are proud that INEOS Automotive

has appointed Coscharis Motors

to represent its brand in Nigeria.

This milestone marks another step

in the evolution of our company.

With our history and experience of

the Nigerian market, we know that

the INEOS Grenadier is going to

be a serious player in the off-road


6 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023


Bridgestone unveils new EMIA headquarters

Bridgestone, a global leader

in tyres and sustainable

mobility solutions, has

relocated its Europe, Middle

East, India and Africa headquarters

to a better connected, collaborative

and sustainable office on the

outskirts of Brussels. The new

location is a short distance from

Bridgestone’s prior office at the

Corporate Village, covering three

floors at Da Vincilaan 1, 1930

Zaventem, Belgium.

The Bridgestone EMIA headquarters

is home to the organisation’s sales,

retail, tyre solutions and support

function teams who represent more

than 36 nationalities. Bridgestone’s

employees and visitors benefit from

close access to Brussels Airport and

the Belgian motorway network, as

well as a brand-new cycle highway

and a myriad of public transport

options. The building is located a

short walk from Zaventem town

centre and offers green spaces,

electric vehicle chargers, on-site

fitness facilities and various catering


The interior of the office space

has been custom-designed to

offer various options for flexible

working, in line with the company’s

smart working philosophy, while

meeting spaces have been fitted

with technology to enable seamless

and engaging collaboration with

hybrid teams from across the world.

Bridgestone unveils new EMIA headquarters. | Image:


Furniture has been selected with

sustainability in mind by re-using

existing furniture and choosing only

local suppliers, while finishings used

across the office space, including

carpets and wall coverings, make use

of recycled and sustainably sourced


BMCI partners with KIFAL Auto to enable easier financing for used

cars in Morocco

Banque marocaine pour le

commerce et l’industrie

(BMCI – Moroccan subsidiary

of the French bank BNP

Paribas), one of Morocco’s leading

banks, has teamed up with KIFAL

Auto (Autochek Group Maroc),

an online marketplace that is

transforming the experience of

buying and selling used cars in The

Middle East and North Africa, to

enable easier access to financing for

used car purchases in Morocco.

Established in 1964, BMCI has more

than 300 branches and over 500,000

personal, business and institutional

customers. With this partnership,

Moroccans across the country will

be able to more easily access the

financing they need to purchase their

desired used vehicles via the KIFAL

Auto platform, and without needing

to enter a physical bank branch.

KIFAL Auto is transforming the

automotive experience in Morocco

by providing a seamless process

of accessing finance for vehicle

purchases. Since the company was

acquired by Autochek, it has adopted

a new strategic approach, leveraging

BMCI partners with KIFAL Auto to enable easier financing for used cars in Morocco|image:courtesy

its parent company’s expertise and

experience to deliver game changing

financing solutions for Morocco’s

automotive sector. It is the first

online marketplace in Morocco to

offer an entirely digital experience

for vehicle financing, with the ability

to complete all steps online, from

simulation to credit validation and

document collection. Customers

simply need to find the vehicle

they want to purchase, submit an

application for financing, and they

can access the credit they need in 48

hours if the application is approved

and terms are met. Repayments can

be spread over 12 to 84 months.

Various events from recent years –

from a shortage of semiconductors

to global supply chain disruption

– have impacted the availability

of new cars globally, leading to

increased demand for used cars.

This increased demand has led to

an increase in used car prices – with

prices rising up to 36 percent higher

in some cases.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 7


January-February issue l 2023

Isuzu East Africa has launched a

new after-sales facility in Nairobi,

to improve customer service.

The Sh35 million million facility

will enable customers to get faster

services and access 10,000 different

vehicle parts.

Isuzu launches Sh35 million aftersales facility

“Aftersales for Isuzu Motors has

always been a key pillar of our

business. We are now able to offer

comprehensive aftersales solutions

that boast modern vehicle service

and diagnostic technology to ensure

customers receive accurate vehicle

health checks,” said Isuzu Motors

Limited Executive Officer Naohiko


“This investment will reduce waiting

time for customers. It will also allow

Isuzu East Africa to handle peak

demand periods seamlessly,” she


Yanagawa added that the facility

will also have a wide spectrum of

The car plant hopes to produce 3,000 vehicles per year | Image courtesy for illustration

proprietary diagnostic equipment

to troubleshoot or tune the latest

range of Isuzu vehicles that feature

powerful and efficient common rail


According to Rita Kavashe, the Isuzu

EA’s Managing Director, the facility

will be able to offer additional

support to its dealer market, and it

will definitely grow our customer

base by improving aftersales


“This investment underscores

our commitment in ensuring that

we continue being the leading

automotive assembler in Aftersales

services for our bus and truck

customers,” she said.

Google launches HD maps for vehicles, Volvo and

Polestar first to integrate

Google has announced an

HD version of its vehicle

mapping solution. Unlike

Google Maps, Google’s HD

map is not a consuming-facing

application but an additional layer

of data that’s served to the vehicle’s

L2+ or L3 assisted-driving systems

through Google Automotive


The additional information sits

on top of Google Maps’ data and

delivers details such as precise

lane makers and localization

of objects (road signs) to help

assisted-driving vehicles orient

themselves on the road. The driver

will not be able to see or access

the HD map or data directly. It’s

not clear at this time if the driver

will even know if the vehicle is

using the HD mapping, though,

presumably the vehicle’s assisteddriving

skills will be improved when

it’s in use.

Also read: Google opens Android

Automotive OS to Spotify, other

media app developers

According to a Google

spokesperson, the HD

mapping is initially

focused on hightraffic

roads like

freeways, but the

spokesperson stopped

short of saying

exactly which cities

or freeways. They said

Google is working

with automakers to

determine where

the HD map is most


The HD map is now available

to automakers using Google

Automotive Services. Volvo and

Polestar announced that the HD map

will soon be available in the Volvo

EX90 and the Polestar 3.

Google launches HD maps for vehicles, Volvo and

Polestar first to integrate|image:Getty images

8 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023


Egypt keen to enhance trade with India for industrial goods,

automobile parts

There is potential for trade

enhancement with Egypt

as India has competencies

that Egypt wants, for

example in information technology,

cyber security, industrial goods, car

manufacturing, automobile parts,

Egypt keen to enhance trade with India for industrial

goods, automobile parts |image: courtesy

and light engineering goods said,

Former Deputy National security

Adviser Pankaj Saran.

Saran who currently serves as

Convenor of NatStrat, Centre for

Research on Strategic and Security

Issues said that this

depends on how fast

the Egyptian economy


“Egypt is very keen to

import wheat from

India. There are a lot

of Indian investments

in Egypt. We can use

Egypt as a gateway

to the rest of the

region including

to northern Africa,

Europe, and the Arab

world,” he advised on

his fortnightly show on

Awaz-the Voice.

He was speaking on the renewed

efforts to bring the two countries

together with the ongoing visit of

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah-El-

Sisi to India. Saran, who has known

Egypt from the time he was posted

there for three years as a young

diplomat, says that Egyptians and

Indians are like-humoured.

He said the relations between the

two countries were not so warm

for a long time because of internal

instability in Egypt. He said that

President Mubarak, who ruled the

country for 30 years, was “focused on

fighting terrorism, fundamentalism,

and extremism”.

So, they did not have time for India

or the rest of Asia. They had an

extremely close relationship with

the United States, Europe, and in

particular France.

NEXUS Automotive International Accelerates

Growth in Africa

Nine years after the

creation of the automotive

aftermarket company,

NEXUS Automotive

International will further focus on

Africa through IAMAGA, a dedicated

entity. The aim is to accelerate

growth on the continent and

continue deploying N! innovative

and sustainable initiatives.

N! will further develop the activities

of IAMAGA, a regional entity

dedicated to the African Automotive

Aftermarket, which includes 34

Africa based members and their


IAMAGA will be providing specific

services to its community such as:

• Transactional activities, for

optimized access and pricing.

• Strategic Partnerships with

OEMS, with specific commercial

NEXUS Automotive International Accelerates

Growth in Africa|image:courtesy


• Financing and coordination of

innovative projects.

• Assistance with sustainability

related initiatives.

• Data sharing.

• N! Academy Training deployment


• Garages network services


• Mobility in Africa through

innovation screening.

• African members representativity

(central service center, credit risk


• Sustainability: Re-man / Re-use /

Recycle » activities structuration.

• Replicate the newly created

Algerian Academy in other


IAMAGA will also reunite its

community through the organization

of a dedicated mid-year event, which

will take place in Morocco.

