For South Africans, 2014 is set to be an interesting and challenging year - and for many reasons. But while the elections and the economy will be major talking points, they will also have a real impact on our motoring lives. DEON SCHOEMAN takes a look at the trends that are likely to shape our motoring year.
Prepare yourself for a rough and challenging ride in 2014. After extended growth and positive trends, the South African motor industry will be facing tougher times this year - and that goes for us motorists, too.
Factors such as the local elections, the weakening of the rand, the softening economy, rising fuel prices and poor service delivery will all have an impact, as will the continuing stand-off between SANRAL and Gauteng's motorists on the e-toll issue.
South Africans are particularly passionate about motoring. A general lack of reliable and safe public transport, and the long distances we travel as a matter of course, mean that cars mean more to us than being mere appliances.
The long-established local trend of including car allowances in remuneration packages also means that a car remains a highly visible status symbol - and that we're prepared to spend...