LOCAL AUTO INDUSTRY UNITES AT SA AUTO WEEK
naamsa, the Automotive Business Council, has officially commenced its annual SA Auto Week at Gallagher Estate in Gauteng.
SA Auto Week, which also forms part of the country’s Transport Month activities, is the local automotive industry’s premium networking and thought leadership conference and exhibition that will end on 13 October.
The council represents 42 passenger vehicle brands, 22 light commercial and 20 medium and heavy commercial vehicle brands.
“SA Auto Week brings together all the role players in the industry to discuss its accomplishments and future, highlight the latest technologies and debate policies currently under consideration,” says Mikel Mabasa, CEO of naamsa.
“It also creates a platform to discuss and manage the challenges presented by the global and local economy together, to ensure that the right decisions are made to support South Africa’s growth ambitions.”
The local automotive industry is seen as the largest manufacturing industry in the South African economy and last year contributed around 4.9% to the country’s annual GDP. It directly employs 497 408 people formally and informally, which is 2.9% of the 16.2 million people employed in SA.
More importantly, the SA auto industry also exports products to 152 markets and generated R227.3 billion in export revenue for the country last year.
“The local automotive industry makes an extraordinary contribution to South Africa’s prosperity, and that is why it is important to secure its viability and growth, now and into the future,” says Mabasa.
Also on the agenda was the highly anticipated announcement of a balanced New Energy Vehicle (NEV) policy by the South African government, accounting for both environmental factors (early adoption) and production support (investment mobilisation). This announcement is expected early in November 2023.
Despite challenging market conditions, the industry has displayed a modest yet commendable resilience in overall year-to-date new vehicle sales and export performance for September 2023. Factors like heightened inflation, fuel costs, electricity prices and food costs are forcing buyers to buy down and opt for more affordable cars.
Looking ahead, naamsa expects the new vehicle market to remain under pressure and the organisation has a subdued outlook over the medium term.