Blog: Dave LeggettLetter from Port Elizabeth 2

Dave Leggett | 5 May 2004

Interesting morning of presentations here at the SAAC conference. One thing that is coming through is the need for South Africa to have a strategy in attempting to attract more investment and compete with other locations. It has been pointed out that SA's vehicle manufacturing industry supports too many makers (seven) and that they are offering too many platforms and model variants given the production volumes involved. And that's an underlying issue, looking forward, that is an uncomfortable one for the South African auto industry. One thing that would help though would be a higher degree of clarity in the 'strategy'. The problem I fear, is a little bit political, with a fragmented industry far from united in the way forward.

One interesting detail I picked up earlier today was the endemic problem of 'sick absenteeism' here. Delta's (GM-owned) Ian Nicholls made quite a bit of it in his presentation - it disrupts production here quite a bit apparently. No easy answers there, but it can't be helping SA plants in their bid to be internationally competitive.

Must go now. Lunch beckons.


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