“Africa has always been strategic

since the launch of NEXUS – it’s

part of the DNA. After 9 years, we

have developed an impressive

network that is looking forward to

providing more quality parts, more

services, innovation, and of course,

a sustainable future!” said Gael

Escribe, CEO of NEXUS Automotive


Africa Automotive News l 2023 9


January-February issue l 2023


The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in

collaboration with the African Union and the AfCFTA

Secretariat, brings you the 3rd Intra-African Trade

Fair (IATF2023), to be hosted by the Government of

the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in Abidjan .

The fair will provide a unique and valuable platform

for businesses to access an integrated African market of

over 1.3 billion people with a GDP of over US$3.5 trillion

created under the African Continental Free Trade Area.








EXPO are the most important

tire and auto part shows in Latin

America and the place to be if

you want to grow your business in

Latin America and the Caribbean!

The upcoming edition will be in the

all-new Panama Convention Center in

Panama which features 59,000 m2 of

space. 450+ international exhibitors will

be present, from tire manufacturers, tire

service and repair companies, retreading,

wheels, auto part manufacturers, auto

service, tools and equipment, etc.

Educational and training sessions with

top industry leaders, networking events,

and much more are included with your


10 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

Nairaxi emerges winner at 3rd Annual NCC ICT

Innovation Competition 2023


Nairaxi emerges winner at 3rd Annual NCC ICT Innovation Competition 2023|image: courtesy

Leading tech mobility startup Nairaxi, has coasted to

victory after emerging Winner out of the selected

startups that participated in the 3rd Annual NCC ICT

Innovation Competition and Exhibition in Nigeria.

Nairaxi had clinched the cash prize of 2million naira

after demonstrating excellence in its capacity to bridge

the digital divide by adopting innovative and creative

tech solutions to drive economic development in Nigeria.

The competition was organised by the Research

and Development Department of the Nigerian

Communications Commission (NCC). It was held at NCC

Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos State.

Described as quite competitive, the 3rd Annual NCC ICT

Innovation Competition themed “Utilizing Indigenous

Digital Solutions to Bridge the Digital Divide” kicked

off with over 1000 Startup applications. 400Startup

applications was shortlisted, 88 Startups made it to the

first cut, 58tech hubs made it to the second cut, but only

15 tech companies made it to the exhibition booths for

the semi final.

Speaking, Kingsley Eze, CEO of Nairaxi, described their

victory as a reinforcement towards new technology

innovation solutions for Nigeria. He stated that Nairaxi

will not relent in the areas of Introducing, ensuring and

building new bridges in the nation’s digital divide.

Also speaking, the Co-founder, Elizabeth Omale,

appreciated NCC for encouraging and rewarding ICT

startups in Nigeria. She explained that Nairaxi will be

committed to innovative digital solutions across key

sectors so as to improve social growth and economic


According to him, “Nairaxi has received commendations

and congratulatory gestures from across the world

for emerging Winner at one of the biggest ICT, digital

competitions organised by the Nigeria Communications

Commision (NCC). The tech powered startup has

collaborated with government agencies and institutions

to champion digital inclusion across critical sectors in


“In recent times, Nairaxi has remained on the frontline

for new digital solutions, targeted at achieving the

nation’s digital agenda. The company has introduced

several tech-related innovations which is currently

providing access to digital technologies, promoting

entrepreneurship, and creating new Jobs.

He revealed that Nairaxi had in 2022 unveiled the

Digital Transit Subsidy Program and the Automated

Fare Collection System which provides a seamless and

contactless transport service via its mobile application.

The tech solution initiatives will mitigate the projected

crisis that emanates the final fuel subsidy removal.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 11

New model

January-February issue l 2023

Toyota unveils 2023 FJ

Cruiser ‘Final Edition’

Toyota FJ Heritage. Toyota unveils 2023 FJ Cruiser ‘Final Edition’

Toyota has announced the launch of the 2023

FJ Cruiser in the Middle East, together with a

special ‘Final Edition’ grade to mark the iconic

vehicle’s last year of production. With just 1,000

units available, the Final Edition comes with several

unique features and gives off-road adventurers a unique

opportunity to own a piece of motoring history. The FJ

Cruiser is set to be discontinued in December 2022, after

more than 15 years as one of the region’s most popular


Inspired by almost half a century of tough off-road

performance from the legendary FJ40 4×4 utility

vehicle, the FJ Cruiser was developed as a capable SUV

aimed specifically at drivers looking to push the limits.

Launched in 2007, the model was hailed as an instant

classic by customers and critics alike, particularly in

the Middle East where it has gained an enthusiastic

following among off-roaders.

The 2023 Final Edition adopts a single-tone select beige

color for the exterior, upholstery, and center cluster trim,

creating a distinctive sense of modernity. Further adding

to the vehicle’s rugged appeal, a special black coating

has been applied extensively throughout the exterior,

including the blacked-out grill, bumpers, exterior mirrors,

door handles, and spare tire cover. 17-inch aluminum

wheels and side steps are also included, while a Final

Edition badge indicating the vehicle’s unique number

underlines the limited edition’s exclusivity.

Vincent Wijnen, Senior Managing Director, Al-Futtaim

Automotive, said: “After 15 years as one of the region’s

best-loved SUVs, the time has come to bid a fond

farewell to the Toyota FJ Cruiser, a model that has now

become as iconic as its predecessors. Tough, rugged and

capable, the FJ Cruiser is a firm favorite amongst the

Inspired by almost half

a century of tough offroad

performance from the

legendary FJ40 4×4 utility

vehicle, the FJ Cruiser was

developed as a capable SUV

aimed specifically at drivers

looking to push the limits.

UAE’s off-road enthusiasts. Although these will be the

last FJ Cruisers produced, we will continue to see them

on the roads, deserts and mountains of the Emirates

for many years to come, thanks to Toyota’s legendary

reliability. We are excited to pay tribute to this legendary

SUV with the Toyota FJ Cruiser Final Edition.”

Kei Fujita, Chief Representative, Middle East and Central

Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation,

commented: “The FJ Cruiser rides into the sunset leaving

lasting memories of one of the most iconic SUVs in

Toyota’s rich history. The vehicle’s winning combination

of off-road capabilities, style, and performance make it

equally at home during desert adventures or everyday

activities and provides a comfortable and dependable

experience for drivers and passengers, wherever their

journeys may lead.”

Fujita added: “Although the model will be discontinued,

the excitement of off-road capabilities lives on with

other adventure-ready Toyota vehicles such as the

iconic Land Cruiser, GR Sport Variant, and Prado. I would

12 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

like to thank our customers for continuing to inspire

us to develop ever-better cars tailored to the needs of

motorists in the region and beyond.”

Powered by a DOHC, 4.0-liter V6 engine that incorporates

dual independent Variable Valve Timing with

intelligence, the 2023 FJ Cruiser is capable of producing

270 horsepower and 380 N m of peak torque. It is also

equipped with a wide range of driver assistant features

such as Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Crawl Control,

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with an off switch, and

electronically controlled locking rear differential. In

addition to stellar all-terrain performance, drivers enjoy

New model

greater peace of mind thanks to Toyota’s world-class

safety features.

The FJ Cruiser’s legendary status as one of the most

unique Toyota SUVs and proven durability throughout

the years will live on in the hearts of its owners and the

Toyota family. Although production will cease, owners

can be assured they will continue to enjoy world-class

service from their local Toyota Service Centers. The 2023

FJ Cruiser is available in a variety of attractive finishes

and specifications, while the Final Edition is scheduled to

roll into the region during Q4 2022.

Toyota FJ Heritage. Inside FJ Cruiser 2023 ‘Final Edition’

Toyota FJ Heritage. Toyota unveils 2023 FJ Cruiser ‘Final Edition’

Africa Automotive News l 2023 13

New model

January-February issue l 2023

Nissan launches 2023 Nissan

X-Trail in the Middle East

Nissan X-Trail 2023

Nissan has launched the

All-New 2023 Nissan

X-Trail in the Middle

East as a Premium Urban

Crossover. The 2023 Nissan X-Trail

furthers the brand’s commitment

to introduce innovative mobility

solutions, and offers customers

class-leading versatility, elevated

exterior and interior designs,

advanced safety, and improved levels

of capability.

Making its debut in the 2023

Nissan X-Trail is an Intelligent

4×4 system with direct coupling

that reacts faster than ever

before, allowing for the seamless

transfer of power between axles

for ultimate stability and traction.

Held at King Abdullah Economic City

(KAEC) in Saudi Arabia, the two-day

launch event began with an official

unveiling of the all-new X-Trail

hosted by Thierry Sabbagh, President

of Nissan and INFINITI in the Middle

East, alongside Adib Takieddine,

Managing Director of Nissan Saudi

Arabia. Attendees then embarked

on an adventure-filled journey and

made pitstops along a thrilling route

to discover more about the All-New

2023 Nissan X-Trail.

Defy Ordinary

Reflecting the Nissan SUV’s role

to Defy Ordinary, the key themes

echoed across the event were

eXpand, eXpress, eXplore, and

eXhale, pushing guests to eXist

beyond the everyday. A segmentleader

on several fronts, the all-new

model features the latest Nissan

Intelligent Mobility technologies,

including ProPILOT Assist for the

very first time on the X-Trail line-up,

and offers heightened connectivity

with up to a collective 35.4-inches of

cabin screens.

