The automotive industry: a pillar of the South African economy
The automotive industry is an important pillar in the South African economy:
The industry is the largest manufacturing sub-sector, contributing approximately 7.5% to the country’s GDP (NAAMSA 2016). The industry employs in the region of 113,000 people across OEM’s and automotive component manufacturers and has an annual production amounting to approximately 571,000 vehicles, a decline of 2.3% from 2015. By 2015 more than 60% of locally produced vehicles were exported, up from only 21% in 2002.
% of South Africa's GDP
thousand individuals employed by industry (approx)
thousand vehicles produced annually (approx)
The multiplier effect on the domestic economy
The largest domestic market for vehicles in Africa
South Africa represents the largest domestic market for vehicles in Africa, and is the continent’s biggest producer. South Africa’s trade environment opened up rapidly in the early 1990s as the country integrated into the global economy after years of isolation. The impact of this liberalisation on the South African automotive industry is evident in both the domestic and export markets, with over half of all vehicles produced in South Africa now exported.
The South African Automotive Industry
Gauteng has the largest concentration of automotive manufacturing in South Africa, with three OEMs (BMW, Ford and Nissan) and approximately 40% of the South African automotive components industry.
PORT ELIZABETH/ UITENHAGE
Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage is home to General Motors and Volkswagen, and about 30% of the automotive components industry.
KwaZulu-Natal (primarily Durban, but also Pietermaritzburg) is home to Toyota’s assembly plant, South Africa’s largest producer of vehicles, and approximately 20% of the automotive components industry.
East London is the residence of Mercedes-Benz’s assembly plant and roughly 6% of the automotive components industry.