The global vehicle manufacturing and related industries are facing enormous disruptors at present and it is a case of the sustainability and viability of these businesses relying on "an ability to manage a future not yet defined". This was the challenge highlighted by Douglas Comrie, Managing Driector of B&M Analysts, a local company with international strategic partners that "enables sustainable growth through innovative solutions in various industrial sectors."
Comrie was addressing delegates at the annual NAAMSA Automotive Conference, in association with the Innovation Group and AutoTrader, at the Kyalami Conference Centre, Midrand, on August 22. This event was co-located with the annual Festival of Motoring, organised by Messe Frankfurt South Africa at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.
"The focus of companies involved in the automotive sector is changing drastically and rapidly, with a reported 42% of global OEM investment currently going into new mobility technologies and services and no longer only into new vehicle research and development," explained Comrie.
"The changes are also leading to many alliances in the global automotive industry, many of them unexpected liaisons. For instance, BMW now has alliances with 11 other companies and Toyota 10 of these partnerships. They not only involve different types of vehicles, such as battery electric and autonomous driving, but also a host of mobility services," he added.
"In addition, these industries have to deal with the decoupling of several major world economies, such as the import duties spat between the United States and China and the impending Brexit deal in Europe."
"Many of these massive global changes currently taking place are not in anyone's control. However, in the case of the South Africa's new Automotive Masterplan this vision is in the country's collective control, which will be arguably sufficient to define success or failure," said the senior executive of B&M Analysts.
"We, at B&M Analysts, still see these future challenges for the local industry as being very daunting and difficult to achieve in the absence of economic growth and a virtually stagnant domestic new vehicle market," commented Comrie.
The international challenges facing the global motor industry and the way it was adapting were the subject of a keynote address by Bruno Grippay, of Nissan International where he is the Regional Director Africa-Middle East-India, for Connected Cars and Intelligent Mobility coordination.
Grippay said the ultimate objective of the latest, multi-modal mobility developments would be zero emission vehicles and zero fatalities which would enrich lives by being safer, cleaner, and stress-free.
He went on to give examples of these new developments using Nissan technologies and vehicles, while also saying that the only way forward (towards electric mobility) was for the government to offer incentives to vehicle manufacturers and importers.