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OVERVIEW Smart factories are the subject of research being undertaken by the Department of Computing Sciences at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). The research is supported by Volkswagen SA and Mercedes-Benz SA. In January 2018, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) started producing the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S at its East London factory, after an investment of R200-million. MBSA started exporting record volumes in 2016. BMW South Africa has invested R6-billion in its Rosslyn plant to prepare for the manufacture of the new BMW X3 model. Nissan is another big automotive manufacturer with a plant at Rosslyn, northwest of Pretoria. Ford announced in 2017 that it would put R3-billion into taking the production of the Ranger vehicle to 167 00 per year. Gauteng is also home to a strong automotive components industry, together with several bus and truck assembly plants. These include Scania, TFM Industries and MAN Truck and Bus South Africa, as well as the Chinese truck manufacturer FAW, which owns an assembly plant in Isando. Bejing Automotive Works (BAW) assembles taxis at Springs. DCD Protected Mobility manufactures armoured cars in Boksburg, which are branded as Vehicle Mounted Mine Detectors. In Benoni, BAE Systems OMC designs and manufactures protected vehicles. In 2016, Toyota invested R6.1-billion into its massive plant at Prospecton, Durban. The company regularly sells about a quarter of the vehicles sold in South Africa, and accounts for the same proportion of exports. The Corolla car, the Hilux bakkie and the Fortuner SUV are manufactured at the plant. KwaZulu-Natal’s other large OEM, Bell Equipment, is transferring production of its current truck range to its factory in Germany. Bell’s Richards Bay plant will start assembling Kamaz heavy-duty trucks in 2019 for the African market.

Automotive components South Africa has a sophisticated automotive component sector. The catalytic converter sector experienced incredible growth for a number of years but volatility in the platinum mining sector, together with increased interest in electric vehicles and hybrids, means that exporters (largely based in Port Elizabeth) have had to work harder. Tyre and glass manufacturers are clustered around the areas

ONLINE RESOURCES Automotive Industry Development Centre: www.aidc.co.za National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers: www.naacam.co.za National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa: www.naamsa.co.za

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where the automotive industry is active. Sumitomo Rubber South Africa which includes Dunlop among its brands, is spending R2-billion on expanding production in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Bridgestone Tyres has plants in Port Elizabeth and Brits and Continental makes tyres in Port Elizabeth. The large number of vehicle models produced in South Africa is a complicating factor for the components sector: low volumes often mean high prices. Two Port Elizabeth companies export significant portions of their production to overcome this: Schaeffler SA exports to its international parent so that it can achieve higher volumes. Shatterprufe supplies the majority of windscreens to the South African market but there are 12 model ranges to serve. SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2019

South African Business 2019  

South African Business 2018 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking to tra...

South African Business 2019  

South African Business 2018 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking to tra...

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