FUCHS SOUTHERN AFRICA looks to expand local and African growth in 2024


FUCHS SOUTHERN AFRICA is poised for continued growth in 2024, asserts MD Paul Deppe. This is off the back of the commencement of the next phase of its investment strategy, which will see a 40% increase in lubricants production capacity.

“We anticipate completion of this project by October 2024,” says Deppe. In addition, FUCHS completed a world-class laboratory earlier in the year and has upgraded its capability to manufacture greases as part of its continued commitment to innovation.

“Another milestone in 2023 was the successful implementation of SAP and go live with our new warehouse,” says Sales Director Andrew Cowling. “The new system will bring about improvements in process efficiency,” he says. Another avenue for growth is the export market in Africa, with FUCHS signing up new distributors to grow its footprint on the continent. However, external factors such as municipal service delivery, energy and water security, and logistics infrastructure continue to affect both supply chain management and the broader business environment.

Looking ahead to 2024, Deppe outlines a plan to increase FUCHS’ reliance on renewable energy, with around 25% of its electricity consumption anticipated to come from PV systems. The company is exploring other forms of renewable energy and is also investing in backup generators. In addition, the company is exploring using recycled oil to manufacture products, in line with the group’s commitment to sustainability globally.

Upcoming product launches include Calcium Sulfonate greases to mitigate the rising cost of lithium, and new offerings for agricultural machinery, reflecting FUCHS’ diversification into a range of markets.  

Urging customers to “stick with FUCHS”, Deppe stresses the company’s commitment to superior service and continuous growth. “As a lubricants manufacturer, we remain committed to a customer-centric approach, driven by our extensive range of solutions and products for all industrial sectors,” concludes Cowling.


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When the SA Grand Prix was ‘downgraded’

By Graham Duxbury @TheRealDux 


On this day in 1981, Carlos Reutemann won the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami. Unfortunately, the race, scheduled to be the opening round of the Formula One season, did not count towards the FIA World Championship as it was not sanctioned. 

Instead, the race was used as leverage by FISA (Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile) in an ongoing battle with FOCA, (the  Formula One Constructors’ Association).

Downgraded to a Formula Libre or Free Formula event, the race was supported by the teams affiliated with FOCA, but not by the manufacturer teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Ligier, Osella and Renault), all of whom were aligned with FISA.

At the finish, Reutemann’s Williams led home the Brabham of Nelson Piquet and the Lotus of Elio de Angelis. Piquet went on to win the 1981 World Drivers’ Championship, beating Reutemann by a single point. Had this race counted towards the championship the outcome of the title chase would have been different.

Significantly, this was the last Grand Prix in which a woman competed. South Africa’s Desire Wilson was given a drive in a Tyrrell (pictured) and, despite not having sat in the car before practice or having driven any race car for five months, she qualified sixteenth on the grid just 0.6 second behind her acclaimed American teammate Eddie Cheever.

Sadly, after a brief tussle with Nigel Mansell, she spun off into retirement on lap 51.

Photocredit: MotorSport


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