Nissan Leads the way with Anti-Theft



Nissan Auto Africa South Africa

ROSSLYN, PRETORIA  (Date,  3  October, 2006) — Nissan South Africa announced today that it is to introduce a new security feature on all Nissan vehicles sold in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho – the five member countries of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Aimed at reducing vehicle theft, the highly sophisticated laser microdot technology provides each vehicle with its own identification in the form of myriad dots, which are etched onto various parts of the vehicles.

Approximately 10 thousand high-tech dots are sprayed onto a minimum of 88 sites on the vehicle, making it difficult for would-be thieves to alter the car’s identity. The sheer number of dots, both in overt and covert locations, provides the vehicle with its own DNA.  The dots are only visible under a low-powered microscope or UV light making it difficult to determine where they have been placed.

Nissan SA’s director for marketing and sales Roel de Vries says the foolproof technology is the future of vehicle manufacture.  “ Nissan is at the forefront of a number of new technologies which are being introduced into the industry. We believe that by introducing microdot technology to improve vehicle security, we are adding value to our vehicles, an important aspect in customer satisfaction.”

Nissan is the first vehicle manufacturer in South Africa to implement microdot technology as a standard feature. As from 03 October, microdots will now be applied to all new Nissan vehicles, both locally manufactured and imported.

Given the high incidence of vehicle theft in South Africa, microdot technology has been welcomed and endorsed by organisations in South Africa including Business Against Crime South Africa, the Vehicle Security Association of South Africa (VESA) and the National Vehicle Crime Steering Committee, whose members comprise, amongst others, the South African Police Service, the Department of Transport, the SA Insurance Association, Business Against Crime, the Retail Motor Industry, the South African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association and the Banking Association.   A number of car manufacturers and car rental companies are also making use of microdot technology.

 Business Against Crime reports that typically over 100 000 vehicles are stolen and hijacked annually in South Africa annually.  These vehicles are generally re-registered (53%), exported (37%) or chopped up for spares (17%), with only 40% being recovered.  The organisation also reports that of the recovered stolen and hijacked vehicles, only 40% are returned to their owners and the remaining 60% are either compacted or used by the State.  Graham Wright, Deputy CEO of Business Against Crime says his organisation has supported microdot technology since it was introduced in South Africa five years ago.

“We believe it is an important additional means of identifying stolen vehicles and, as such, our organisation has been instrumental in the development of protocols for the application of the technology and its security requirements,”  says Wright.

VESA, a non-profit organisation that regulates the vehicle security industry, also endorses the product. VESA’s Marketing Manager Adri Smit says that microdot technology is having a positive impact on the return of recovered stolen vehicles.

“Microdot technology is helping to track vehicle owners, thereby reducing the percentage of cars whose owners cannot be traced,” says Smit. “Because microdot technology is also endorsed by the SA Insurance Association, an added advantage is the possibility of reduced insurance premiums.”

Adds Nissan’s de Vries: “Although there are a number of other car theft deterrents, microdot technology has been found to be one of the most effective in its ability to retain the vehicle’s identity. This makes the car a less desirable target for criminals, which in turn enhances the personal safety and security of the driver and occupants.”

Actuarial evidence shows that motor vehicle theft is reduced by 50% with the technology, which also results in improved prosecution and conviction rates. The SAPS currently has in excess of one thousand police kits, comprising a UV light and small spotting scope, which are used to track and identify stolen microdotted vehicles or vehicle parts.

Developed originally in the United States to stop the illegal use of counterfeit gaming chips in Las Vegas, microdot technology has expanded into a worldwide product with many applications.  Vehicle microdotting was launched by an Australian company and has since been introduced in a number of countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, Taiwan and New Zealand. Although it has been applied to more than 80,000 vehicles in South Africa, there is a move for more widespread use of the inexpensive technology, both in new and used vehicles.

Microdot technology is also being used to mark household, office, and school items, as well as museum pieces.

Released by:
Nissan South Africa
Corporate Affairs and Communications
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