by Bennett Oghifo
Component manufacturers from the National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers of South Africa (NAACAM) last week reaffirmed their determination to support automotive manufacturing in Africa with initial focus on Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria and Ethiopia.
NAACAM envoys who were in Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos to discuss industry and trade matters with principal directors at the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) and other stakeholders said component manufacturers in South Africa are eager to come and invest in Nigeria’s nascent automotive industry.
Shatterprufe Managing Director and President, NAACAM Dave Coffey who led the four-man delegation said: “We see a journey taking place in the country’s automotive programme and we’ve got a number of component manufacturers working under the banner of African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) willing to come to Nigeria to partner and invest.”
He described their visit as an extension of the August 2016 Jeff Nemeth-led AAAM appointment with President Muhammadu Buhari and top government functionaries and relevant agencies including representatives of the National Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA).
Outside South Africa, which has a well-developed world-class automotive industry, Nigeria is recognized as a strategic market over the long term due to its demographics even though certain indices haven’t yet been remedied.
Shaterprufe director who feels strongly about these indices said new vehicle volume can only grow if there is an affordable solution and this does not only repose in the manufacturing of reasonably priced vehicles but also in creating access to attractive vehicle finance whilst managing and constraining the importation of secondhand vehicles in a balanced and appropriate manner.
“Our ultimate objective is to grow with the Nigerian market and essentially work out the right economies of scale and technology to get the industry where it deserves to be. We are not here just to trade but to explore other suppliers and partner with producers with current equipment.” Coffey said.
Also adding that component manufacturing is a fundamental subsidiary of automotive manufacturing, Mr. Coffey said: “As component manufacturers, we don’t have to wait for legislation to register our presence in a country with huge potential as Nigeria, hence the reason why we think the time to enter this market is now and we are here to partner local manufacturers, add value, supply the local aftermarket needs and position ourselves to support the growth of new vehicle production.”
He said the biggest multiplier effect of automotive manufacturing comes with component manufacturing, saying “the more you localize the higher the number of jobs created, and the deeper you go downstream, the more jobs you create.”
Citing a windscreen manufacturing concern for example, Mr. Coffey conjectured that for every 200, 000 windscreens produced, no fewer than 150 to 200 workers are employed and in the shocks absorber and struts factory, about 250 people are hired when approximately, one million shocks are produced annually.
Other NAACAM delegates present at the meetings are Gabriel South Africa Engineering Manager, Roux Coetzee, Caravelle Automotive Carpets General Manager, Kobus Oosthuysen and Cool Refrigeration Parts producer, Michael Frankenfeld.
A subsidiary of the PG Group, Shatterprufe is South African based glass and armored-plate manufacturers since 1935, while Caravelle Automotive Carpets is a member of the KAP Automotive (Pty) Ltd. that specializes in the manufacture of interior trims as well as overlay car carpets, using fine gauge nylon tufted and high quality polyester.
However, Cape Town based Gabriel Tore Parts and Components manufactures branded shock absorbers, MacPherson Struts, strut cartridges and Gabriel patented gas springs just as Cool Refrigeration Parts is renowned in transport refrigeration.