Fallout from Donald Trump’s trade war rhetoric is not helping exporters in an environment that is already volatile
Africa may be the eventual goal but the rest of the world, notably Europe, remains the past, present and immediate future for motor industry exporters. Germany alone accounts for more than a quarter of SA exports of vehicles and components. Add Belgium, the UK, Spain and France — all among the top 10 destinations — and the share rises to more than 45%. Throw in the rest of the European Union (EU) and it’s just over 52%. Africa, by contrast, swallows just 18%.
The figures are contained in the 2018 Automotive Export Manual, published by the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC). The document shows that in 2017, the SA motor industry exported R164.9bn of goods. Of those, R85.9bn went to the EU, R19.9bn to North America and R29.7bn to Africa. In Asia-pacific, Japan was the destination for R7.3bn, Australia R4.9bn and South Korea R3.1bn.
The bias towards Europe is no surprise. German carmakers Volk-