MOTORING NEWS - Lockdown. Who would have thought that something like this could ever happen? Every spectrum of all industries have been affected and the motoring industry is no exception.
I am a work-from-home motoring journalist and usually travel out to motor launches. This is no longer the case as the industry has ground to a halt. Be that as it may, communication in these crucial times is an absolute must. Unprecedented, but we have to remain steadfast in our homes and hope and pray for the best. No doubt the pandemic has changed the way we will do business in future, as the future certainly is not what it used to be.
China has been the world's largest automotive manufacturing country and automotive market since 2009 and has long been seen as the nerve centre of the global automotive industry, with many manufacturers owning plants or having some reliance on automotive parts from that country. Many multinational manufacturers have partnerships with Chinese domestic manufacturers. In 2018, annual vehicle production in China accounted for over 30% of worldwide vehicle production, which exceeds that of the European Union or that of the United States and Japan combined. Is it right for the world to place such huge reliance on one country? I am sure that this is set to change, one way or the other. Lessons have been learned.
But let's get back to home ground. I posed some questions to a few motoring manufacturers.
The last word comes from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) executive manager Dr Norman Lamprecht: "The automotive industry across the world is experiencing unprecedented challenges. South Africa is no exception and the entire domestic motor industry has suspended production. The new vehicle sales statistics for March 2020 reflect a substantial decline of 29,7% compared with March last year, while export sales showed a huge fall of 21,5% compared with March last year. The SA automotive industry is an export-oriented industry. China was SA's seventh largest automotive trading partner in 2019 with imports of R18,6-billion, of which R4,6-billion [constitute] original equipment components and R12,5-billion aftermarket components. However, Europe, also severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, was the domestic automotive industry's main trading region in 2019, comprising R129,7-billion, or 64,3%, of the country's vehicle and component exports and R119,2-billion, or 51%, of the country's vehicle and component imports of R233,7-billion."
Scary stuff indeed!
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