Sabbagh said: “For over twenty years,

the X-Trail has been an integral part

of our SUV line-up in the region

and has continually catered to the

needs of families and adventure

enthusiasts across the Middle

East. Brought about by a deep

understanding of our customers, the

All-New 2023 Nissan X-Trail, which

is one of our most technologically

advanced SUVs to date, addresses

customer desires in the rapidly

growing mid-size SUV segment and

is in line with our global Nissan

NEXT transformation plan.”

Marking the brand’s first regional

launch to take place in the Kingdom,

the event served as a testament

of Nissan’s commitment to Saudi

Arabia and the wider Middle East, a

key region of opportunity for Nissan

since 1956.

14 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

Exciting trajectory

Takieddine commented: “Saudi Arabia’s

automotive industry is set on an

exciting trajectory, with further

development planned

under the Vision

2030 program, and

we are here today

as a partner to

contribute to

the kingdom’s



shift in the

automotive sector.

Today’s regional launch

of the

All-New 2023 Nissan X-Trail marks a major milestone

for us at Nissan, as we solidify our commitment to the

region and continue to deliver innovation that excites”.

The latest addition to Nissan’s impressive SUV lineup,

the All-New 2023 Nissan X-Trail features a striking

exterior design, with distinctive Nissan elements

including a signature V-motion grille and floating roof

design. Accentuating the X-Trail’s appeal to families are

its bigger-opening rear door apertures, that open up to

85 degrees for easier rear access and egress. The interior

receive a premium upgrade, underlined by Nappa

leather-accented seating with 3D diamond quilting

available on the top-of-the-range SL grade.

The 2023 Nissan X-Trail is powered by an all-new

2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that, compared

to its predecessor, raises power output by 12hp to

181hp, and boosts torque by 11Nm to 244Nm, for more

effortless acceleration and confident overtaking. Power

is pushed through an advanced Continuously Variable

Transmission (CVT) with paddle-shift controls on the

steering wheel for manual over-ride of the new shift-bywire

transmission interface.

New model

Intelligent 4×4 system

Making its debut in

the 2023 Nissan

X-Trail is an


4×4 system

with direct


that reacts

faster than

ever before,

allowing for

the seamless

transfer of

power between

axles for ultimate

stability and

traction. A twist-dial Drive Mode Selector provides

five driving modes to choose from: Off-Road, Snow, Auto,

Eco and Sports, with the added benefit of Hill Descent

Control for carefully modulated downhill off-road


Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of active safety features

is provided with greater capability, making it the

safest X-Trail ever, with Nissan Safety Shield 360 that

includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian

Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic

Alert, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist.

Supporting this is the first-ever introduction of Nissan’s

semi-autonomous ProPILOT Assist on X-Trail, which can

accelerate, brake, and cruise at a set speed within a

single lane.

Offering customers the choice to select the grade

that best suits their lifestyle, the all-new model is

available in four grades, with 2WD or 4WD options.

This is in addition to 15 different color combinations

including five dual-tone options and 5-seater or 7-seater


The Nissan X-Trail 2023, which is

the fourth SUV model to sport the

brand’s latest design language

and insignia, following the Patrol,

Pathfinder, and KICKS, is available

for booking at Nissan’s partner

network across Saudi Arabia and the

wider Middle East region.

Nissan X-Trail 2023 inside

Nissan X-Trail 2023

Africa Automotive News l 2023 15


January-February issue l 2023

Automotive sector in Nigeria

attracts about US$1bn worth of


The Nigerian government

has attracted investments

of about one billion dollars

in the automotive sector,

created the capacity to produce

400,000 units of vehicles and

commenced initiative to support

widespread adoption of electric


The Minister of Industry, Trade and

Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo

during the presentation of the

Ministry’s score card for the year

2015-2023 said when the draft

automotive Bill is passed into law,

the full potential of this sector will

be realised.

Meanwhile, the Minister said to

boost small scale agriculture, the

ministry also established six agro

processing facilities across the


According to him, “We all know that

we need to grow our non-oil export

volume to diversify our export

earnings and create jobs, the key

requirements in making this happen

Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo |image: courtey

is to ensure that the products meet

global standard and that is why

we have developed the Nigerian

National Policy which will ensure

worldwide acceptance of Nigerian


“We have commenced

implementation through the

establishment of a national policy

council, we also successfully

attracted Afreximbank to construct

the first of a kind Afghan quality

centre in Ogun state, it was

commissioned in December 2022

and geared towards delivering world

class quality infrastructure.”

Mr Adebayo explained that the

ministry implemented the 50 billion

naira Export Expansion Facility

Programme, EEFP to radically expand

the country’s export capacity.

“The programme has trained

thousands of farmers on good

agricultural practices for export and

about a thousand SMEs on market

access, For me, particularly gratifying

is the training of about 2000 Women

on export readiness and training of

youth on export of digital services,”

Mr Adebayo said.

Nigeria Attracts About $1bn Worth Of Investment In Automotive Sector |image: courtesy

“I am pleased to announce that we

have started seeing the impact of a

50 billion naira Export Expansion

Fund programme, in quarter four of

2022 alone, Nigeria with the export

of $1.4 billion culminated in a record

increase in the value of non oil

exports by 40% to 4.8 billion dollars

as at the year 2022.”

16 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023


Mikano Motors celebrates

latest brand addition

Mikano International’s Motors Division, the

fastest growing automotive company in

Nigeria is expanding its brand portfolio

once more, following the recent debut of the

Maxus brand.

The General Manager, Mikano Motors, Mr Ralph Haidar

stated that “this latest addition will complete and

complement our product lineup, joining our Geely, ZNA

and Maxus brands.”

Proceedings are fully underway for the launch of this

yet- to – be named brand, though auto enthusiasts have

made several educated guesses on the mystery brand,

which will be proven or disproven when an official

announcement is made. In true Mikano style, the new

automotive brand is being introduced in grand style.

A social media challenge where participants stand the

chance to win a brand- new 2023 luxury SUV is currently

ongoing, and all that’s required to win is a descriptive

and creative expression of their dream car. Other

indications hint that the new auto brand will be arriving

with a wide array of models going by the subtle hints

on promotional material released from Mikano Motors.

While we wait with bated breath, we can tell that

Mikano Motors is going to storm the market as they did

with the Geely brand in the past couple of years.

Mikano Motors celebrates latest brand addition| image:courtesy

Africa Automotive News l 2023 17


January-February issue l 2023

How used car exports to Africa

could become the development

opportunity of the decade

Used cars are often exported to lower

income countries after 10-15 years in

developed markets, meaning their

emission levels tend to be higher.

By Maya Ben Dror and Tilmann Vahle

In areas where government budgets for public

transport infrastructure and operations are limited,

the ability to move people and goods depends on

the availability of affordable vehicles. Motorized

transport is thus a lifeline, providing access to

health services, to education and work, and to new


While individual mobility is mostly covered with twoand

three wheelers in large parts of low- and mediumincome

countries (LMICs), cars and vans, especially as

taxis and other communal modes of transport, help offer

mobility – and with it, social mobility.

High-quality used cars imported into LMICs could be

(and already are) therefore an opportunity for such

countries. However, the costs are becoming ever more

visible: carbon emissions and air pollutants are on the

increase, respiratory health conditions are on the rise,

roads are unsafe.

While many developed markets are aligned on

decarbonization of cars in the next 10-15 years, a truly

just net zero transition requires accountability for the

outdated carpool that LMICs are left with. And without

decarbonization of road transport everywhere, such a

transition is impossible.

“Getting more and more electric vehicles on the roads

is critical to get to reach net-zero transport emissions

quickly. This transition must happen around the globe,"

says Dr Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the

International Transport Forum (ITF).

"Less-developed regions must not become dumping

grounds for unwanted, polluting used vehicles.

Preparing emerging economies to go electric will

require international collaboration. ITF research on used

car exports will help guide policy-makers to address the


Not least, if no proper system is in place to recollect and

recycle vehicles at their ultimate end of life, valuable

resources are lost and severe pollution issues arise –

most notably the terrible burden on up to 800 million

children through lead poisoning, caused especially from

ill-managed car lead acid batteries.

Whose responsibility is it? It is ours, collectively.

"European nations have to stop exporting pollution

18 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023


to the Global South. A lot of responsibility lies with European

and national governments that must close the – often – illegal

export of old cars that are no longer fit for EU roads,” says Julia

Poliscanova, Senior Director at Transport & Environment.

