Is the electric age a game changer for South Africa’s automotive industry?

The car industry is an important income generator for South Africa. As a side note, the first vehicles were manufactured there already in the 1920’s – almost century ago. Back then, Ford and General Motors built assembly plants. So, there are already established supply chains within the country. Now the global auto industry is electrifying vehicles and batteries are needed everywhere. Being a country with rich mineral resources, could this be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for more and better jobs and increased prosperity? That’s what moderator Nicolas Martin is discussing with Justin Barnes.

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Justin Barnes

Justin Barnes

Justin has a 25-year track record in Global Value Chain research and international industrial and trade policy development. He was recently responsible for compiling Mauritius’ new industrial policy, and led the development of South Africa’s automotive, extra heavy transport equipment, and clothing, textiles, and footwear masterplans. He has completed industrial research, corporate strategy, and industrial and trade policy development assignments in over 30 countries; and has extensive benchmarking and firm-level upgrading experience, having pioneered firm-level competitiveness assessment and industry clustering methodologies. Justin is presently the Chairperson of B&M Analysts, the Manufacturing Ambassador of the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies, and an Associate Professor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria. He holds a BA Hons (Geography), MSocSci (Development Studies), and PhD (Development Studies – Industrial specialisation).

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