The so-called pandemic, followed by the current ‘casedemic’, not to mention South Africa’s unique brand of a ‘plundemic’, continue to wreak havoc in the automotive industry. Revenues and profits are down and losses are up.
The global automotive industry is expected to see a 20% decline in yearon-year sales for the full year. European automakers seem to be particularly hard hit with a drop of 39.5% in sales during the first half of the year, compared to the US (-23.5%) and China (-22.5%) during the same period. South Africa did not fare much better with year-to-date sales down 34.6% compared to the same period last year, indicating the very harsh reality of the lockdown madness.
A small silver lining appears to be electric vehicles, particularly in Europe, where sales of electric vehicles have nearly quadrupled to just shy of 10% of total market share. Equally surprising, Tesla proved to be virtually impervious to the lockdown enforced factory shutdowns as the Silicon Valley company posted near record deliveries for the first half of 2020, while remaining profitable during the first two quarters. Tesla’s stock price followed an even steeper trajectory with a five-fold increase during these challenging times.
Here at Driven magazine we have faced similar challenges brought on by the lockdown. With our primary delivery channels closed during lockdown, we have not been able to print the magazine since May. Fortunately we have the largest digital subscriber base in our industry, and as such have been able to continue publishing the magazine in digital format during lockdown.
The good news is that our primary distribution channels will open again soon, allowing us to resume our print publication in the coming months. As a magazine and a company, we remain committed to both print and digital publishing, and we see it as our duty to participate in the recovery of the South African economy. As such we are launching our new website this month, and our entire team is back on the road testing cars and remain committed to our passion for motoring excellence!
On behalf of our team I wish to thank our previous editor, Lerato Matebese, for his service to Driven magazine, and we wish him the very best with his next venture in our industry. While we miss his kind presence, we continue on the course of excellence that he has set. We remain Driven! Wilhelm Loots