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South Africa has 18 months to make strong move to NEVs – Naamsa CEO

Image of Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council CEO Mikel Mabasa

Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council CEO Mikel Mabasa

1st September 2022

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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If South Africa does not start “to shift and change” to support the increased local production of new-energy vehicles (NEVs) in the next 18 months, the future of the industry is “absolutely under very serious threat”, says Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council CEO Mikel Mabasa.

NEVs include hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. South Africa’s biggest new-vehicle export markets are the UK and Europe, with these centres set to ban internal combustion engine vehicle sales from 2030 onwards.

Only two vehicle manufacturers out of the seven in South Africa currently produce hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

Speaking at the launch of the South African (SA) Auto Week in Johannesburg on Thursday, Mabasa noted that South Africa was currently the twenty-first-biggest vehicle manufacturer in the world, with the other 20 markets rapidly positioning themselves to take their up their place in the global NEV manufacturing chain.

He said many of these markets had moved much faster than South Africa to develop policies around NEV sales and manufacturing.

South Africa is still working towards finalising its NEV support policy.

Mabasa said the main aim of the Auto Week was for the event to act as an engagement platform on NEVs for government, the local automotive industry, trade unions and all other key stakeholders, in order to “preserve the manufacturing base in the country”.

“The main goal of the Auto Week is to accelerate and enhance our discussions around the future of the auto industry in South Africa.”

The theme of the 2022 Auto Week is: ‘Reimagining the Future together | The Rise of the African Auto Industry: investing in new-energy vehicles, infrastructure, and people.’

The event will be hosted at the Kyalami convention centre in Johannesburg from 26 to 29 October.

The Auto Week is endorsed by the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, which will also host their general assembly during the occasion.

The business-to-business event will include the Naamsa Accelerator Awards, a captains of industry dinner, a driving carnival and a three-day conference, with the latter acting as the anchor event.

One of the other “critical topics” on the conference agenda was how to “derisk” the local automotive industry’s logistics chain, added Mabasa.

This comes as Durban port, which is by far the industry’s main import and export hub, suffered from a number of stoppages owing to riots and floods over the last 18 months.

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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