The AIDC Eastern Cape has announced plans to initiate a study that is expected to shake up the South African Automotive sector.
The study seeks to determine possible impediments to the growth of local content in vehicles produced in South Africa. In some models local content is as low as 30%, with growing job losses in the industry adding insult to injury.
The AIDC Eastern Cape is an agency of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation established to assist government and industry achieve economic growth and global competitiveness in the automotive sector.
The study will survey suppliers and stakeholders within the automotive manufacturing hub of the Eastern Cape.
Lance Schultz, AIDC Supplier Development and Supply Chain Manager said the survey was of vital importance as it sought to augment existing strategies and would be used to support future investments into growing the strength of the local content base in the region.
“The 12th annual study on Supplier/OEM relations internationally highlighted a trend showing strained relations in many instances and improved working relationships between OEMS and suppliers, in others.,” Schultz said.
He said key areas of the AIDC survey will include the impact of electricity tariff increases, supplier competitiveness factors, purchasing function competence requirements as well as OEM supplier relationship factors among others.
Study leader Zahier Ebrahim said the survey questionnaire, endorsed by NAACAM, had gone through an iterative process with particular emphasis on suppliers with the aim of ensuring that the data collected can illuminate the problems faced.
He said research and questionnaires, already workshopped with focus groups, would be conducted with Eastern Cape automotive suppliers during May with the results due to be finalised “within three months”.