Four facts we now know about SA's motor industry, thanks to Right to Repair

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Ford South Africa production line
Ford South Africa production line

1 July is a very significant date in the life of all South African motorists - because that's the implementation date for the Competition Commission's Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket.

The Guidelines are a consequence of years of lobbying undertaken by Right to Repair SA, which was founded by the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA). It represents 2 500 independent workshops, automotive aftermarket distributors and parts manufacturers.

While lots has been said and written about the benefits of the Guidelines to motorists, many of the nuggets of information within the report haven't been published.

Here are four things you might not know about the motor industry:



1. The average ICE vehicle has between 30 000 to 60 000 parts and components

Much of the Guidelines focus on the sale of these parts and components. For instance, OEMs and/or approved dealers are encouraged to make original spare parts available to independent service providers. (Previously, the sale of these parts was carefully controlled.) This means that consumers may have the ability to decide on where they choose to have their repair work done.

2. The automotive industry contributes 6.4% to SA's GDP

The report reveals that the automotive industry contributes 6.4% to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 30.1% of the country's manufacturing output. The manufacturing segment of the industry currently employs more than 110 000 people across its various tiers of activity (from component manufacturing to vehicle assembly).

"Many people underestimate the importance of the motor industry," notes George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO. "Yet it is vital to our economy. Over 60% of South African manufactured cars are exported. As such the South African automotive industry needs to move with the times - and start to assemble electric vehicles. Otherwise, it could find itself in real trouble."



3. There are over 3 458 different car derivatives to choose from

A total of 55 car brands are active in South Africa and they sell a whopping 3 458 different model derivatives! Consumers are spoilt for choice too when it comes to light commercial vehicles (predominantly bakkies) - up for grabs are 26 brands and 739 derivatives.

4. Only one third of households in SA own a car

There's huge potential for growth in the industry. The report reveals that approximately only 33% of households in the country own a motor vehicle. This compares to the US, where 91.3% of households recently reported having access to at least one vehicle.

"Recently, we undertook a survey where 77% of South African consumers plan to upgrade their current car or buy an additional car. There is clearly still a big opportunity for automotive companies in South Africa, let's not lose our industry by not acting now," concludes Mienie.

References:1. ValuePenguin - Car ownership stats

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