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Chrysler's South Africa CEO is shot

Trent Barcroft and his wife, both American citizens, were robbed outside Johannesburg over the weekend.

By Clifford Atiyeh Feb 13, 2013 7:07AM
Chrysler's South Africa CEO was wounded during a robbery outside Johannesburg over the weekend.

Three men attacked Trent Barcroft and his wife, Cathy, on Saturday afternoon after hitting the couple's Jeep Grand Cherokee from behind, according to media reports and Chrysler SA spokesman Richard Sloman.

When Barcroft stepped out of the car to inspect the damage, Sloman told MSN Autos, he was shot in the abdomen and the three men from the other vehicle stole his watch, wallet and cellphone; they also stole a handbag from his wife, who was unharmed, reports said.

Police have not identified the suspects, but Barcroft is stable in a nearby hospital and is "expected to make a full recovery," Sloman said. The South African Police Service could not be reached for comment. Both Barcroft and his wife are U.S. citizens.

Local media reported the crime early Wednesday despite Barcroft's family wishing to keep the incident private, Sloman said. The attack occurred in Midrand, a suburb north of Johannesburg, on a busy route that parallels a major highway. Kyalami Circuit, a karting and motorcycle track that hosted the former South African Grand Prix until 1993, is nearby on the same road (view location; pin is the general, not exact, crime-scene area).

South Africa is known for having one of the world's highest crime rates, with some areas posting warning signs of "hijacking hot spots." So-called "smash and grab" crimes, when a robber smashes a window in traffic and runs away, are not uncommon in downtown Johannesburg. Other criminals throughout the country have been known to stage accidents on roadsides or hit other cars with the intent of committing a robbery, as appears to have been the case with Barcroft.

Barcroft, who also manages the Fiat brand, has been CEO since 2009 after running the company's Middle East division. During his 30 years with Chrysler, he built up the automaker's dealer network in South Africa in 1999 and was the country's managing director from 2000 to 2005 under Daimler.

Aside from the full Jeep lineup, Chrysler sells three other models in South Africa: the Chrysler 300C, Chrysler Grand Voyager (Dodge Grand Caravan) and Dodge Journey. The company is planning to expand its Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands in South Africa as it is also doing in the U.S.

[Source: IOL, EWN, News24]
Feb 13, 2013 9:13AM
Let me guess........S. Africa has strict laws against private citizens owning guns.....
Feb 13, 2013 9:03AM
South Africa. In desperate need of the death sentence ...
Feb 13, 2013 9:38AM

"South Africa is known for having one of the world's highest crime rates,"


But, but, but how can this be? South Africa ended apartheid, like, 20 years or so ago and have had black presidents that promised to change things for the better and everybody was going to be happy and live better lives and........

Feb 13, 2013 9:19AM

To the government:


Stop counting votes and protect law abiding citizens and taxpayers!!!

Feb 13, 2013 9:31AM
Why do we always go places we're not wanted?

There was a time if a native in their country knew you were American.
It was Hello! Please come in welcome, welcome!

Now it's either gimme all your valuables or we'll blow your brains out
or get out of our country or we'll blow you to bits. :(
Feb 13, 2013 9:32AM
Yeah aren't things so much better in South Africa now that they have overthrown "White Rule". May sound harsh, but it is true those people need some one to guide lead direct and rule them as history proves they are unable to function under self rule
Feb 13, 2013 9:03AM
Feb 13, 2013 9:05AM
Great. I'm going there on Friday.  Really reassuring.  FML
Feb 13, 2013 9:27AM
He should have known his surroundings and just kept going. I'm glad he's expected to survive, it could have been much worse. Mike10126, please be careful and don't stop if someone hits your car, just keep going.
Feb 13, 2013 9:18AM
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