Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA), with its Polo model, topped the country’s export rankings in 2019 says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) and the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC) in a latest report.
It explains the top export markets by value for the automotive industry were Germany, Belgium, the UK and the USA. The UK, with 101,401 vehicles, was once again South Africa’s top destinations for vehicle exports in 2019.
It also explains that South Africa remains a strategic supplier of catalytic converters to the world, and by value, this component category maintained its dominant export position under the APDP in 2019.
The export value of vehicles and automotive components comprised a record R201,7 billion or 15,5% of South Africa’s total exports in 2019.
A record 387,125 vehicles worth a record R148,0 billion, along with a record R53,7 billion in automotive components, were exported to 151 countries in 2019.
The broader automotive industry’s contribution to the GDP in 2019 stands at 6,4% (4,0% manufacturing and 2,4% retail).
As the largest manufacturing sector in the country’s economy, a substantial 27,6% of value addition within the domestic manufacturing output was derived from vehicle and automotive component manufacturing activity, positioning the industry and its broader value chain as a key player within South Africa’s industrialisation landscape.
The trade arrangements that South Africa enjoys with the European Union (EU), allowing for duty free vehicle and automotive component exports to the 28 countries in the region, as well as the AGOA trade arrangement with the USA, enhanced exports to those countries.
The EU, with exports of R129,7 billion or 64,3% of the total export value of R201,7 billion, was the domestic automotive industry’s main export region in 2019.
Africa was the industry’s second largest export region with an export value of R31,9 billion or 15,8% of the industry’s total export value.
South Africa is one of the most competitive trading environments in the world. In 2019, the country offered consumers over 45 passenger car brands and 2,507 model derivatives, the widest choice of new cars to market size ratio in the world.
Nine of the top 10 selling vehicles in 2019 were South African-built passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
The Toyota Hilux (40,934 units) was the most popular model sold in the country in 2019, followed by the Volkswagen Polo Vivo (29,681 units), the top-selling passenger car.
Original equipment (OE) component imports by the seven vehicle manufacturers in South Africa increased to R106,8 billion in 2019, up by R9,0 billion, or 9,2%, from the R97,8 billion in 2018, supported by the record vehicle export volume in 2019.
Germany, Thailand, Japan, the US and China represented the main countries of origin for these components.
South Africa’s global vehicle production ranking remained at 22nd in 2019.