Last week Smarter Mobility Africa news was out and about, attending mobility events across the Gauteng Province. At SMA news we want to ensure we stay abreast with cutting-edge technologies, regulatory developments, but most importantly connecting with industry peers.
An event that stood out was the Automotive Business Council, in partnership with Old Mutual which brought together government stakeholders, industry professionals and automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers [OEMs] under the umbrella theme “Drivers of Change – transformation beyond compliance”. The event’s mission was to explore how the industry can meaningfully collaborate with other role players to progressively accelerate significant transformation that would support the industry’s important role in the local economic landscape.
The South African Automotive Masterplan 2035 (SAAM35) is a primary driver for industry growth and development. Its objectives clearly focus on increasing local manufacturing by 60%, secondly it looks at prioritising increasing broader access to previously excluded groups and lastly, provides value addition by increasing employment opportunities within the auto value chain.
In the roundtable sessions three crucial themes were addressed namely: financial inclusiveness and mobility for the poor; localisation and the development of new black industrialists; and skills of the future for the automotive industry.
Despite higher interest rates and lower economic growth, consumers still bought new vehicles in May. The latest vehicle sales data from the Automotive Business Council shows that new vehicle sales increased by 10.1% last month. #eNCA #DStv403 #QuestionThinkAct pic.twitter.com/2GtV8pqNcP
— eNCA (@eNCA) June 3, 2023
According to Peter van Binsbergen, CEO of BMW Group South Africa, the main challenge is supplier transformation:
“Supplier transformation is still a challenge, with 38 multinational suppliers in the approval phase of an Equity Equivalent Investment Programme [EEIP] through the Automotive Industry Transformation Fund [AITF] facilitated for approval by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. OEMs will continue to support their suppliers to enhance compliance and promote transformation.”
Another key strategic objective of the SAAM35 is industry-wide transformation, which seeks to enhance employment equity at all levels by increasing the involvement of black-owned entities in T2/3 [Tier 2/3], dealerships, and across other auto ISPs [Independent Service Providers].
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Additionally, SAAM35 further highlights the importance of technology and skills development, with objectives to invest in new technologies, coordinate skills development efforts, and ensure cleaner fuel quality that meets international standards.
“The industry has set ambitious targets to improve compliance levels and accelerate transformation efforts and all the seven OEMs have achieved Level 3 or better compliance requirements,”said Binsbergen.
Success stories, best practices, and policy recommendations were highlighted, aiming to foster and accelerate the growth and sustainability of black-owned manufacturing businesses.
The aim was to ensure that individuals are equipped with the necessary skills to meet the demands of the future. The event not only provided a platform for discussions but also facilitated networking opportunities and knowledge-sharing among industry professionals, policymakers, and experts. Participants exchanged ideas, shared experiences, and identified actionable steps to foster a more inclusive, sustainable, and transformative automotive sector.
All formalities came to an end when industry leaders emphasised the need for continued collaboration and innovation. Moving forward, the industry is committed to focus its collective efforts towards bringing a more inclusive, diverse, and transformative automotive industry, driving economic empowerment, job creation, and social progress.
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