The trade and industry department says three major vehicle manufacturers - Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai - are considering setting up factories in South Africa in the next few years.

The trade and industry department says three major vehicle manufacturers - Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai - are considering setting up factories in South Africa in the next few years.


Trade and industry department automotive manager Gustav Meyer said: "We know that they are exploring the possibility of making cars here," but added that said none of the manufacturers had approached it formally with plans to expand into South Africa.


Meyer said companies interested in establishing factories in South Africa would do their own research "with regard to the viability and sustainability ".


Meyer said Indian car and truck manufacturer Tata Motors, which recently announced that it would introduce a range of cars, LCVs, SUVs and commercial vehicles in South Africa this year, had been considering setting up a factory in SA "for a while".


The Indian company has entered into a distribution and joint marketing venture with transport group Imperial and black economic empowerment company Ukhamba.


Tata chairman Ratan Tata said yesterday that South Africa featured in Tata's growth plans as the country presented vast opportunities.


Hyundai spokeswoman Elisma Delport dismissed the claims yesterday, saying the company had no intentions of setting up factories in SA. "Importing has been working just fine for us."


However, the company's marketing director, Stanley Anderson, told that Hyundai could take advantage of the Motor Industry Development Programme by supplying components to some of its plants in Turkey and India.


Mahindra & Mahindra, India's major manufacturer of utility vehicles and tractors, announced earlier this year that it was planning to venture into the automotive market, among others.


The group's MD, Anand Mahindra, said that South Africa was among five markets identified for its expansion. Others were Russia, China, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Original article from Car