Auto exports record pleasing numbers
23 May 2019 - by Staff reporter
Automotive manufacturer Ford has welcomed the latest new vehicle sales statistics released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) that show export sales are continuing to perform exceptionally well.
In a statement Ford SA said this was good news for the local automotive manufacturing sector considering the struggling local economy and fragile consumer confidence had taken its toll on new vehicles sales in South Africa.
"While domestic vehicle sales are an essential component of business for us, I believe that the real success and sustainability of the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) sector as a whole relies on expansion of South Africa's global export opportunities," said Neale Hill, managing director of Ford Motor Company of Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Hill the expansion of export programmes was therefore key to the sustainability of the local auto industry.
At least two thirds of Ford SA’s total vehicle production is exported to 148 global markets, including Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
Naamsa figures showed that 33 090 vehicles were exported in April compared to the 21 519 in the corresponding month last year. This was a substantial increase of 53.8%.
Naamsa predicts that the momentum of vehicle exports over the second half of the year should increase further, and industry export sales for the year could reach close to 400 000 units, compared to the record 351 139 vehicles exported last year.
According to Hill, Ford SA has invested over R3 billion to expand the production capacitiy of its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria as well as the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, to meet the growing international demand.
"Around 400 vehicles leave our Silverton plant each day, destined for local dealers or shipment around the world via 15 to 20 vessels a month," said Hill.
The Ford Ranger is one of South Africa's top vehicle exports, with volumes reaching an all-time high of 68 364 units in 2018. The bulk of these were destined for EU markets.