A total of R3,1 billion will be invested in the South African motor industry this year, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) says.

A total of R3,1 billion will be invested in the South African motor industry this year, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) says.

According to Naamsa’s latest quarterly review of business conditions in the industry, about R1,77 billion will be spent on products, local content and investments related to exports.

Of the remainder, reported on Monday, R836,8 million would be spent on production facilities, R350 million on support infrastructure, such as information technology and research and development and R161 million on land and buildings.

Naamsa director Nico Vermeulen said employee numbers at all the manufacturing plants remained stable during the first quarter of this year and “aggregate industry employment levels declined by only 24 jobs to 31 681 at March compared with December”.

With reference to the availability and prices of components and raw materials, Vermeulen said local raw material price movements continued to mirror international trends. But rapidly rising steel prices remained "an issue of concern" and were being discussed by the motor industry and Iscor, the listed steel company, he said.

Vermeulen said the availability of imported raw materials and components generally remained good and the stronger rand had had a positive effect on costs.

“The supply of local components was satisfactory and an improvement in the quality and delivery of plastic painted parts was reported,” the report stated.

Original article from Car