Twelve UK-based companies will visit Auto Africa 2004 on a sponsored mission, through one of Britain’s leading automotive bodies, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The visit to Auto Africa 2004, which takes place between 25 October and 31 October, has been facilitated by British Trade and Investment SA.
“The high level of interest from international companies participating in Auto Africa 2004 indicates the expo’s growing significance in the realm of the international motoring arena,” says Pula Dippenaar, Auto Africa 2004 exhibition manager. “The event offers a range of different platforms for both exhibitors and visitors to interact and create new business ventures for themselves.”
Britain will be among the countries present at Auto Africa 2004 with the express intent of doing business with the South Africa automotive industry. The UK is the largest foreign investor in South Africa, with an estimated £12-billion invested in the country across a broad range of industry sectors.
British Trade and Investment SA trade development advisor, Zaida Enver, says: “The purpose of the visit is to seek opportunities in the components sector, technology transfer, retailing, licencing and agency agreements and joint ventures.
“The two countries’ auto industries complement each other and South Africa offers a more economically-viable manufacturing base for British companies.” The trading relationship between South Africa and the UK is further strengthened by external factors such as English being the primary business language, there are not significant time differences, and there are fewer cultural differences as compared to other trading partners such as the East.
“There is also South Africa’s strategic position to consider,” Enver says. “It is an important hub into the rest of Africa and it also has the advantage, as a trading partner, in that it has the African experience in developing business.”
British Trade and Investment SA will be operating a business centre at Auto Africa, which will include meeting rooms, ISDN lines and other business facilities. “This delegation’s continuing presence at Auto Africa reaffirms the exhibition’s importance in developing international business relationships,” says Dippenaar.
The 12 companies participating in the mission are Auto & International Consultants, Autopumps International Ltd, Bailcast Ltd, Brushworld Limited, Duflex Limited, Motive Components Ltd, Presco Radiator Caps Ltd, SMMT Ltd, Trantor Vehicles Ltd and TWI Ltd. “Some already have ties with the automotive industry in South Africa, while others are first-time visitors,” Enver concludes.
* Auto Africa 2004, to be held at Nasrec south of Johannesburg between 25 and 31 October, is the continent’s premier motoring show and is held every two years. At its core, Auto Africa is a truly comprehensive automotive trade exhibition, drawing participants in increasing numbers to exhibit. In 2004, exhibitors will be spread across the following clusters:
New passenger and leisure vehicles, which form the core of the event in dedicated exhibition halls.
They are supported by truck and bus displays, which are located in separate halls.
Allied Industries are accommodated in the equipment halls and include:
Manufacturing, robotics, raw materials and technology;
Components, wheels and tyres, fuels and lubricants;
Parts and accessories;
Garage equipment and workshop furnishings;
Collision repair suppliers and technology;
Information technology and software solutions;
Trucking manufacturers, components suppliers and service products;
Specialized services to the automotive industry.
Outdoor exhibits, SUV exhibits and motorcycles as well as demonstration and activity centres are located outside the halls, within the Nasrec perimeter.