“European end-of-life of vehicles (ELV) rules are about to be

reformed in 2023, which offers a key opportunity to tackle

this. Digital tools are needed to trace car movements across

and beyond Europe, and stricter penalties for illegal import of

polluted vehicles.”

Here we summarise why and how we can drive equity on roads in

both the Global North and the Global South, together.

Why should we care about used car exports?

Africa is the ultimate destination for some 40% of used lightduty

vehicles. Central Asia receives another sizable chunk. Half of

these cars do not meet the fuel economy, exhaust emissions, and

safety standards imposed by their original home countries today.

Kept in use, they become a major source of particulate matter

and nitrogen oxides. These pollutants exacerbate because fuel

quality poured into these old engines is unregulated and, hence,

poor. Conversely, poor fuels pose a challenge for more modern

vehicles, so both issues need addressing simultaneously. The

result is deadly for the many families practically living alongside

roadways, as alerted by the World Health Organization.

“Through emissions standards, emissions from cars, trucks, buses,

locomotives, and other mobile sources – as well as gasoline

and diesel fuel – can be reduced up to 99%. These regulations

are not only critical to protect public health and environment

for combating climate change, and instrumental in preventing

over 40,000 premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of

respiratory illnesses each year in the US alone,” says Margo Oge,

who served at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 32

years, directing the Office of Transportation Air Quality for the

majority of her career.

In developed countries, policies are set not only to regulate the

quality of vehicles produced and sold, but also to encourage

consumers to demand more efficient cars and drive less. That

interplay of supply and demand efforts will not be as useful, nor

fair, in emerging markets.

Many families rely on mobility offered with used vehicles due to

their low price point, or as alternatives are often not on offer at

all. Import dependency on exporting markets thus persists.

Used car exports increasing each year

The export of used cars increases every year. In 2015, 3.4 million

used cars were exported globally, by 2019 this had increased to

nearly 5 million.

The largest exporters are the US, Europe, Japan and South

Korea, where approval for vehicle manufacturing and road-use

Maya Ben Dror, Industry Manager, Automotive

and New Mobility, World Economic Forum Geneva

Dr Ben Dror has over a decade

and a half of global work

experience in public, private and

third sector settings focused

on clean-tech and sustainable

transportation. At the World

Economic Forum, Maya leads

Sustainable Automotive and

Mobility work, including the

Global New Mobility Coalition,

the scaling automotive fleet

and infrastructure finance,

the Circular Cars Initiative,

electrifying India and emerging

Markets, and sustainable last

mile ecosystem.

Tilmann Vahle, Lead on Circular Mobility

Solutions, Systemiq

Sustainability professional with

10+ years experience dedicated

to fast-track the transformative

change urgently needed to

sustain civilization, in business,

politics and society.

Focus on decarbonization and

circular economy strategies, with

a focus on sustainable mobility,

energy, and food systems.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 19


January-February issue l 2023

Air quality degradation

is driven by old cars in

Africa, home to 40% of

global used vehicles, and

80% of these do not meet

basic emissions standards.

regulations are most progressive.

For example, about a decade ago, vehicles in Europe

were required to consume a little over 5 litres of petrol

per 100 km driven, or 130g CO2 per km.

The average fuel consumption in second-hand car

market-dominated developing countries is almost 1.5

times that amount today.

Permissible pollutant emissions equally dropped sharply

for newly sold vehicles. In other words, LMICs are two

decades behind developed markets in terms of vehicle

tailpipe emissions levels, with cars here emitting on

average three times more pollutants.

Electric vehicles are projected to make up 70% and

50% of new car sales in Europe and the US by the turn

of the decade. This transition will help address half

of transport emissions in developed markets and is

essential. Yet, without informed action, it will translate to

intensification of the vehicle emissions gap between the

Global North and South.

Not only will battery electric cars require charging

infrastructure to enter the market – a challenge which

even the richest nations struggle with so far – but they’ll

also face ageing and end-of-life battery vehicles for

which they are so far ill-equipped. The necessary circular

governance and infrastructure need to be put in place


In 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme

(UNEP) issued its first ever global overview report of the

trade in used vehicles.

“Countries have to stop exporting vehicles that are no

longer roadworthy and fail environment and safety

inspections, while importing countries must adopt upto-date

regulations,” says Rob de Jong, the report author

and Head of Sustainable Mobility at UNEP. “On the other

hand, why have the importing countries been waiting

so long to put in place some minimum harmonized


Many countries have weak car import rules

Following a thorough review of the regulatory

environment in 146 developing and transitional

countries, UNEP found that two-thirds have weak car

import regulations. For example, the average imported

used car age in Uganda was 20 years.

A positive signal is that, in early 2020, 15 West

African countries signed an agreement to introduce

an array of regulatory tools to improve air quality and

mitigate emissions. Equally, most exporting countries

lack sufficient export regulations that mitigate illicit

dumping of vehicles that should rather be labelled

waste and scrapped.

Supported by the Economic Community of West

African States Commission, UNEP and other partners,

the countries committed to introduce a sulphur fuel

standard of 50 parts per million (ppm) for petrol and

diesel for all imported fuels, as opposed to 10,000 ppm

diesel fuels permitted in some cases previously.

They also committed to comply with vehicle emissions

standards that Europe introduced in 2006 (EURO 4/IV):

4.2 litres per 100 kilometres by 2030 instead of current

fuel economy standard of 7-9 litres per 100 km, and a

five-year age limit for used vehicles.

This shows that with the right rules in place, LMICs can

leapfrog the use of old, unsafe vehicles and progress to

far cleaner and even electric vehicles, as well as better

transport systems altogether.

“Emerging market vehicle demand is increasing, and so

are consumer expectations for high quality mobility and

services. It is therefore critical for exporting companies

to collaborate more closely with importers to ensure

supply meets demand. We are excited to exchange with

core automotive players during the Annual Meeting

in Davos, for addressing this challenge,” says Omar Al

Futtaim, CEO of Al Futtaim Group.

Action urgently needed to meet UN SDGs

As the spotlight shifts to the Global South, so does the

momentum for action by international organizations

aiming to fulfil the United Nations’ Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs).

For example, the German Association for International

Cooperation (GIZ), funded by the German government

and working with corporates, has been supporting the

20 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023


Used Light Duty Vehicles Quantity and Flow to Main Destination Markets from the EU, USA, Japan, ROK (2020) Image: UNEP

hunt for the reasons behind the ‘lost vehicles’.

“International development institutions and partners

must support developing countries in their efforts to

regulate imports of used vehicles and establish and

enforce vehicle safety and emissions standards,” says

Binyam Reja, Transport Global Practice Manager at the

World Bank.

“While exporting countries should collectively

regulate their vehicle exports, we cannot simply

expect developing nations to halt vehicle growth,

which is essential to meeting their mobility needs for

development. Motorization management is therefore

an essential component of a sustainable mobility

programme in developing countries.”

In sum, global trade of used vehicles is a boon: through

it, vehicles remain in use for longer, making good use

of the resources that were used to build them and they

can also offer affordable mobility to those with smaller


Ageing used car fleets need decarbonizing now

But the downsides are increasing fast: the ageing fleets

put people at risk and will need to be decarbonized fast

in emerging markets as well.

”The Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council (ZEVTC)

brings together ministers from governments that

represent over 50% of the global car market and

one quarter of the global truck and bus market," says

Drew Kodjak, CEO of International Council on Clean


As we transition to

electric vehicles, publicprivate

collaboration is

key to ensure this happens

equitably in both the

Global North and Global


"Council members have agreed to collectively address

key challenges in the transition to ZEVs [zero emission

vehicles], enabling the transition to be faster, cheaper,

and easier for all. We are glad to support stakeholder

collaboration for exploring measures to develop secondhand

markets for ZEVs," he adds.

Existing multinational frameworks have been slow

to respond due to the complex situation – innovative

multi-stakeholder collaborations could step in and step

up to accelerate action to ensure that global trade of

used vehicles happens in a more responsible fashion, to

contribute to well-being of people, decarbonization and

circularity everywhere.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 21

Cover Story

January-February issue l 2023

Automotive Lighting

illuminating the road ahead

By Dorcas Kang'ereha

Automotive lighting refers to

the various light functions

on a vehicle's exterior and

consists of lighting and

signaling devices mounted to or

integrated into a motor vehicle.

These devices illuminate the road

ahead for the driver and increase

visibility, allowing other drivers and

pedestrians to see the car's presence,

size, position, direction of travel, and

its driver's intentions.

The different types of lights used in

automobiles range from traditional

headlamps to modern LED and

laser technology. Traditionally, the

headlights of cars were a pair of

one-filament bulbs that were located

in between a polished reflector and

glass lens, creating a halo around

the light beam. The problem with

these was that the reflector quickly

rusted, making it less efficient and

creating glare on drivers who were

trying to see them.

