Africa Automotive – The clock is ticking

As the clock counts down to the Intra Africa Trade Fair (IATF) taking place in Cairo, Egypt in November, the pace of African automotive development is picking up pace. . .rapidly.  

In new recent developments, Chinese automaker BYD – which recently launched in South Africa – announced its launch plans in Morocco in an alliance with Auto Nejma, a key player in automobile distribution in Morocco.  

Still in Morocco – The Minister of Industry and Trade, Ryad Mezzour, and Frank Huber, Forvia Group’s Executive Vice-President of Seating, recently launched the construction of the group’s new production facility in Sale near Rabat.  

The new industrial plant, which will expand the Group’s industrial activity in Morocco, will specialise in the cutting and production of textile and leather covers for automotiveseats, to meet the demand of numerous European automakers.  

The equipment manufacturer will invest $15,4-million in this industrial initiative, which will generate 1 400 new jobs.   

“This fourth Faurecia plant reinforces our positioning as a destination of choice for investment in the automotive sector. It is a clear sign of the confidence of renowned players in our industrial potential and assets,” Mezzour says, adding, “this project will bring an added value to the Rabat-Sale-Kenitra region, reinforcing its position as a benchmark industrial hub in the automotive industry.”  

“We’ve been present in Morocco for nearly fifteen years, and we’re delighted to open a new chapter in this country, where we already employ nearly 4 000 people, by expanding our plant in Sale,” Hubert stated.   “Morocco has seen significant growth in the automotive sector in recent years. We are delighted to be strengthening our position in this ecosystem today, and would also like to thank the local authorities for their support from the outset of this project,” he added.  

Since 2008, Faurecia, a Forvia Group company and the world’s 7th largest automotive technology company has had three production facilities in Morocco: two in Kenitra and one in Sale.  

Algerian Trade and Export Promotion Minister, Tayeb Zitouni, recently announced China has agreed to build an automobile factory in Algeria and Yazaki, a Japanese car parts supplier, has signed an agreement with the Governor of Fayoum in Egypt to allocate land for a new factory that will be constructed by the company’s local subsidiary using $33,27-million in investments.   

Although South Africa remains the largest automobile manufacturing country in Africa, the gap is narrowing and particularly in the establishment of investment in the supply chain sector.  

A quick snapshot of some of the activity around Africa shows:  

Ghana: Kantanka Automobile Company: Founded by Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, this indigenous automaker has been producing vehicles since the early 1990s. Kantanka’s production facilities in Ghana assemble a range of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, pickups, and luxury cars. The company focuses on designing and manufacturing vehicles that cater to the specific needs of the African market.

Nigeria: Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM): Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), founded by Innocent Chukwuma, is a leading player in Nigeria’s automotive sector. IVM has established a modern production facility in the city of Nnewi, where it assembles a diverse range of vehicles, including cars, buses, and trucks.

Kenya: Mobius Motors: Mobius Motors, headquartered in Nairobi, is a notable example of Kenya’s commitment to producing vehicles that meet local transportation challenges. The company focuses on creating affordable and rugged vehicles designed for African road conditions and transportation needs.  

The African Automotive Show runs concurrently with IATF2023 from November 9 to November 15 and, based on figures from the last IATF, held in Durban, could generate more than R840-billion in trade deals.  

Besides the 1 600 exhibitors, 79 countries and 35 000 attendees that will be participating at the event, here are another nine reasons you need to register today.  

Automotive companies including commercial (bus and truck) and passenger vehicle manufacturers, assemblers, importers, component manufacturers, dealers, parts & accessories distributors, electric motorcycles and vehicles, infrastructural projects and agencies, other members of the value-chain, including mineral processing, logistic services providers and automotive development agencies will have an opportunity to showcase their products and also interact with potential buyers, suppliers and governments.

The Automotive Forum (conference), spearheaded by the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) addresses the most pertinent issues affecting Africa’s automotive growth. Highlights of the 3-day program include:

  • Presentations from global automotive leaders, including multi-national OEMs
  • Participation of several Heads of State
  • An agenda that seeks to facilitate cooperation and the development of regional auto supply chains (trade between auto hubs) for auto manufacturing on the continent.
  • Unprecedented networking with all of Africa’s key role-players and international partners.

A B2B and B2G platform: The platform will provide matchmaking and business exchange opportunities for vehicle manufacturers, vehicle assemblers, OEMs and component suppliers and other automotive industry service providers, leading to the conclusion of business and investment deals across various sectors.

This is supported by a dedicated African Buyers’ Programme  Africa (excluding South Africa) currently accounts for only 0,5% of the global automotive market (600 000 units). Its motorisation rate is just 45 vehicles per 1 000 inhabitants – significantly below the global average of 203.   The exhibition will attract continental and global buyers and sellers, including executives and market expansion managers that will engage in business deals in, amongst others:

  • Parts Manufacturing, including EV components, batteries and solar
  • Raw Materials
  • Parts Supply
  • Parts Distribution
  • Vehicle Manufacturing
  • Component Manufacturers
  • Vehicle Aftermarket Services
  • Logistics Service Providers
  • Infrastructural Projects e.g. Special Economic Zones
  • Vehicle Accessories:
  • Vehicle Electronics
  • Vehicle Security
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Electric Vehicle Supply
  • Electric Vehicle Accessories
  • Vehicle Finance (Including Insurance)

  While challenges exist, the potential impact of a flourishing automotive sector is immense. The growth of the industry can drive economic development, create jobs, facilitate technology transfer and meet the unique transportation needs of African consumers.  

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