Race for African markets heats up….Is South Africa ready? | Infrastructure news

Dramatic developments on the African continent and their impact on South Africa’s automotive sector will be the focus of deliberations at the South African Automotive Week, at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, from October 14-16.
Landmark initiatives, the most telling of which is the prolific local production of vehicles in Nigeria, which previously imported all units, and the increase in tariffs on imported vehicles from countries like Zimbabwe, are among the issues that will be analysed.
Nigeria has also recently dramatically increased its import tariffs, in order to protect its local automotive industry, being at the early stages of a ‘reborn’ stage.

National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa Executive Director, Robert Houdet said given the significance of the African market to South Africa, the theme of The Week, hosted every two years, is “Africa’s Automotive Awakening: The race is on!”
“Africa is being considered by the world as one of the final automotive frontiers and the South African supply chain is quite literally in a race to capture a significant share of the opportunities that exist,’’ Houdet said.
350 government and automotive leaders will attend the Conference where South Africa’s automotive brains trust will review progress and instruments like the APDP and ASCCI, as well as factors such as labour stability and manufacturing innovation.
“Our hope is that the discussion will lead us to a refreshed path towards achieving the production of 1.2m vehicles locally within 5 years, and which is espoused in the industry’s Vision2020 target, which is essential for the industry’s sustainability.’’
Addressing the theme at the two day conference (14 and 15 October) are the head of Nigeria’s newly formed Automotive Council, Aminu Jalal, and Mike Whitfield, CEO of Nissan SA which produced its first locally (Nigeria) assembled vehicle in that country earlier this year.
Other speakers on the topic include Chris Hillier of Federal Mogul, which has extensive business across the continent, Mazwi Tunyiswa of the IDC and acclaimed African commentator, author and business executive Victor Kgomoeswana.
Kgomoeswana is the Executive in Business Development at PPC, a listed South African cement company with operations in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and expanding into the rest of the continent. He has been presenting the weekly African Business Report on Talk Radio 702’s Africa Business Report since July 2007 and features frequently as a guest on CNBC Africa, SABC television and radio stations on the topic of African business. Kgomoeswana is the founding editor of Eye on Africa, Ernst & Young’s regular publication that highlights investment opportunities across the continent, and he is a contributor to several conferences and other discussions on Africa as an investment destination. His first book is titled Africa is Open for Business.
South African Automotive Week Director, Andrew Binning said South Africa’s vehicle exports to Africa (now ranked the 2nd fastest growing economy) “looks set to position it as a gateway for the world to African markets’’.

“16 of the world’s 30 fastest growing economies are African and while the growth is off a small base, the figures must be alluring to global manufacturers looking for new growth markets.

Africa, in particular had been a major success story for South Africa in the last two years, and is expected to constitute an increasingly growing percentage of South Africa’s vehicle exports,” he said.

According to KPMG Africa Automotive leader Gavin Maile South Africa exported 24 281 vehicles to Algeria in 2012, followed by Nigeria as second most popular export destination, at 14 874 units – this up from 7 151 units in 2010.

Ghana exports grew from 2 451 units in 2010, to 5 062 units in 2012, with Angola importing 7 783 vehicles from South Africa in 2012, up from 934 in 2010.

“These countries all have high gross domestic product growths,” says Maile. “Africa is a real solution for South Africa’s vehicle exports.”

Houdet said the depreciation of the rand, new industry development in Nigeria and the closure of Australia’s auto manufacturing industry presented opportunities for South Africa’s accelerated growth.
The Automotive manufacturing advisor to the Australian government, Goran Roos, will, in fact, also be at The Week.
The trade initiative also includes a formal match-making programme between buyers and sellers, manufacturing related exhibition (10 000sqm), site tour and workshops.
Houdet says Growth is essential for the future viability of automotive manufacturing in South Africa, the aspirations of which are pinned on Vision 2020 targets.
Speaking at the launch of South African Automotive Week on Friday (12 September at the Rosslyn Automotive Supplier Park ) Houdet said The Week, “is as much about new markets and business deals as it is about supply chain efficiencies and the improvement of local component manufacturers to global standards.’’
“We cannot grow exports and fill gaps in the global market if we are not in the most competitive positions with respect to cost, quality and delivery – key indicators of manufacturing efficiency.’’
The learning programme at the Week, which includes no less than 6 technical workshops and numerous presentations “is very ambitious and represents one of the most comprehensive packages of information and resources for every member of the supply chain,’’ says Houdet.
South African Automotive Week Director, Andrew Binning said International Interest in South Africa’s automotive offering is strong.
“Buyers representing significant purchasing power from the UK, USA, Nigeria, Taiwan, Hungary, China, Russia, Uruguay, Spain, Turkey, Argentina, Namibia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malaysia and Namibia, will be present, while trade ambassadors from a wider range of countries will also participate,’’ Binning said.
Numerous activities feature as part of the Week, including the RMI World Skills Competition, the winners of which will represent South Africa in Brazil and a student design Competition to manufacture an automotive component from recycled plastic.
Key exhibits, as part of the 350 booth tradeshow in Halls 4 and 5 at Gallagher Convention Centre, include several pavilions representing the Gauteng, Kwazulu/Natal and Eastern Cape auto centres, a showcase of Aluminium use in the sector, demonstrated through the New C-class Mercedes, produced in East London and a pavilion dedicated to Electric Vehicle development.
More than 20 emerging automotive manufacturers will also be showcased with the mainstream, thanks to the support of the Small Enterprise Development Agency, while up to 3000 technical scholars will be exposed to the initiative as part of a skills and career development initiative hosted by the Retail Motor Industry Organisation.
South African Automotive Week was voted SA’s best ConFex by the Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa, when it was last held in 2012.
The 4th edition will be hosted in Gauteng for the first time after the AIDC, an agency of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, secured hosting rights.
AIDC MD Barlow Manilal said that the platform presented through The Week, which would attract buying delegations and more than 7500 trade only visitors, was a an essential marketing and positioning tool.
“Given the international profile of this show, we need to effectively demonstrate Supplier Park tenants’ capability and strength and we believe this may be best achieved as a cohesive, branded and eye-catching pavilion.’’
The trade only show is the premier platform in Africa for manufacturers to connect and trade locally, into Africa and around the globe.
Manilal said: “The Week will not only position the Gauteng province as the automotive investment destination of choice, but also showcase our manufacturing capability globally. Gauteng’s automotive value proposition will be a key theme of the event.
Houdet said South African Automotive Week was remarkable in its “unparalleled ability to bring together and make accessible, automotive stakeholders representing all levels of government, its agencies and industry.’’

“This is truly an event for industry by industry and the role of the AIDC has strengthened the brand and its ability to maximise its objectives, which are to showcase South Africa’s manufacturing capability, facilitate trade and empower suppliers with access to cutting edge information, networks and markets,’’ Houdet said.

“Ultimately as a South African collective, The Week is the gathering place and showcase of automotive role-players, including government departments and their products, services and contribution to the manufacturing sector. Info: www.saaw.co.za, info@saaw.co.za

Additional Reading?

Request Free Copy