The first modern headlamps were

developed in 1919 by Bosch to

22 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

Auto Lighting

Image: courtesy

solve the aforementioned problem.

These two-filament bulbs were

able to operate with dip switches

located on the dashboard and

operated both low and high

beams. Today's modern automotive

headlamps use LED lighting to

produce a powerful, focused beam

of light that illuminates the road

without blinding other motorists.

Some modern headlamps also

have adaptive features like a "high

beam" mode to help the driver see

oncoming traffic.

Many automotive lighting

manufacturers are now producing

LEDs for a variety of applications.

They are brighter than most other

light sources and don't suffer from

temperature changes, so they stay

bright even in extreme weather

conditions. They are much more

energy-efficient and longer-lasting

than other light sources, which

means lower maintenance costs and

a higher level of safety for the driver.

Another modern lighting trend is

the emergence of OLEDs, or organic

light-emitting diodes. They are

more adaptable than other lighting

options and can be produced into

narrow, bendable sheets that work

perfectly for dashboard screens or

signal lights in the car interior.

Other common lights on the exterior

of a vehicle include turn signals, side

markers and taillights. While these

functions have not changed much

over the years, they do offer more

flexibility in their design.

Types of Automotive Lighting


The headlamps of a vehicle are a

major component of the overall

automotive lighting system. These

lights provide illumination for

drivers to see the road and other

vehicles, and also improve visibility

for pedestrians and cyclists by

reflecting off the tarmac.

HID lamps

High-intensity discharge (HID)

lamps use a filament-less light

source with an arc that emits light

in an atmosphere of xenon gas to

reduce the time it takes to warm up,

making them ideal for automotive

headlamps. However, they do require

a large starting voltage to ignite the

arc and are only suitable for highbeam


LED lights

The most recent innovation

in automotive lighting is the

light-emitting diode (LED).

These semiconductors, which

are solid-state electronics with

no components that wear out,

produce light when current flows

through them. They are becoming

increasingly popular for automotive

lighting systems due to their energy

efficiency, luminous efficacy and

ease of intensity control through

current modulation or pulse width


Adaptive headlamps

Some high-end vehicles are being

equipped with adaptive headlamps

that automatically adjust the beam

of each headlight to the conditions

and topography of a given road.

These systems are particularly

useful for blind-spot detection and

reducing accidents by focusing on

the areas in front of the vehicle that

need extra illumination.

Daytime running lights and fog


Some countries permit or require a

vehicle to be equipped with daytime

running lights, which can illuminate

the roadway for drivers. They may

be functionally dedicated lights or a

combination of low and high beam

Image: courtesy

headlamps, front turn signals, and

front fog lights.

Emergency vehicles usually have

distinctive lighting equipment

to warn other drivers of their

presence and indicate the priority

of movement in traffic. These can

include bright warning lights that

flash in sequence or a rotating

bar of light that changes color as

the vehicle moves forward, and

sometimes also a directional beam

of white light on the exterior.

In addition, many new vehicles have

a variety of other exterior lighting

features such as a rear-vision camera

that helps the driver to safely reverse

a vehicle out of a driveway, a pair of

red warning lines projected onto the

road when the car is reversing and

other visual cues that indicate the

vehicle's status or intention on the


Transparent head-up displays and


In order to communicate more

clearly with other drivers, the

driver needs to be able to see

and understand what is going

on around them, and this can be

done by using transparent headup

displays or integrated camera

systems. These new technologies

can display information such as a

vehicle's battery level, its position in

the queue for an exit ramp or even

whether it is in autonomous-driving


Aside from the above mentioned

lighting, there are other lighting

applications that are gaining more

popularity on the auto scene,

including license plate lights. Some

countries have strict enforcement

rules against failing to have working

license plate illuminators, so these

small bulbs are becoming more and

more important for the safety of

drivers and other road users.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 23

Paint Protection Films

January-February issue l 2023

Paint Protection Films

Automotive Paint Films are

a transparent, urethane

sheet that protects your

car’s painted surface from

a variety of damages. They also help

preserve your vehicle’s paint by

reducing chipping and scratching.

They are commonly used to protect

decorative graphics, fleet markings,

and other surfaces from wear and


The most popular type of paint

protection film is urethane, a clear,

lightweight polymer with incredible

elasticity. It was developed during

the Vietnam War, when the United

States military was struggling to

repair rotor blades on its helicopters

that were damaged by tree branches

and debris. The military partnered

with 3M to create a durable, but

lightweight urethane film that could

replace the entire rotor blade for a

fraction of the cost.

Unlike plastic, a urethane film is

resistant to corrosion and acidic

contaminants such as bird droppings,

bug splatter, or mineral deposits

and acid rain. It does not oxidize

and does not fade, which means it

is an excellent choice for your car

or truck's paint. It is also a good

option for those who do not want to

24 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

spend money on ceramic coatings

or traditional carnauba waxes.

Typically, urethane films are more

effective than ceramic coatings in

keeping your vehicle's paint from

fading and maintaining its glossy

appearance for longer. They can

be applied to any surface that

will benefit from protection from

rock chips, scratches, or dings. For

example, they can be installed on

the front bumper cover, hood, grille,

side-view mirror covers, and door


Thermoplastic Urethane

PPF is a thermoplastic urethane

that goes over any painted surface

on your vehicle’s exterior. This type

of film is a great option for people

who want to protect their car

from the elements, but aren’t quite

ready to invest in a new paint job or

paintless dent repair.

Clear Bra

The first branded term in the

automotive paint film industry is

“Clear Bra.” You may have seen those

thick, clear “bras” that car dealerships

applied to hoods to protect them

from rocks, gravel, road salt and

other debris. The clear bra was a

popular choice for the '90s and '00s.


The top layer of a quality Clear Bra

is made up of elastomeric polymers

that can return to their natural shape

after they are stretched or disfigured,

providing the film with its “selfhealing”

property. This enables the

film to absorb light scratches and

keep them from causing swirl marks

when the film is removed from the


In addition to its self-healing

properties, a quality film will also

resist chemical exposure, making

it perfect for car enthusiasts who

spend a lot of time on the water. It

is also UV resistant, guarding your

paint from fading and discoloration

caused by the sun’s UV rays.

Acrylic Adhesive

The adhesive that binds the film to

your car is another critical factor in

its long-lasting performance. The old

adhesives that were used on many

older films would dry out and turn

yellow over time, which could have

a negative impact on your vehicle’s

paint. Modern PPF manufacturers

use adhesives that are UV resistant,

ensuring that your car’s paint will

Paint Protection Films

not get oxidized. Moreover, most new

PPFs come with warranties of 10

years against yellowing, bubbling or


How It Works: Installation

A high quality paint protection

film contains a top layer that is

comprised of an elastomeric polymer

substance. The polymer substance

will return to its original shape after

being stretched or disfigured, so it

"self-heals" if light scratches happen

and won't cause swirl marks when

cured with a light heat application.

It will also not yellow from UV

exposure; ensuring protected areas

are nearly invisible. This is one of

the most significant advantages to

this product, and it's why more and

more customers are choosing PPF

over ceramic coatings or carnauba

waxes. Getting your PPF installed is

an easy process that should be done

by a professional. Typically, a car

dealer will be the best place to have

this done. They should be able to

provide you with a quote for the cost

of installation, as well as an estimate

for the product itself.

Your dealer should be able to answer

any questions you may have about

the application process or warranty,

and should be able to recommend

an experienced technician who will

do the work properly. Choosing the

right installer can make all of the

difference between an expensive

repair or an inexpensive one.

A good automotive paint film is an

investment that can add a lot of

value to your vehicle, so take the

time to find the right product for

you. Consider your budget, look for

a product with a warranty, find the

color you want, and decide on the

best installation method.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 25

Adhesives January-February issue l 2023

Loctite 3296 provides a very high cure depth after only a few seconds of exposure to UV light and is designed to bond particularly well to aluminum and FR4. | image:


Henkel launches Loctite 3296 for

assembly of high performance

ADAS sensors

Total focus on precision and reliability of advanced driver assistance systems

Today’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)

are increasing demand for high-resolution

camera designs that can focus with ever greater

accuracy. The perfected functioning of ADAS and

thus the reliability of the camera or LiDAR ensure driver

safety. As a longstanding partner to the automotive

industry, Henkel is continuing to develop new adhesives

for lens bonding in ADAS sensors, specifically designed

to meet these next generation demands.

With the launch of Loctite 3296 – a new dual cure

adhesive – Henkel is expanding its range of dedicated

active alignment adhesives for ADAS sensors, which are

essential for precision and high sensor reliability. The

new product provides a very high cure depth after only a

few seconds of exposure to UV light and is designed to

bond particularly well to aluminum and FR4.

