VEHICLE and auto part exports increased by a hefty R31.8 billion, or 18.1 percent, last year to a record R207.5bn.
Dr Norman Lamprecht wrote in the Automotive Export Manual, which was published on Friday, that last year’s exports had comprised a whopping 12.5 percent of total South African exports.
Challenges to the industry last year included the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions.
Economic damage from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is expected to contribute to a significant slowdown in global growth in 2022 and add to inflation, Lamprecht said.
He said South Africa’s motor industry had sharply rebounded last year from the lows of 2020, in line with other major motor markets globally, but the growth was not sufficient to return to pre-pandemic level production, he said in the report released on behalf of the Automotive Industry Export Council.
Vehicle exports increased by 26 733 units to 298 020 units in 2021, from the 271 287 vehicles exported in 2020.
The export value increased by R17.1bn to R138.3bn in 2021.
Automotive component exports increased substantially to a record R69.2bn in 2021 from R54.5bn in 2020.
This was mainly due to record catalytic converter exports of R34.9bn.
The domestic auto industry’s export destinations increased to 152 countries in 2021 from the 147 destinations in 2020, with the export value doubling from 2020 to 2021 in the case of 32 of these countries.
Seven automotive manufacturers invested R8.8bn of foreign investment in this country in 2021, the second highest annual figure, while the component sector invested a record R5.7bn.
Nearly four out of every five vehicles exported were destined for Europe last year, with the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan the top destinations.
There were 324 new energy vehicles (NEV) sold in South Africa last year.
Lamprecht said South African new-vehicle buyers would have a choice of around 20 battery operated vehicles by 2023.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE