Exports may be the saving grace for light-vehicle manufacturers in SA, but truck companies see almost no prospect of significant short-term growth in sales beyond SA’s borders, UD Trucks MD Gert Swanepoel said. Of 18,289 vehicles exported in January, 18,218 were cars or bakkies. That left 70 trucks and a solitary bus. Until African economies pick up, that is the way it will stay, Swanepoel said. Truck companies rely on Africa for exports, but there are economic problems in almost all sub-Saharan African markets, he said. “There is no acceleration in the region. Lack of access to finance is a real problem,” Swanepoel said. Car and bakkie producers, which ship their vehicles globally, are much more bullish. January’s exports were 24.6% higher than a year earlier, and the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) expects the industry to ship out 385,000 vehicles for the full year. That is well up on the annual record of 351,139 set in 2018. However, Swanepoel is n...

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