When precision is key, the active-alignment assembly

process is vital to deliver components of the required

quality: The active alignment workflow allows for the

optical components to be positioned and then finely

adjusted to ensure optimal focus before being cured in

place. Compared to a threaded lens barrel that can only

be adjusted in the z-direction, active-alignment allows

for six-degrees of freedom in the alignment process,

26 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023


As a longstanding partner to the automotive industry, Henkel is continuing to develop new adhesives for highresolution

camera designs that can focus with ever greater accuracy. | image: Henkel

with an accuracy of 100 nanometers.

“The ADAS camera and LiDAR modules perform safetycritical

functions by assisting the driver to stay in control

of the driving environment, thereby ensuring safety of all

road users. ADAS sensors must provide high resolution

images and perform with superior reliability in harsh

environments for the lifespan of the vehicle,” said

Rodrigo Aguilar, ADAS Business Development Manager

at Henkel. “Thanks to their exceptional performance

and stability as well as tailored chemistry for long-term

durability, the new Loctite 3296 and recently-launched

Loctite ABLESTIK NCA 3218 adhesives excel in these

highly demanding contexts”, complements Andreas

Niegemeier, Product Development Manager at Henkel.

Loctite 3296 and Loctite Ablestik NCA 3218, which was

launched earlier this year, are both dual cure adhesives

(UV & thermal) that meet a variety of assembly

requirements through their respective adhesive

performance characteristics. For example, Loctite

3296 provides a very high cure depth after only a few

seconds of exposure to UV light and is designed to bond

particularly well to aluminium and FR4. Loctite Ablestik

NCA 3218, which has a grey colour for more efficient

light blocking, is designed for assembly processes that

require low post-cure temperatures, making it especially

favourable for assembling components made of plastic.

Both products deliver proven high dimensional stability

after cure.

Innovative chemistry delivers performance and safety


Together, the new Loctite 3296 and Loctite Ablestik

NCA 3218 represent the next generation of camera

module adhesives. By leveraging the advantages of

purely cationic epoxy adhesives, both products provide

a high glass transition temperature (Tg) in combination

with low and consistent shrinkage as well as high cure

depths and thus are superior compared to conventional

adhesives employing free-radical curing mechanisms

like acrylates.

Both, Loctite 3296 and Loctite Ablestik NCA 3218 have

been designed with greater emphasis on environmental

responsibility and are fully EU REACH compliant. The

adhesives are free of antimony, which is still used in

many other adhesives as photo initiator and has recently

been classified as dangerous due to its potential

health hazards. Moreover, both adhesives are free of

CMT or SVHC substances and do not contain any toxic


Africa Automotive News l 2023 27


January-February issue l 2023

3 Key Automotive

Technology Advances

To Watch

By Ron DiGiuseppe

What we’ve been witnessing in the past few

years—particularly with automakers and

Tier 1 suppliers investing in softwaredefined

vehicle development—means

the automotive industry will grow tremendously

both upward in the total number of vehicles as well

as horizontally with different innovations in the

space coming to fruition. The only way forward is for

technology firms and automakers to work more closely

than ever before.

As we predicted, software will remain an essential

component to fuel automotive advancements this year.

With a growing demand for smarter and more connected

cars, software-defined vehicles offer agility and greater

customization options to enhance the driving experience

for consumers.

As more companies roll out their respective vehicles,

the race to own the software-defined vehicle’s future

is already in progress. We witnessed some of these

trends at CES 2023, which showcased a significant

focus on software-defined vehicles as well as vehicle

electrification and autonomous vehicles. Read on to

learn about these three trends and what companies

should know if they want to succeed in the automotive

technology race.

Electrification is growing at a steady pace

Substantial market players and even startups across

the globe are hoping to get a slice of the pie fueled

by electrification. The market continues to be driven

by electric vehicles, and OEMs are executing to meet

government goals and fulfill consumer appetite for

sustainable transportation options.

As the growing number of electric vehicles sold tops

almost 15 million expected sales in 2023, we’ll also see

more focus on design and user experience, with pickup

trucks like the Ram 1500 on the road. Vans and trucks

Ron DiGiuseppe is a senior automotive IP segment manager at Synopsys.

Image: Synopsys

are also expected to reach 600,000 global sales in 2023,

an 80% increase from 2022, according to Bloomberg.

While Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Hyundai are a

few companies that have already made strides in

electrification, new entrants such as Togg and VinFast

also announced new EVs. In addition to passenger EVs,

CES 2023 showcased non-passenger vehicles such as a

fully electric excavator by John Deere and the Candela

C-8, an electric boat powered by battery packs.

New use cases for autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are making headways, just not in

the way the world expected.

Be it Motional’s new electric IONIQ 5-based robotaxi

delivering its first ride with Lyft or Toyota’s Boshoku

already in use for rideshares in Japan or as a rented

room for meetings, we’ve seen many new use cases of

autonomous vehicles, and specifically, a new emphasis

on shared mobility. For example, geographically

constrained autonomous shuttles are ideal for city

infrastructures where reducing carbon emissions is

a goal. Progress on public transit is also being made,

as seen with ZF and Beep autonomous shuttles and

others, but more development is needed before they are

commercially viable.

Another development is BMW’s newest concept for an

electric vehicle, introduced as the “i Vision Dee.” The

Image: Synopsys

28 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023


car focuses on more than just self-driving and instead

is about giving the driver the information they need at

that moment. BMW announced production of the design

will start in 2025. Separately, NVIDIA announced its

partnership with Foxconn, who will incorporate NVIDIA’s

DRIVE Orin chip and DRIVE Hyperion sensors in its

autonomous vehicle platforms to speed up its time-tomarket

and time-to-cost strategies.

Sensors are also playing a critical role in modern

vehicles. Bosch has been a big player in MEMS sensors,

LiDAR, and image sensors and recently introduced the

RideCare Companion solution that aims to increase

safety while ridesharing. Other examples include

improved capabilities in LiDAR sensors like longer range

from Mobileye and a substantial cost reduction from

Innoviz Technologies.

Then, you have autonomous driving systems being

used in industrial applications such as trucks for

farming as well as others like racing, mining, or boats.

Similar to shared mobility, the challenge of quickly

commercializing these vehicles is on everyone’s mind.

Recent industry collaboration, such as Continental and

Ambarella as well as Magna and LG, will help advance

the integration of hardware and software solutions

going forward.

The future relies on software-defined vehicles

From offering advanced safety and convenience

features to enabling additional functions for the vehicle

experience, software-defined vehicles are taking the

automotive industry by storm, becoming a crucial

enabler for mobility innovation. At CES, we saw the

growing reliance on software for all applications for

the car—from the exterior color to heated seatbelts to

ADAS. This will lead to a transformation in the software

ecosystem, with more tech companies embracing the

concept of software-defined vehicles.

The cities we live in are only getting smarter, and the

technology used continues to get far more complex.

While vehicles have always required sophisticated

hardware systems, it’s clear that the integration of

software cannot be left on the side of the road.


Both software and hardware must be accounted for to

ensure software-defined vehicle success. Since new use

cases are always on the horizon, a hardware platform

with computing capability and flexibility is necessary.

But the complexity and availability of hardware is

making it harder to bring products out to market,

bringing superior software development to the forefront.

This allows Synopsys to play a significant role in

integrating with existing ecosystems, providing

technology that enables OEMs, semis, Tier 1s, and

researchers to capitalize on the growing softwaredefined

vehicle market. Synopsys is already engaging

with these groups to help bring new concepts to

the forefront sometime in the near future and help

companies build and scale production.

The road ahead is an uphill ride, and we are excited

to continue to design the future of automotive with

software-defined vehicles and ultimately, push mobility

forward for this new era of vehicles.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 29

EV Market

January-February issue l 2023

The Chinese EV Market Is

Already Starting To Influence

The EV Sector In Africa

Image courtesy of Axel Conrad

By Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai

The Chinese auto sector leads the world in terms of

volumes when it comes to EV adoption. Last year,

22% of new car sales in China were 100% electric.

About 6 million EVs (battery-electric + plug-in

hybrids) were sold in China last year. Topping the list

was BYD Song and all its variants with 476,784 units.

An interesting one on the list was the VW ID.4 with

81,672 units sold in China last year. VW also sells the

China-only (for now) ID.6.

A recent trip to Ethiopia by Axel Conrad, founder of

e-Car Namibia, gave an insight into how the Chinese

EV market is already having some influence in Ethiopia.

Axel spotted several made in China VW ID models at

showrooms of independent dealerships which import

cars directly. He also spotted several ID models already

driving on the roads of Addis Ababa. These ID models

are imported as brand new or low mileage models into

Ethiopia from China and include the ID.4 and ID.6. Axel

says in a LinkedIn post that the ID.6 models seem to

be selling quite well, as he spotted quite a few of them

driving on the roads of Addis Ababa.

