Focus on: South Africa

10 October 2014 #SMMT News

Next week marks South African Automotive Week, so SMMT has taken a look at the country’s prospects as a destination of automotive investment.

South Africa

South Africa has long been seen by many UK automotive companies as a great opportunity for expansion, a notion which seems to be backed up by a recent report.

The KPMG Global Automotive Executive Survey 2014 claims that 43% of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and 30% of Japan, North America and Western Europe-based executives surveyed plan to begin or increase investment in the country.

While the financial crisis has affected economies around the world, some – particularly developing African markets – have been resistant to such troubles.

The Arab Spring has had a part to play here, too. SMMT has historically supported UK automotive interest in North Africa – in particular, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria – with trade missions and participation in national industry events. The recent troubles in these countries means that demand has taken a hit and UK aftermarket companies are increasingly falling back on contacts made in Dubai to develop access to the area.

SMMT’s Senior International Manager, Ruta Aisthorpe, says the UK industry is following developments in Africa closely.

“SMMT has long-standing close and valued connections with colleagues at the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). It is also following, with interest, the early endeavours of the African Automotive Industry Alliance to promote the development of African countries’ automotive industry clusters and to co-ordinate the interests of both vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and aftermarket in Africa,” she said.

“There is also work being undertaken on the harmonization of standards and regulations and to develop relevant initiatives for research and development – all areas in which UK companies have the resources and experience to assist and support the continuing growth of the burgeoning auto sector in Africa.”

 South African Automotive Week will take place at Johannesburg’s Gallagher Convention Centre on 13-17 October. It is supported by the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa, the Retail Motor Industry Organisation and the South African Department of Trade and Industry.

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