Can SA compete in the global automotive industry as our economy stutters and stalls while our main car export destinations set tough new targets in emissions and carbon footprint for their own markets? Britain and the EU will want to know how the electricity that powers SA car manufacturing is generated.

There is no room here for being second best. We are either at the top of our game or we can pack it in.

There are, of course, bright spots and reasons to be cheerful. Australia lost its car industry but we have kept ours, and it is doing well.

In this edition of Podcasts from the Edge Peter Bruce talks to executive director of the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies Justin Barnes. Barnes, the lead consultant in the creation of the SA Automotive Masterplan, is no starry-eyed optimist, but he tells Bruce there’s good reason to believe we can continue to keep our own small but perfectly formed place in the automotive firmament.

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