A production line for manufacturing of car engines. Picture: 123RF/HAMIK
A production line for manufacturing of car engines. Picture: 123RF/HAMIK

SA’s automotive industry is heading for a collision with Covid-19. Figures released yesterday by the department of trade and industry show that March domestic new-car sales of 22,200 were almost 27% below March last year. Local and export sales of new vehicles also took a beating, slumping by 29.7% and 21.5%, respectively. With the lockdown only ending in two weeks, we can expect April to be much, much worse.

Mike Mabasa, CEO of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA; Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber SA (Sumitomo Dunlop); Renai Moothilal, executive director of the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers; and Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation spoke to Michael Avery on Business Day TV.