WesBank CEO, Ghana Msibi
WesBank CEO, Ghana Msibi

The automotive industry is set to change more in the next ten years than it has in the previous 50, and WesBank is fully committed to supporting this seismic change.

Speaking at the inaugural 2022 naamsa | South African Auto Week (SA Auto Week) hosted in Kyalami, WesBank CEO, Ghana Msibi, reaffirmed FirstRand Group’s commitment to helping the South African automotive industry emerge as a strong global supplier from this period of hyper-turbulence and change.

“The inaugural South African Auto Week provided the ideal opportunity for collaboration between the motor industry, Government, likeminded finance houses and other relevant players in a complex sector that will be riddled with massive change over the next decade,” said Ghana Msibi, CEO of WesBank, addressing guests at the naamsa Accelerator Awards, sponsored by WesBank, on 28 October.

“We, as WesBank, continue to position ourselves as a lifelong partner within the ecosystem in which we operate. This is a position we do not take lightly. We are privileged to be able to participate in and contribute to the development of the overall industry on various levels and are pleased that we were able to sit together at SA Auto Week to discuss issues that affect us all, beyond policy, in setting us up for a successful and sustainable future.

“This event was a first in bringing together representatives from all the major vehicle and asset financiers to share the stage and our combined experiences, under one roof, not on a competitive level - but on a sustainable footing. This is a massive step forward in my view.

“The future is challenging and daunting as we sit on the precipice of change. Now is the time to make the most of this historic opportunity as part of a generation that is reshaping the future of mobility. We participate in an industry that first moved from making ox-wagons to building vehicles powered by internal combustion engines and is now shifting to manufacturing and marketing new energy vehicles (NEVs) powered by a range of sustainable resources.

“We do not underestimate our responsibilities within the ecosystem and will use our abilities and resources to be a meaningful contributor in enabling mobility for our customers, partners and, importantly, our stakeholders,” commented Msibi.

The WesBank CEO went on to say that all involved in the automotive and related industries can be proud of the way they have recovered after COVID-19.

“Many industries have not been as fortunate. Our industry has shown resilience as we faced several major challenges. Collaboration between the various entities was important in the way we have emerged to face a future where the environment is changing dramatically. Our interactions have made the many learnings from SA Auto Week so beneficial to all the role players,” added Msibi.

The 2022 SA Auto Week was themed “Reimaging the future, together The rise of the African Auto Industry: Investing in new energy vehicles, infrastructure and people”. It was held from 25 – 28 October at the Kyalami International Grand Prix Circuit.

Discussions during the three-day Thought Leadership Conference focused on the past and present disruptions to production and sales, including COVID-19, the global microchip shortage and changes in vehicle ownership patterns.

The industry also discussed ways it would need to prepare for a new era in which it would predominantly build, export and sell NEVs and how South Africa could prepare for this inevitable future.

Large vehicle markets such as Europe have banned the sale of new vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines from 2030. This will dramatically affect the way vehicles are built, the industrial and tax policies in South Africa, vehicle finance models and South Africa’s relationship with global vehicle markets.

Msibi and several WesBank industry specialists shared their insights on various panels and platforms during SA Auto Week. He was also the keynote speaker at the inaugural 2022 naamsa Accelerator Awards, which recognised excellence across sectors within the automotive industry.

The best-performing vehicle brands, top-selling models and best-performing dealers were recognised and celebrated during the gala awards evening. More importantly, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers that showed the greatest commitment to transformation and meeting their targets on the industry’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment scorecard, were also recognised.

“Our objective in participating as a partner of the event is to reaffirm that WesBank is a life partner throughout the entire vehicle ownership experience. We are an innovative and trusted partner to our stakeholders, such as the OEMs, dealers and suppliers in this exciting industry.

“We tip our hat in appreciation to Mikel Mabasa, CEO of naamsa, and his team, for making this a reality, and to our colleagues in the industry for showing their commitment to building a vibrant and future-proof South African auto industry,” concluded Msibi.