Automotive Industry Gears up for Auto Africa Expo 2004


    R128-billion retail motor industry to be represented at automotive show.

    Auto Africa 2004 Audi

    South Africa’s retail motor sector, which recorded a turnover of R128-billion in 2002 of which R52,4-billion accounted for new vehicle sales, R33,6-billion used vehicle sales and R42.1-billion after-market sales, will come  under the spotlight at Auto Africa 2004 – the biennial Africa International Automotive Trade Exhibition and Conference – when manufacturers, retailers, international visitors, automotive associations and consumers will gather to focus on industry innovations and global trends from 25 to 31October 2004 at Nasrec in Johannesburg.

    Econometrix senior economist and director, Tony Twine, says the R128-billion turnover includes tyres, parts, accessories and service sales which are retailed by more than 7,000 businesses active in the retail motor sector. “The growth rate in sales values over the past five years averages at 11% for new vehicles, 21% for used cars and 7,2% for after-market sales,” he says.

    Auto Africa Expo 2004 exhibition manager, Pula Dippenaar, says Auto Africa Expo 2004 is the fifth event since its launch on the African continent in 1996. “Auto Africa is firmly established as an interactive business platform that brings together all elements of the retail automotive industry, from fuel technology to spare parts, collision repair, retailing of new vehicles, servicing, and tyres,” says Dippennaar.

    Auto Africa also provides a platform for industry discussions, through conferences and workshops, around challenges facing the industry. Currently, the industry’s primary concern is related to overcoming repressed car sales caused by high interest rates and a slow down in the South African economy. “Retailers can no longer rely on a reduction in interest rates to boost sales, or hope that buyers will purchase vehicles under the threat of further inflated prices. Increasingly, retailers are recognising that better affordability of motor vehicles will arrest the downturn in sales,” says Dippennaar.

    The automotive event has been officially endorsed by the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), the National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA).

    Auto Africa Show 2004

    RMI CEO, Jeff Osborne, says it is critical for the automotive retail sector to be represented at Auto Africa Expo 2004. “RMI represents almost 7000 businesses active in the motor retail industry which employs 180,000 people, making it the second largest employer in South Africa.

    “Most of our members fall within the SMME sector and RMI is playing a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining standards and promoting training amongst its 7,000 members.

    “A joint venture between RMI and Motor, Engineering and Related Services SETA (Merseta), allows Merseta staff to directly access RMI members to encourage and construct workplace skills plans (WSPs) to promote ongoing development and training in the workplace. The courses cover the full spectrum of training needs from Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET), to highly skilled commercial and technical skills,” says Osborne.

    Osborne adds that RMI and Merseta plan to hold a substantial exhibition at Auto Africa Expo 2004 to create public awareness about the extraordinary advances in the motor industry and to encourage young people to choose a career path in the motor industry.
    “RMI also encourages emerging business people to enter the automotive market and provides for these businesses as “development” members who may draw o the expertise within the RMI associations and work towards full accreditation with the assistance of RMI,” says Osborne.

    The South African Motor Body Repairs Association (SAMBRA) will also perform “live” crash tests to demonstrate the level of safety in motor vehicles and conduct on-site repairs to illustrate the technical proficiency required to repair damaged vehicles at Auto Africa Expo 2004.