New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Factbox: Auto aid packages

2009-02-09 08:11

Here are some details about recent aid packages for the shattered auto industry.

* BRAZIL -- Said in November it had instructed state-run bank Banco do Brasil to make available a total of 4 billion reals ($1.72 billion) so that automakers' financing units could increase lending and spur sales.

* BRITAIN -- Announced last month it would guarantee up to 2.3 billion pounds ($3.29 billion) of loans to the car industry. The government said it would guarantee up to 1.3 billion pounds of auto industry loans from the European Investment Bank and guarantee a further 1 billion pounds of loans to back investments that are not eligible for support from the European lender.

* CANADA -- Unveiled an aid package on Dec. 20 that provided C$4 billion ($3.28 billion) in emergency loans to the Canadian arms of General Motors and Chrysler to keep them operating while they restructure. The automakers have a deadline of Feb. 20 to come up with a comprehensive plan that would allow them to get government aid.

* CHINA -- Unveiled measures on Jan. 14, which included cutting in half, to 5 percent, the sales tax on purchases of cars with engine sizes below 1.6 litres and one-off cash subsidies totalling 5 billion yuan ($731.1 million) to owners of high-emission vehicles who trade them in for cleaner ones.

* FRANCE -- Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Jan. 20 France may pump up to 6 billion euros of aid into the industry, but warned that automakers would have to safeguard French jobs in return. Measures may be announced next week.

* GERMANY -- Unveiled a 1.5 billion euro aid package on Jan. 13. The package forms part of a 50 billion euro stimulus package of investments, tax relief and support for companies. The measures include incentives worth 2,500 euros for new car purchases.

* ITALY -- Announced a stimulus package for cars on Friday which includes a payment of as much as 1,500 euros for trading in an old car to buy a new one. Italian car sales are expected to fall 17 percent in 2009, after a 13 percent drop in 2008,

* PORTUGAL: -- Announced on Dec. 3 a 200 million euro credit line for auto and car parts exporters.

* SOUTH AFRICA: -- The government is said to be considering assisting the local motor and component manufacturing sectors and dealer groups as new vehicle sales have fallen to their lowest level in 24 years. The global downturn has also hit demand for exports.

* SWEDEN -- Said on Jan. 22 it had given the National Debt Office the authority to grant emergency loans to the industry.

* UNITED STATES -- Announced on Dec. 19 a $17.4 billion lifeline to Detroit carmakers. The bailout funds will come from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief (TARP) program. GM will receive $13.4 billion and Chrysler $4 billion. Ford Motor Co said it did not need a loan. Loans will be called in if the automakers cannot prove they are viable by March 31.


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.