The hunt for ‘realistic car fuel consumption figures’ – financial powerhouses to conduct fuel economy tour in SA

<i>Image: iStock</i>
<i>Image: iStock</i>

Financial powerhouses WesBank and First National Bank (FNB) are joining forces to sponsor a five-day Fuel Economy Tour of South Africa that will provide motorists not only with definitive car fuel consumption figures but also indicative travelling times between major centres in the country. 

The event, for standard production passenger cars and light commercials, will take place from November 12-16 and will involve a five-day drive on major roads from Johannesburg to Cape Town via Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, and George, with a total combined distance of 2500km.

Fuel consumption in doubt

For many years there have been doubts about manufacturers’ claimed fuel consumption figures, which are obtained in laboratory conditions. WesBank and FNB are sponsoring an event dedicated to obtaining realistic fuel consumption figures over a significant distance on roads well-travelled by South African motorists and transport companies. 

trademark clean gas station

                                              Image: iStock

This data will be invaluable for potential vehicle buyers as they research which model to buy. It also ties in with the helping hand that WesBank and FNB always like to extend to their customers and potential customers.

High cost of petrol

The cost of fuel is a major budget item for all motorists and transport companies in South Africa as the country battles with an economic downturn and ever-increasing fuel prices – now the highest in history. 

The effects of these rising fuel prices impact every person in the country, either directly or indirectly as well as on the cost of moving goods which in turn forces up prices.Fuel consumption figures are of growing importance when buying a new or pre-owned vehicle. However, manufacturers figures, which are obtained under controlled conditions in a laboratory, are not realistic for the everyday motorist.


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Image: Wesbank

Image: Wesbank

Validity of fuel consumption figures

There have also been ongoing scandals for the past several years regarding the validity of fuel consumption and emission data supplied by manufacturers. A number of vehicle makers have been involved in these misrepresentations of important data.Disappointing fuel consumption from their new vehicles is the most common cause for complaint by South African motorists according to recent research conducted by Ipsos, which produces annual data on vehicle product quality and dealer service levels. 

Perceived poor fuel economy was the number one complaint for 11 vehicle categories, from compact hatchbacks to pick-up trucks in their latest product survey.

petrol gauge showing half full

                                               Image: iStock

Members of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) were supportive of this planned WesBank Fuel Economy Tour in partnership with FNB when it was presented at a meeting with their senior executives last year. Subsequently, many individual manufacturers and importers have given their enthusiastic backing to the project.


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