Media Release

South Africa's Leading International Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry targeting Trade Visitors from the Sub-Saharan Region

6 - 9 May 2015
Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec

10th May 2015

Roger Houghton
Fax          +27 11 494 5004


The opportunities and challenges for South African automotive companies wanting to export products into Africa came under the spotlight at a conference staged by the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) at Automechanika Johannesburg on May 6.

Well known economist Mike Schussler gave an interesting overview of the automotive industry's potential in Africa. He cautioned that although the continent has a huge population the majority of people are under 18 years of age and therefore most of them were not yet economically active, so the true market size was not as big as some people estimate. However, he added that education levels in Africa were rising rapidly which boded well for business growth in the future.

Schussler said that SA's economy was now ranked only third in Africa behind Nigeria and Egypt and it could fall out of the global top 40 if there is no significant GDP growth in the near future.

He went on to say that it was vital that the SA automotive industry was productive and cost efficient to ensure its prices were competitive in Africa. He added that it was important there was a decrease in industrial action in SA as this impacted negatively on productivity and hence global competitiveness.

Alec Erwin, a former SA Minister of Trade and Industry, was invited to make a presentation on the Nigerian motor industry and opportunities for SA exporters as he is a consultant to the Nigerian government on its programme to rebuild its motor manufacturing industry. However, inclement weather prevented him flying to Johannesburg from Togo in time for the conference so one of his colleagues, Caroline Richardson, made the presentation.

She explained that the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan was part of that country's overall industrialisation strategy and enjoyed high level government support.

Current vehicle production capacity at existing plants in Nigeria was only 100 000 units a year but plans are underway to increase this in the near future. Ms Richardson said that the big challenge was the fact that currently about 400 000 used vehicles a year were imported into Nigeria, but there was impending legislation to limit this number and to support the sale of affordable new vehicles, with a potential market of one million new vehicles a year.

The presentation went on to outline the collaboration that Erwin was encouraging between the South African and Nigerian automotive sectors, particularly in terms of component supply. A formal proposal is to be tabled at the end of the month.

Background information on Automechanika Johannesburg

Automechanika Johannesburg is part of the global group of Automechanika automotive aftermarket business- to-business trade shows and business events with its portfolio of 15 trade fairs in 14 countries (4 continents).

Automechanika Johannesburg is licensed to SA Shows Messe Frankfurt (Pty) Ltd, part of the Messe Frankfurt Group. It is the largest event of its kind on the African continent and serves South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa since 2009

For more information visit

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's leading trade fair organisers, generating around €550* million in sales and employing more than 2200* people worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 120* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.

Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt's exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.

The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 per cent and the State of Hesse 40 per cent.

Further information on the company can be found at
* preliminary numbers (2014)

Leading economist, Mike Schussler

For more information contact:

Roger Houghton on 012 998 1771 or at

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