465 Jobs Shed In Automotive Sector Over Three Months

BY SUPPLIED - AUGUST 20, 2014

Aggregate employment in the automotive sector had dropped by 465 jobs or 1.6% by the end of the second quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter.

Statistics supplied by the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) show that 29 381 people were employed in the sector at the end of June, compared to 29 846 at the end of March, adding that two vehicle manufacturers reduced head-count during the second quarter.

NAAMSA says a report into employment in the automotive manufacturing sector commissioned by NEDLAC had deter-mined total projected current employment for vehicle and component manufacturers at 141 595 positions.

It says the projection for 2014 was 32 244 people employed in the vehicle manufacturing industry with the balance of 109 351 employed in the component manufacturing sector, although the latter figure may be too low.

The association says that “not too much should be read” into the January-June 2014 export numbers as these were affected by the lack of a “meaningful contribution” from Mercedes Benz.

“With the production of the Mercedes C Class reverting to higher levels with effect from July, 2014 industry second half export sales should show a substantial increase on first half export numbers, probably between 40 000 to 50 000 units.”

NAAMSA says the seven week auto strike in the second half of last year and more recent industrial action “have severely dented the industry’s reputation and track record as a reliable supplier to international markets.

“As a result some international export business has been lost and this is in part reflected in the lower export figures.”

With regard to domestic sales, the Association says that the outlook for the rest of 2014 will “prove challenging,” adding that the domestic environment “will not be conducive to growth in new vehicle sales”. It points specifically to rising interest rates, relatively low economic growth and above inflation new vehicle price increases. - MetroMinutes.