South Africa’s vehicle production is expected to expand by 6.2% in 2019, to roughly 648 000 units, compared with 2018, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its latest quarterly business review.
South Africa made up 0.64% of global new vehicle production in 2018, up from 0.62% in 2017. With regards to light commercial vehicle production – largely bakkies – South Africa was ranked 15th in the world in 2018, with a market share of 1.24%.
Global new vehicle production in 2018 declined to 95.6-million units, down from 96.7-million units in 2017.
South Africa’s vehicle production volumes were boosted by an increase in new-vehicle exports, which grew by 4% in 2018 compared with 2017, to 351 139 units.
The outlook for exports in 2019 is for an improvement of almost 10%, to 384 150 units.
Improving production volumes in 2019 will have its challenges, however.
Naamsa notes in its business review that local vehicle manufacturers report that the supply of selected components to vehicle plants was under pressure in the first quarter of this year, owing to load-shedding at power producer Eskom.
The report also notes that the quality of locally mined copper is no longer “of satisfactory standard to meet material specification requirements”.
Naamsa is hopeful that this situation will improve, however, especially as local production and, therefore, demand, continues to grow.
The outlook for domestic sales remains bleak in 2019, as it was in 2018, with a weak rand and domestic macroeconomic environment, coupled with rising fuel prices continuing to dampen already low consumer and business confidence, says Naamsa.