Buyers do not seem to be worried about the lack of a

large public electric vehicle infrastructure network, and

charge their vehicles using 11kW AC charging stations

(at home and at the dealer I assume). The cars are also

quite pricey. The ID.6 is going for a whopping $100,000!

He also adds that the growing sales of the ID6 and ID.4

is probably driven in part by a new wave of them being

regarded as fashionable vehicles. His feedback from the

people he spoke with in Ethiopia is that the low cost

of charging vs the high price of fuel is a major driver.

Ethiopia has some of the lowest electricity tariffs on

the continent with residential tariffs close to 1 US cent/

kWh. Given that the price of petrol is close to $2 per

liter, EV owners in the country can expect to save quite

a lot on fuel costs. 1 cent per kWh is like driving for


It’s really exciting to see this kind of adoption being

driven by independent dealers. Perhaps as the volumes

grow, more OEMs will start accelerating their plans

to introduce EVs officially in some of these markets

on the African continent. Widespread adoption of EVs

in Ethiopia will help save a lot of foreign currency

currently used to import fossil fuels, cutting tailpipe

emissions in the process. In Ethiopia, fuel imports

30 Africa Automotive News l 2023 2022

January-February issue l 2023

EV Market

from more than 20 made in China EV models on offer

from several companies and startups in Ghana. The

majority of countries in Africa, excluding those from

east and south Africa, drive on the same side of the road

as China. Therefore, it is easy for dealers to find models

to import directly from China and start offering them in

the local market without waiting for official dealerships

to bring in those same models.

The Chinese market is also our best bet to bring

affordable EVs to Africa. And with the right policies and

regulatory framework, those EVs can land at prices that

are fairly competitive with the popular used and almost

new vehicles that typically dominate vehicle imports

in most African countries. Rwanda gives us a perfect

example of this. Go Kabisa is bringing Geely’s Geometry

E to Rwanda. The Geometry E is in a similar vehicle

segment with the Rav 4, which is a very popular vehicle

with young professionals in Rwanda. The Geometry E

will start from 22M RWF, which is around $20,000. A

brand new Geely Geometry E vs an 8-year-old RAV4?

The Geometry E is a no-brainer. Kabisa says the cost

savings per kilometer driven when charging your EV

versus filling up the ICE fuel tank can be up to 85% in


In Zimbabwe and Kenya, the only brand new electric

vans you can get officially are the BYD T3 passenger

and panel vans. In South Africa you can get the SIAC

Maxus eDeliver 3, as well as the DFSK EC35 van. Same

thing with pickup trucks. In Kenya, the only electric

pickup currently available officially is the JAC T8. Several

pickups, also from China, are available in Ghana, and the

DFSK EC31 is available in South Africa.

Image courtesy of Axel Conrad

consume about $4 billion annually. Ethiopia’s grid is

powered 100% by renewable energy (hydro and some

wind). According to IRENA, of the 15,075 GWh generated

in 2020, 14,404 GWh were from “hydro and marine” and

wind contributed 609 GWh. Ethiopia is gradually adding

more hydro capacity as the 5,150 MW Grand Ethiopian

Renaissance Dam (GERD) units are gradually phased

in. The GERD will add another ~15,500 GWh of clean

electricity to the country’s energy mix.

This is just the latest example of how the Chinese EV

market is starting to influence the EV sector in Africa,

especially in the 4-wheeler segment. We have seen this

happening already in Ghana where one can choose

And so, the great shift is starting to happen.

Traditionally, the majority of vehicles both new and used

on the continent were from Japan and Europe. Now, the

Chinese brands (and foreign ones but built in China) are

starting to pop up more regularly. Expect this transition

to accelerate much faster than previously thought. It’s

already happening with ICE vehicles as well as brands

from China such as Great Wall Motors. Haval brand is

starting to make significant inroads as well.

The arrival of the highly anticipated affordable BYD

Seagull, Wuling Bingo, as well as other models already

available in China such as the BYD Dolphin and the Atto

3, will help feed some of these markets on the African

continent as well, as independent dealers and startups

on the continent start to look for more affordable

models. This revolution will grow in countries that

drive on the same side as China, but will soon spread to

other countries that need right-hand drive models once

Chinese OEMs ramp up production and add right-hand

drive options. There has been lot of attention given

to the electric 2-wheeler market on the continent, but

there is starting to be some interesting action on the

4-wheeler market in Africa as well. We will be watching

this space very closely.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 2022 31

Maintenance tips

January-February issue l 2023

Engine oil | Image: courtesy

Essential car fluids you

should be checking regularly

By Joel Patel

Most car owners don’t realize how

complicated their vehicles really are.

Cars with an internal combustion engine

need fluids, and lots of them, to operate

smoothly. You probably know about the basics, like

engine oil, gasoline, coolant, windshield washer fluid,

and transmission fluid. But what about differential fluid,

brake fluid, power steering fluid, and air conditioning

refrigerant? All of these fluids need to be checked

routinely and flushed on a regular schedule.

Depending on your vehicle, you might need some

special tools to get to these fluids if you want to replace

them. But if you’re just looking to check what kind of

shape they’re in, most are easy to get to.

Since every car is different, you’ll want to follow your

owner’s manual to see where you can find these fluids

on your specific vehicle and what kind of fluids your car


What fluids does a car need?

Gasoline is just one of the many fluids your car needs.

Some fluids, like engine oil, transmission oil, and coolant

are obvious, but there are a few other obscure ones that

32 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

Maintenance tips

you may not know about. Here’s a

list of the eight car fluids that you

should keep an eye on:

• Engine Oil

• Transmission Fluid

• Brake Fluid

• Power Steering Fluid

• Differential Oil/Transfer Case

Fluid (4WD)

• Coolant

• Window Washer Fluid

• Air Conditioning Refrigerant

Image: courtesy

Checking transmission fluid requires

the vehicle to be warmed up and

running at idle to be checked. With

the dipstick pulled out, you’ll want

to check the level at the bottom

to ensure that there’s enough fluid

in the transmission, and clean the

dipstick with a white rag or towel to

check the color. Healthy transmission

fluid will have a red or pink color,

while fluid that needs to be changed

will have a brown or black look.

Engine oil

This one is the simplest fluid to

check. The majority of new cars on

the market have a dipstick with an

orange or yellow top that can be

pulled out. Once the dipstick is out,

you’ll want to check the dipstick to

see what color the engine oil is – a

darker, black color signifies oil that

needs to be changed, while a lighter,

caramel-colored oil is relatively new.

It’s best to wipe the dipstick with

a clean white rag to double-check

the color and insert it back into

the dipstick tube, before wiping off

the oil a few times. You’ll want to

keep an eye on the level, which is

located at the bottom of the dipstick,

to make sure that the engine has

enough oil.

It’s best to check engine oil once the

car has had time to fully warm-up,

but you’ll want to keep the engine

off when completing the test.

Depending on what kind of oil you

use in your car, you’re looking at

changing engine oil every 3,000

miles for conventional oil to 10,000

miles for full synthetics.

Transmission fluid

Like the engine oil dipstick, the

transmission fluid dipstick is located

underneath the hood. The dipstick

for the transmission is located

further back in the engine bay and

typically has a different color or a

transmission symbol on the actual

dipstick. If you can’t find a dipstick,

don’t fret. Some modern vehicles

have a transmission that’s sealed

for life from the factory and don’t

require new fluid.

Coolant fluid | Image: courtesy

Engine oil | Image: courtesy

Steering fluid | Image: courtesy

Brake fluid | Image: courtesy

Some vehicles require owners to

change the transmission oil every

30,000 miles.

Brake fluid

Your car’s brake fluid resides in

a reservoir underneath the hood.

Usually, it’s marked by a black lid

with a circular image. It’s usually

located close to the firewall.

Checking the brake fluid is simple.

All you have to do is peek into the

reservoir, see what color the brake

fluid is, and make sure it’s close to

the “full” line. New brake fluid is

almost translucent with a golden

tint to it.

If your brake fluid is dark brown or

black, it needs to be flushed. Low

brake fluid is a sign that you could

have a leak or that your brakes need

to be replaced. Be sure to follow

your owner’s manual to use the

specific type of brake fluid that your

automaker recommends.

Brake fluid mostly depends on

driving habits. If you drive a

performance vehicle and stomp

on the brakes a lot, you’ll want

to flush your brake fluid multiple

times in a year. For the majority of

other drivers, brake fluid should be

changed every two years. Owners

can purchase test strips to check the

quality of the brake fluid.

