Motor industry executives are putting on a brave face at the start of a potentially pivotal year for the sector, still the poster child of the government’s reindustrialisation policy.

On the surface, there are plenty of reasons to be positive. The industry exported a record number of vehicles in 2019. Toyota SA said recently it is spending R4bn to introduce new models and upgrade its vehicle assembly and warehousing facilities. Isuzu SA has begun exporting locally built bakkie kits for reassembly in Kenya. Volkswagen SA boasted record vehicle production in 2019 and hopes to improve further this year...

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