SA motor industry set to get hit hard by Covid-19 lockdown, the DTI warns

CAPE TOWN – The Department of Trade and Industry yesterday warned that the local motor industry would be severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. 

The department said its Industrial Policy Strategy report showed that the industry, which remained closed as a result of the lockdown, would be affected way beyond the pandemic. It said the report, compiled by Professor Justin Barnes, showed that the overwhelming majority of firms would push out investments and continue to operate in a guarded manner for at least six more months. 
“The expectation is that domestic and export production volumes would remain muted for an extended period, resulting in job losses and subdued investment,” the report said. The report said a severe liquidity drain was already threatening the survival of smaller second tier auto-component manufacturers, which would not be able to restart operations if the lockdown went beyond April.