Author:charleen-clarke

Farewell to one of transport’s nicest ladies

Margaret Phillipson, customer service manager at FOCUS, has retired. CHARLEEN CLARKE pays tribute to one of transport’s finest and nicest ladies… I have a confession to make: when Tina Monteiro, publisher of FOCUS, told me that she’d hired Margaret ten years ago, I had my doubts. They were two-fold: Margaret was a banking-industry veteran – so she wasn’t an advertising guru. Also, she knew little or nothing about transport. I truly wondered if she would cope. She didn’t cope. Instead, […]

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My heart was stolen … twice!

There are certain things in the world that some people will never understand. How that loving couple came to be; how a “car guy” can become utterly besotted with a machine that boils down to four wheels and an engine; and how Alfa Romeos are just so special. We’ll, I recently got married to the most loving, special person I’ve had the privilege of knowing; became besotted with a vehicle that has four wheels and an engine; and well, you […]

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Mercedes-Benz shows Sprinter to the world

Mercedes-Benz has shown its brand new Sprinter to the world and, of course, FOCUS was there. On Tuesday, February 6, we joined about 240 of the world’s leading commercial vehicle journalists in Duisburg, Germany, for the world premiere of this highly anticipated new van. The new Sprinter is the successor to a global phenomenon; Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 3,4-million Sprinters since its premiere in 1995, and, judging by our initial impressions of the new van (which we have yet to drive), […]

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Tale of typewriters and a terrific bakkie!

Did you know that Mercedes-Benz used to make a bakkie long, long ago? And that Mercedes (sans Benz) made a typewriter? CHARLEEN CLARKE travels to Chile to test drive the company’s latest pickup and encounters all sorts of surprises. I’m standing next to the side of the road, conversing with the cutest little Chilean. He owns what some people would call a “junk shop”. My co-driver, on the other hand, would “platz” at this description. He calls these establishments “antique […]

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Driveline dilemma!

Solutrans was expected to be all about e-mobility, and, of course, this subject did feature prominently – But it wasn’t the sole star of the show. CHARLEEN CLARKE reports from Lyon. Solutrans could not have happened at a more opportune time. Its doors opened just days after Elon Musk launched his Tesla electric truck (see page 40 for details). This was the topic of discussion on most stands, with many industry observers concluding that Musk had lost the plot. Whereas […]

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A Rio review

The Kia Rio has developed a strong following among buyers of B-segment hatchbacks – its reputation especially took off with the previous, third generation; which was launched in South Africa in 2012. While traditional rivals such as the Hyundai i20, Mazda 2 and Renault Clio continue to sell well, competition in this segment is set to get stiffer as the new-generation VW Polo and Ford Fiesta are expected to land later in 2018. So, how does the new Rio stack […]

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