SA’s Charlize Theron becomes a petrolhead in a new Netflix production. Picture: REUTERS
SA’s Charlize Theron becomes a petrolhead in a new Netflix production. Picture: REUTERS

SA’s very own Hollywood star Charlize Theron is the executive producer of a brand new Netflix reality action show called Hyperdrive, in which racers and driving enthusiasts from around the world slug it out for vehicular supremacy across some of the wildest racetracks and obstacle courses you’ve ever seen on television.

There’s also drifting (lots of it), a narrow road that spears through a pool of water (because why not?) as well as an enormous see-saw (yes, really) to help take the competition to a whole new level of insane.

For added ambiance it all takes place on a converted industrial estate with a cache of cars that include a modified Ford Mustang, a Nissan 350Z, a Datsun 240Z and a Mercedes-AMG GT. Hyperdrive will be flight on Netflix on Wednesday August 21.

Mercedes celebrates 25 years of women on the production line

Mercedes-Benz SA’s East London manufacturing plant marked a milestone with the celebration of two anniversaries: 25 years of women on the manufacturing production line and the production of the C-Class.

Mercedes celebrates 25 years of women on the production line of its East London factory. Picture: SUPPLIED
Mercedes celebrates 25 years of women on the production line of its East London factory. Picture: SUPPLIED

It was in 1994 during SA’s political transition to democracy when the first group of women started working on the production line of Mercedes-Benz SA (MBSA) in East London, Eastern Cape.

A quarter of a century later the company continues on its diversity journey by reflecting on the pioneering spirit and contribution that women have played in the plant’s success. The women of ’94 have paved the way for the younger generations to advance in other areas of the automotive supply chain. To date, MBSA employs over 1,700 women who continue to manufacture the sedan for local and international markets.

Building on a rich heritage of 71 years of manufacturing in SA, the plant also celebrates 25 years of manufacturing the C-Class as one of four Daimler plants that manufactures the sedan. The first C-Class, the W201 model, rolled off the line for the first time in 1994, and women formed part of this feat.

VW helps female entrepreneurs 

Volkswagen SA has partnered with the Lionesses of Africa organisation to assist in developing their over 600,000 female entrepreneurs across 54 African countries.

Statistics indicate that about 50% of start-up businesses in SA fail within 24 months due to a range of factors. Lionesses of Africa, a social enterprise organisation, empowers women entrepreneurs by providing free access to development and mentoring programmes, business tools, digital media channels, community platforms and networking events.

Lionesses of Africa, said to be the largest all-female business network in Africa, helps women to achieve their start-up dreams while empowering them to generate economic prosperity.

A key aspect of Lionesses of Africa’s success is the Volkswagen Lean In Breakfasts, which are a series of monthly networking events hosted around SA. At every event, inspirational speakers share their own entrepreneurial journeys and offer valuable advice. The start-up journeys of these business women encourage fellow entrepreneurs to persevere through the trials and tribulations of starting a new business.

This year alone Volkswagen has hosted six Lean In Breakfasts, which have been attended by over 600 entrepreneurs. At the most recent event hosted in Cape Town in July, Debbie Ncube, owner and founder of Eden All Natural Peanut Butter, shared her inspirational start-up story, which she ended with, “at the very point that you want to give up, that’s the point where you become an entrepreneur”.

In celebration of August being Women’s Month, Volkswagen will be showcasing a social media content series with the hopes of widening the business network in SA as well as generating further awareness for these businesswomen and their start-ups.

Hyundai extends mileage with solar roof panels

Hyundai is launching its first car with a solar roof charging system. The groundbreaking eco-friendly technology will provide vehicles with additional electrical power, as well as increasing fuel efficiency and driving range.

Solar roof panels can increase travel distance by an extra 1,300 km a year. Picture: SUPPLIED
Solar roof panels can increase travel distance by an extra 1,300 km a year. Picture: SUPPLIED

The solar roof charging system makes its debut on the new Sonata hybrid. The system supports the vehicle’s electric power source, improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The solar roof system includes a structure of silicon solar panels that are mounted on the car’s roof. Being able to charge even while driving, the solar roof system can charge 30%-60% of the battery per day. With six hours of daily charging, it is expected to increase travel distance by an extra 1,300km annually.

Hyundai currently does not have plans to sell the Sonata in SA, but in the coming years Hyundai plans to roll out the technology to other vehicles across its range.


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