Power Steering fluid

The reservoir for the power steering

system is also located underneath

the hood. Most of the time, the

power steering reservoir is a darker

color than the brake fluid reservoir

and the black cap usually has “Power

Steering” written on it. Some power

Africa Automotive News l 2023 33

Maintenance tips

January-February issue l 2023

Engine oil check | Image: courtesy

steering reservoirs are clear, which means checking it

just requires you to look at the color and fill level.

For dark reservoirs, there’s a little dipstick that’s

attached to the cap. You can check the level of the fluid

by looking at the leveler on the dipstick. Checking the

quality and age of the fluid requires a white rag that

you can clean the dipstick with. Power steering fluid is

usually red or pink, so anything brown or black needs to

be replaced.

Power steering fluid is something that differs depending

on the automaker, but a good rule of thumb is every

30,000 miles. If your car has an electric steering system,

you don’t have to worry about changing the power

steering fluid.


Coolant, as its name implies, helps keep your engine cool

and often goes overlooked as it’s out of sight. To check

your antifreeze, you’ll have to order an antifreeze coolant

tester, which looks like a funky turkey baster. Then, you’ll

have to open the radiator cap – only do this when the

car is cool! – suck some coolant with the tester, and

check the reading. You can also look at the bottom of the

radiator cap and inside the radiator to check for signs of

sludge or gunk. Some cars have a coolant reservoir that

you can check instead of the radiator.

Different automakers use different types of antifreeze,

which can make diagnosing bad antifreeze difficult.

34 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

Maintenance tips

Power Steering fluid | Image: courtesy

air conditioning in the summer. If you find that your

car’s air conditioning system needs to be recharged

consistently, you can check for leaks with a special

refrigerant with some UV dye in it, which will glow a

certain color under UV light.

Differential oil and transfer case fluid

Differential oil and transfer case fluid are some of the

hardest fluids to check. Most of the time, these fluids are

locked away behind fill and drain bolts that need to be

removed to check the quality and level of the fluid. We

don’t recommend removing either of these unless you

know what you’re doing, have extra fluid on hand, and a

pump to put new fluid in. For these, it’s best to stick with

the automaker’s schedule and regularly check for leaks.

Differential oil and transfer case fluid should usually be

replaced every 30,000 miles for conventional gear oil

and 60,000 miles for synthetic oil.

You’ll want to follow your owner’s manual to get the

correct type of coolant for your vehicle. Most coolant

needs to be replaced every three years or 36,000 miles.

Air conditioning refrigerant

Checking air conditioning refrigerants is tricky because

it requires special tools. One workaround for this is to

purchase a recharge kit, which usually comes with an

easy-to-use gauge. These kits require you to attach

a coupler to the low-pressure port of your car’s AC

system and read the gauge when the air conditioning

is running. That’s it! Mostly. There are a few more

things you have to do, but it’s that simple.

A good rule of thumb is to check your AC system

annually. Skipping a check could mean going without

What is the cost to change all fluids in a car?

When it comes to changing all the fluids in your car, the

most expensive part of the job is the fluids themselves.

Some vehicles require pricey fluids with extra additives

that can add up while using synthetics that will last

longer and will drive up the initial cost. With a manual

and some help from YouTube, changing all the fluids in

your car is a straightforward DIY job, similar to changing

your engine’s air filter. If you head to a shop, you could be

looking at spending anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to

get all of your car’s fluids flushed.

Changing all of the fluids in your car may seem

like a difficult task, but checking them is usually

straightforward. To get into a groove, you’ll want to

check all these fluids every year to stay on top of them

— especially before heading on a road trip. When the

fluid gets old, it loses its helpful properties and puts

components in danger of failing. Routinely checking your

fluids may seem like a tedious task, but replacing them

every few years is far more affordable than replacing the

components they protect. Spend some time checking

and replacing the fluids in your car regularly and it will

reward you with more years of trouble-free ownership.

Africa Automotive News l 2023 35


January-February issue l 2023

How to clean

headlights using 2

Image: Miles Branman/The Manual

popular methods

By Dawn Miller and Miles Branman

Over time, headlights will pick up every day

dirt and grim just like the rest of your car. It's

important not to ignore the headlights when

cleaning your car though. Just like the rest of

your vehicle, headlights need some TLC. Dirty headlights

won't shine properly at night or in the daytime. Before

giving them a scrub though, take a few minutes to learn

how to clean headlights the right way.

Giving headlights a simple wash with regular car soap

or even Windex usually does the trick on that ugly dirt

coating. Over time though, even the most meticulously

maintained headlights will become foggy. Foggy

headlights are just a symptom of the natural aging of

your vehicle and not something to worry about. It is

something to take care of and a relatively simple thing.

You can get the DIY job done with things you probably

already have at home. It may sound surprising, but

regular household items like toothpaste, vinegar, and

baking soda can work wonders on foggy headlights. Of

course, there are all-in-one kits you can buy that can

get the job done too, but all this task really requires is

some elbow grease. So, let's learn how to clean foggy


How to clean headlights with toothpaste

Cleaning your headlights with toothpaste is by far the

easiest and quickest way to clean foggy headlights. It's

an effective method for cleaning foggy headlights and

isn't abrasive. It also doesn't take long.

Step 1: The first step in cleaning your foggy headlights

with toothpaste is to wash them and the surrounding

surfaces with soap and water. Cleaning any exterior

grime from the housings will avoid scratching the

36 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

lenses and shows off your hard work when the project is


Step 2: Once the headlights have been thoroughly

washed, allow the cleaned portion to dry completely. You

don't want moisture to make its way into the headlights.

Step 3: Next, it’s time to bust out that painter’s tape.

Avoid using strong adhesive tape so you don’t damage

your car’s paint. Make a perimeter of tape around each

headlight, leaving all of the actual housing of the

headlights exposed. Don't use a strong adhesive tape

to avoid damaging the car's paint. You can also tape off

your turn signals or leave them exposed for cleaning too.

Turn signals don't typically get foggy like headlights do.

Step 4: Once you've taped around each headlight's

perimeter, it's time for the toothpaste. The toothpaste

method is the easiest and inexpensive. It's also simple.

Apply some toothpaste to a soft cloth or a clean rag.

Then, spread using circular motions, covering the entire

headlight. Be sure to use a plain toothpaste such as

Tom's or Arm & Hammer. Anything with flavor crystals or

other particles may scratch the headlights.

Step 5: The final step in cleaning your foggy headlights

with toothpaste is to rinse. Rinse the housing with water,

dry it with a towel, and crack open a beer (cuz you’re

done). No seriously, it’s that easy. Toothpaste is slightly

abrasive, so applying it to your headlights scrapes away

the crud while filling in any scratches. Why do you think

five out of five dentists recommend using the stuff to

fight plaque?

How to clean headlights with baking

soda and vinegar

Another popular headlight cleaning method involves

two common household things: baking soda and

vinegar. This method is a great pick for extremely foggy

headlights. The baking soda and vinegar method is also

environmentally friendly and cheap.

Step 1: To get started, wash each headlight carefully with

car soap and water.


Step 2: Next, allow the headlights to air dry completely.

Step 3: Using a clean container, mix together two parts

white distilled vinegar and one part baking soda.

Step 4: Cover the container and shake to combine. You

can also stir the mixture.

Step 5: Once the mixture is combined, you're ready to

start cleaning. Dip in a clean cloth or rag. Then, begin

rubbing the baking soda and vinegar mixture on the

entire headlight. If necessary, add more of the mixture to

ensure a thorough cleaning.

Step 6: When the baking soda and vinegar mixture has

been applied to both headlights, rinse completely with


Step 7: If need be, you may repeat the steps, making sure

to rinse after each application of the baking soda and

vinegar mixture.

What to buy to clean headlights

If using toothpaste seems out there and baking soda

and vinegar reminds you of middle school science, you

can always pay for a kit. You’ll still need to get your

hands dirty (or clean?) with an all-in-one setup, and the

results will be about the same as these two popular DIY

headlight cleaning methods. Headlight cleaning kits

aren't expensive and are widely available.

Why do car headlights turn foggy? Headlights become

foggy over time because of the chemical reaction that

takes place between exposed plastic and the sun’s

ultraviolet rays. Accumulated dirt within the housing

can also play a role in turning your headlights from

crystal clear to a yellowish hue. Cleaning your car's foggy

headlights can transform the overall appearance of your


It can go from looking like car that's in need of attention

to a show vehicle. More seriously, foggy headlights can

drastically impair the effectiveness of your car’s actual

bulbs. As more fog builds up, it becomes more difficult to

see, especially at night. In other words, foggy headlights

should be addressed as soon as possible. It's actually an

essential part of your car maintenance regimen.

Headlight cleaning Image: Courtesy


Headlight before and after cleaning Image: Courtesy


Africa Automotive News l 2023 37

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40 Africa Automotive News l 2023

January-February issue l 2023

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