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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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‘Adapt or die’ Naamsa tells local carmakers in a rapidly changing sector

Naamsa chief executive Mike Mabasa yesterday said the sector was facing a massive challenge that threatens the nation’s fragile economic renaissance policy development.

Naamsa chief executive Mike Mabasa yesterday said the sector was facing a massive challenge that threatens the nation’s fragile economic renaissance policy development.

Published Jul 5, 2022

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The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has warned that domestic carmakers needed to quickly “adapt or die”, if they want to compete with the most rapid and far-reaching changes of the industry’s entire existence.

Naamsa chief executive Mike Mabasa yesterday said the sector was facing a massive challenge that threatens the nation’s fragile economic renaissance policy development.

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Delivering a keynote address at this year’s Southern African Transport Conference, Mabasa said the future of the SA carmaking industry depended on how fast it could change its auto policy to embrace the change to new energy vehicles.

Mabasa said as the era of the internal combustion engine (ICE) comes to an end and new energy vehicles (NEVs) become the road-transport mode of choice, automakers across the globe were retooling their factories, and working with their governments to develop policy and legislation to support this new industry.

“South Africa, on the other hand, is moving at a snail’s pace and will be forced to play a catch-up game if it wants to remain relevant with a competitive vehicle-manufacturing base of the future,” he said.

“One of the reasons for this is that, despite the massive foreign-exchange earnings that our sector generates, the capacity of the state is currently not geared to adequately look after the interests of our industry.

“South Africa is in danger of becoming stuck, making a legacy product that no one wants. All the while, our rivals in the manufacturing sector are refitting their factories to transition to electric, passing new laws to support this, and embracing the low-carbon future,” Mabasa said.

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