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2012-03-20 08:28

LOCAL INDUSTRY BOOST: Automakers in the Eastern Cape said there is an opportunity to increase domestically assembled vehicles as well as increase component exports.

PORT ELIZABETH - The automotive industry has been promised government co-operatiion to advance the industry in the Eastern Cape - specifically East London and Port Elizabeth.

The initiative is supported by four motor manufacturers - Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford in Port Elizabeth and Mercedes-Benz in East London.

Eastern Cape economic development MEC Mcebisi Jonas said in a statement: "Today marks the start of a process of collaboration between the public and private sectors to  formulate responses and implement key programmes in the auto sector. The strategic initiatives agreed include logistics, supplier development, localisation and incubation, and skills development."


The Eastern Cape Automotive Sector Support Initiative was launched in Port Elizabeth by trade and industry minister Rob Davies who said the Motor Industry Development Programme had contributed positively towards vehicle production.

Davies said: "Production volumes have grown from about 389 000 units in 1995 to a peak of 587 719 units in 2006 before dipping to 373 923 units in 2009 and bouncing back to 532 545 units in 2011."

The initiative would work on developing the road and rail corridor between Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo city, and between the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

It would undertake a skills and needs audit in the sector and would work with the Durban Auto Cluster to implement the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Project.

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