driving a hard bargain
SA’s ambitious new motor policy says all the right things. Can it be done?
The motor industry has come a long way since 1994, when ridiculous protectionist measures made it unsustainable. Now, government’s new motor industry policy sets ambitious long-term targets for jobs, local content and black participation in a bid to push the industry to the next level. Can it work?
It has taken Nissan SA seven years to put its money where its mouth is but it has finally committed its immediate future to SA. Now it, like SA’s other motor companies, must decide which of the targets, set by the government for the industry, it should prioritise. Is it double employment at vehicle and components manufacturers from 120,000 to 240,000? Or double annual vehicle production from 600,000 to 1.2-million? Or increase the level of local content in SA-made vehicles from below 40% to at least 60%? Or foster the participation of hundreds of black-owned companies? How about doing them all, at the same time? Blindfolded. With one hand tied behind your back. While standing on your head. Evidently, balancing all government’s "priorities" left some vehicle manufacturers unsure whether to double down on SA, or quit entirely (like General Motors did, as part of a global market withdrawal). After all, Nissan’s recent announcement that it will spend R3bn to build the Navara bakkie at i...