Jobs slashed in SA car industry
JOB LOSSES IN SA AUTO INDUSTRY: Naamsa says that although 396 jobs were lost from March to June 2013, employment levels were expected to stabilise. Image: AFP
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The number of people employed in the South African vehicle manufacturing industry has declined in the past three months, reports the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa).
Its latest quarterly business review, it showed a 1.3% decrease in staff, from 30 299 staff to 29 903, during the period March to June 2013. The average industry employment figure for 2012 was 29 180 people.
INCREASE IN VEHICLE PRODUCTION
The report stated that employment levels were expected to stabilise. Levels could rise in the medium-term, as manufacturers increased production for export markets.
Industry capital expenditure was projected to exceed R5-billion by the end of 2013, compared to R4.6-billion in 2012 and R3.9-billion in 2011.
According to the report, the increased capital expenditure in recent years could be attributed in part to investment projects in terms of the automotive production and development programme.
Industry production, particularly of light commercial vehicles, was expected to rise significantly in the next few years on the back of the programme.
All vehicle sectors showed solid gains in sales during the second quarter of 2013 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2012.
Naamsa said the medium-term outlook for the automotive sector would continue to be affected by the overall performance of the economy, and by new car pricing pressures.
CONSUMERS UNDER PRESSURE
Consumers would also feel the pressure of rising inflation.
Naamsa said: "Various factors should lend support to the industry and these include the continuing low interest rate environment, low debt servicing costs, strong replacement demand, the highly competitive trading environment with attractive incentives, and high-tech new model introductions."
Growth in domestic sales was expected to moderate in 2013 while exports to Europe were holding up despite a recession in the Eurozone.
Naamsa said exports into Africa continued to show solid growth, while exports into Asia and North America also registered strong gains.