Given the long-term horizons in the automotive industry, government should provide clarity on its continued support through 2020 to enable vehicle producers to invest in the country with confidence.
According to Dr Johan van Zyl, chief executive of Toyota SA and president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), the domestic new vehicle market could potentially grow to around 830 000 units by 2010, as the industry will have to cater for the growing needs and demands of the domestic market.
"In order to meet this growing demand, the South African motor industry needs the stability and predictability of official government automotive policy," said Van Zyl.
With the Auto Africa Expo 2006 taking place at the end of October, the spotlight falls on the South African automotive industry and its growing importance in the overall South African economy.
A number of important industry-related conferences will take place during Auto Africa's Motor Industry Week and will provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss and find solutions to the challenges facing the automotive industry.
One of the main points of discussion will be the expected government announcement later on this year regarding the outcome of the mid-term review of the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP).
"We believe that the MIDP represents the appropriate and timely policy framework to safeguard the sustainability of the vehicle manufacturing and associated industries going forward, The MIDP should continue - the automotive industry needs it," said Van Zyl.
According to Naamsa, the South African motor industry is expected to make investments exceeding R8.4bn during 2006. This will be a massive 135% increase on the R3.6bn spent in 2005.