The WesBank Fuel Economy Tour starts in Johannesburg on November 12 and finishes in Cape Town on November 16. Picture: SUPPLIED
The WesBank Fuel Economy Tour starts in Johannesburg on November 12 and finishes in Cape Town on November 16. Picture: SUPPLIED

South African vehicle manufacturers and importers have come out in strong support of next month’s WesBank Fuel Economy Tour in partnership with FNB.

So far 11 different vehicle brands, as well as motor retail group Motus, have indicated that they will be taking part. Between them they will enter 40 cars and light commercial vehicles in the event, which starts in Johannesburg on November 12 and finishes in Cape Town on November 16.

“We are very pleased with the positive response from the industry to the inaugural Fuel Economy Tour, which aims to produce realistic fuel consumption figures for the participating vehicles, ultimately to the benefit of consumers,” said Charl Wilken, the chief organiser of the event.

“So far, we have three local manufacturers — Toyota, Nissan and Ford — and eight importers — Lexus, Suzuki, Renault, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Mahindra and Honda — that will be entering vehicles in the Economy Tour. Motus will enter a four-car media team utilising a variety of different brands,” added Wilken.

The cost of fuel is a major budget item for all motorists and transport companies in SA as the country battles with an economic downturn and ever-increasing fuel prices — now the highest in history. Perceived poor fuel economy is a regular gripe of motorists surveyed in SA by Ipsos.

“For many years the claimed fuel consumption figures available in SA have been clouded in doubt as they are generally obtained under ideal conditions in a laboratory test and bear little resemblance to the actual fuel efficiency of the vehicles under everyday driving,” said Wilken.

“We aim to put this matter right as we build up a repository of data from the Economy Tour, which we intend to make an annual event.”

The Fuel Economy Tour will be a 2,500km route to Cape Town that goes via Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and George. The equaliser is that all cars will travel the same roads at the same average speeds and at the same time.

Ctrack will fit tracking devices to the competing vehicles and each of them will also have dash cameras to monitor driving behaviour.