: The AA predicts the petrol price could drop as much as 91c a litre next month. Picture: RANDELL ROSKRUGE
: The AA predicts the petrol price could drop as much as 91c a litre next month. Picture: RANDELL ROSKRUGE

Retreating oil prices have painted a rosier picture for South African fuel users than has been the case for much of 2019. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA) which was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

At this stage of the month, the AA is predicting a decrease of 91c/litre in the petrol price, 70c in the diesel price, and 62c for illuminating paraffin in July.

"The story of the month is definitely oil," says the AA.

"Crude laboured above $70 a barrel for large portions of April and May, as the tug-of-war continued between the OPEC countries, which favour ongoing output restrictions, and the US, where production is steaming ahead." The association says that there had been a remarkable drop in the price of oil since the end of May, with the commodity currently trading about $61 a barrel.

"South Africans are not getting full value though, thanks to rand jitters in the wake of the ANC top leadership trading jibes over the future of the Reserve Bank," the AA comments.

MOTORING PODCAST | Cargumentative: Daydreaming of Le Mans

For more episodes, click here

Subscribe: iono.fm | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Player.fm.

"After a period of sustained price stability, the rand weakened substantially against the US dollar, taking some of the shine off oil's retreat."

The AA says the expected price drops are nonetheless substantial, with petrol showing a 91c-a-litre drop at month end, with reductions of 70c and 62c respectively for diesel and illuminating paraffin.

HUMMER TO RETURN AS AN ELECTRIC?

General Motors (GM) is rumoured to be looking at reviving the Hummer brand which was killed off in 2010. This time, the notorious gas-guzzler could return as a planet-friendly electric vehicle.

Hummer may return, this time without the fuel-guzzling reputation. Picture: NETCARSHOW
Hummer may return, this time without the fuel-guzzling reputation. Picture: NETCARSHOW

According to a Bloomberg report, GM is exploring a zero-emissions Hummer as part of a fleet of clean SUVs and pickups.GM is working on two major battery-powered vehicle programs, one for passenger cars and crossovers SUVs, and the other will make electric pickups and other full-size vehicles.

Although GM hasn’t officially commented, Hummer has surfaced as way to tap growing demand for rugged SUVs with off-road capabilities, while avoiding the fuel-burning image that made the brand something of a pariah a decade ago, Bloomberg quoted insiders as saying.

Like many other automakers, GM is looking to transform itself from a combustion-powered-vehicle maker into what CEO Mary Barra calls an “all-electric future".

GM killed its Hummer division in 2010 along with three other brands: Saturn, Pontiac and Saab.

BMW CONSIDERS A STANDALONE M CAR

BMW M is looking at launching a standalone sports car to possibly compete against rivals like the Audi R8 and Mercedes-AMG GT.

BMW is looking to build a standalone sportscar, much like the M1 of the late 1970s. Picture: SUPPLIED
BMW is looking to build a standalone sportscar, much like the M1 of the late 1970s. Picture: SUPPLIED

BMW M’s last standalone sports car was the two-seater M1 supercar of the late 1970s.

“We are investigating M variants that may also be standalone; that don’t have a predecessor,” BMW M chief Markus Flasch told Australian magazine Car Sales in an interview earlier this week.

He said the new models could potentially be developed from the ground up instead of  being based on existing cars (like the M5 is based on the 5 Series for instance). He said he and his team had already chosen specific vehicle categories and that the cars may not necessarily sit at the top of the range.

BMW engineers are reportedly deciding on whether these cars should have combustion engines or pure electric powertrains.

BMW M intends to take the wraps off a concept car later this month to give an idea of its future direction. It’s rumoured the vehicle will feature electrification and possibly some form of self-driving technology that could be used to help hone a driver's skill.

RENTMYRIDE SERVICE EXPANDS IN SA

Private vehicle renting platform RentMyRide has launched a Professional Fleet Owner Service division to facilitate the growing demand for private vehicle rentals in SA.

It utilises the same peer-to-peer rental platform that has facilitated more than 15,000 vehicle rentals since its founding in 2014 to help companies and entrepreneurs rent out any or all of their fleet vehicles to customers.

“In the last five years, we have seen more and more South Africans enter the sharing economy by listing their cars on www.rentmyride.co.za and making money from it when they are not using their cars themselves,” says Sebastian Brokmann, founding member and CEO of the company.

“Over time, we have seen some users build businesses on our platform by adding more than one car to start their own small rental fleet.” 

Brokmann says the new division was formed after calls from vehicle dealers and fleet owners who wanted to list their dormant stock.

The company is testing the new service with Pace Car Rental, which is in beta phase with its fleet of rental vehicles.

Says Grenville Salmon, MD of Pace: “Platforms such as RentMyRide are the future of vehicle rental.”

RentMyRide is currently available in Bloemfontein, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg.

For users looking for a rental vehicle, the company offers rates that are claimed to be on average 40% lower than those of fleet companies.

• For more information, visit www.rentmyride.co.za/pro-fleet