Car sales: South African vehicle exports show significant growth

Johannesburg - Although South Africa has seen its share of economic hard ships in the last several years, the Automotive Industry on the other hand increased exponentially since 1994.

Lightstone, a company synonymous for extracting valuable analytics and providing directions on strategic operational decisions, has calculated vehicle exports for South Africa in 1994 at 14 067 in comparison to 222 252 at the end of 2017.

One of the key attributes to the growth in the last 13 years is government’s introduction of the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) of 1995.

READ: Good news for SA car sales - ‘Highest monthly total’ yet in 2018 says Naamsa

The MIDP aligned with international standards and ethics was one of the biggest catalysts for growth in the country’s automotive industry. China, who by many, can be thought of as South Africa’s biggest trade partner was a major contributor in 1994 with 6375 vehicle imports from South Africa, yet in 2017 the super power only accounted for 383 vehicle exports.

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Due to strengthened foreign relations, the United Kingdom was South Africa’s most lucrative exporting partner with 54402 vehicles in 2017.

South Africa’s geographical reach has also increased significantly since 1994 from 13 to 101 countries who hold export contracts. Export orders have been filed for as far as Malta, Mexico and even Honduras. 

On the home front 38 of Africa’s 54 countries have trade relations with South Africa’s vehicle manufacturers, as opposed to only 11 in 1994 (complete list of African countries available upon request). 

The only constant within the comparison between the years (1994 and 2017) is the vehicle brand manufacturers who hold export contracts. 

In an assessment of export numbers in 2017 and 2016, exports decreased and according to Lightstone this is possibly because of a drop in investor confidence when the state capture saga reached its peak. Under new leadership South Africa could possibly see a decent surge in exports by the end of 2018.  

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