Among the industries that was badly hit in 2020, the year where all of this COVID pandemic-riddled troubles began for the world, was the automotive sector. This was, in addition to manufacturing. There’s little sense in recapturing the traumatic 2020 times associated with job losses that took place at a horrendous scale around the world for that would only reinstate fear and sadness. But one thing is for sure, in a year where hardly any car manufacturing took place, the onus was placed on car imports.
And on that note, what could be a better example other than noting the import of vehicles that South Africa did from a close economic ally- India?
Believe it or not but in 2020, around 43% of car imports took place in South Africa, with the Rainbow Nation relying on India where it came to the four-wheel segment.
That all of this took place despite the long and lengthy lockdowns imposed in South Africa is impressive and something worthy of noting in the country’s economic landscape.
A recent report, which also as a matter of fact, highlighted the above information noted that India has today become the hub for both entry-level and small vehicles. The key reason being that a majority of the vehicles that are exported from India to different parts of the world happen to fall in these categories.
Moreover, here is what a report published in Financial Express pertaining to South Africa’s extensive car import from India happened to share:
Polo Vivo was the only vehicle in these segments that were manufactured locally in South Africa in 2020. The 87,953 units imported from India accounted for 43.2 percent of total passenger cars and light commercial vehicles imported by South Africa.
Nine of the top 10 selling vehicles in 2020 were South African-built passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. An interesting phenomenon is that South African motorists are more inclined to rather drive bakkies (pickups), which have both commercial and leisure vehicle applications, than passenger cars.
Furthermore, what shouldn’t be forgotten are the troubles encountered by a sluggish South African economy, in 2020, due to the declining local production of cars and subsequent export.
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To that extent, it’s worthwhile to note- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South African vehicle exports declined by a massive 115,804 units to 271,288 units in 2020, from the record 387,092 vehicles exported in 2019, with the export value declining by Rs 26.8 billion from the Rs 148.0 billion in 2019 to Rs 121.2 billion in 2020.
But all of that said, South Africa remains optimistic where it comes to the prospect of local manufacturing as well as exports of four-wheelers despite 2021 being a year where much of the world continues to be strangulated by the COVID 19 menace, a situation that has led many countries to persist with stern lockdown situations.
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