Hyundai Automotive SA was considering manufacturing components in South Africa, the company’s operations general manager Stanley Anderson said this week.

Hyundai Automotive SA was considering manufacturing components in South Africa, the company’s operations general manager Stanley Anderson said this week.

"It's at early stages, but we are investigating automotive component manufacturing in SA," Anderson told .

Components would be exported to Hyundai's mother company in Korea, adding to the growing volume of automotive component exports currently produced by the South African manufacturers. But Eastern manufacturers are not the only ones interested in SA...

CARtoday.com reported yesterday that Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin would visit Detroit next week to woo American manufacturers in the hope that they would invest in new automotive assembly plants in South Africa. According to the ministry, decisions on whether to produce high volumes of vehicles in South Africa for export are imminent from one or more US manufacturers, and Erwin's promotion drive is intended to provide the final prod.

Meanwhile, Hyundai was assessing the export potential of a range of locally made components like leather seats, wire harnesses and catalytic converters, said Anderson. The company was likely to contract existing manufacturers of these items, as opposed to setting up new factories.

"We are getting quotes from potential suppliers at the moment," Anderson added.

Hyundai currently has no manufacturing facilities in SA, which puts it at a disadvantage to competitors using export credits to discount the cost of vehicle imports through the programme.

CARtoday.com reported in February that an SA automotive components delegation had found that Japanese manufacturers were “exceptionally interested” in investing in South Africa’s automotive component manufacturing industry.

A delegation led by the Gauteng Economic Development Agency’s chief executive, Charles Jonker, has returned from Japan where they visited the procurements divisions of Toyota, Mazda and Daihatsu. The delegation included Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa, Clive Williams, executive director of the National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam), and director-general Mogopodi Mokoena.

They also visited Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan, Nissan Diesel, Hino, Isuzu and the Japan Auto Parts Association. Jonker said there was a good possibility of Denso Corporation, the largest supplier of parts to Toyota, investing in South Africa.

“The other manufacturers tend to take their lead from Toyota and the possibility of Denso investing in South Africa is excellent," he added.

However, it remains to be seen whether the volatility of the local currency in the last 18 months, and more recently its strength against the dollar, might be a deterrent to some investors.

"The question of the volatility of our currency is a matter of concern to us as an export promotion agency," Magwentshu said this week.

Original article from Car