Untitled Document South Africa's automotive industry continues to experience mixed fortunes - in line with developments for the South African economy. On the plus side, the South African vehicle market is easily the largest on the African continent. It also has a relatively well-developed supplier infrastructure and vehicle assembly industry. In recent years, there have been signs that some vehicle makers - most notably Volkswagen - are serious about integrating their South African operations into their global structures. But low scale economies, a crowded market and a history of protectionism - which is only gradually being eroded - leaves a lingering suspicion that South Africa's auto industry is still a long way from being internationally competitive. Increasing exposure to international standards and benchmarks - for South Africa's vehicle manufacturers and component makers - poses a huge challenge for the future.