French car maker Renault is to buy 14 million catalytic converters from South Africa, reports (28/11/00).

According to the report, the six-year export contract - worth 11 billion rand- begins in February 2001 and ends in 2007. Components will be sourced from six Port Elizabeth-based suppliers - NGK, Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, Fuare Ecia, Autocat and Corning - and are to be supplied to Renault in Europe.

Quoting Andre Caussimon, Renault's vice president for sub-Saharan Africa, says that the contract indicates the competitiveness of South African suppliers in terms of both quality and cost. The contract will also provide Renault with export credits - offsetting import duties - thus allowing the company to price its vehicles competitively in the local market, Mr Caussimon is reported as saying.

Mr Caussimon reportedly said that the contract is in line with the company's growth strategy within South Africa, confirming its commitment to the local market and facilitating job creation. The French maufacturer has very strong ambitions for the SA market, Caussimon said, with the company already having finalised its product line-up until the year 2005. reports that South Africa is one of Renault's most important markets outside Europe, achieving a 1.6 per cent share of the South African passenger car market for 1999. The year to date however has seen the company's market share grow considerably to 5 per cent, according to the report.