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South African automakers plan to start producing electric cars



The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) plans to present a joint report on electrification to the government by the end of the year. Naamsa CEO Mike Mabasa said that they will persuade lawmakers to revise the 23% import duty on electric cars to help drive domestic demand.

In addition, the association will lobby for the establishment of charging infrastructure across the country through state-owned Eskom power.

South Africa is one of the leading car manufacturing economies in the world. The country hosts top auto makers such as Nissan Motor Co, BMW AG, Toyota Motor Corp., Isuzu Motors Ltd, and Volkswagen AG. The automotive industry contributes to about 7% of South Africa’s GDP with expectations to grow at less than 1% this fiscal year. For instance, in 2018 South Africa shipped 210,000 cars to Europe.

This could be the onset of electric
cars in the African markets to catch up with the rest of the world. Some of the
models already in production include BMW i3 and i1, and Land Rover I-Pace.

In 2018, the government provided manufacturing incentive programs to stimulate and promote an electric car or hybrid production leading to job creation and enabling local production of models like BMW X3 SUV and Nissan’s Novara pickup. Under the manufacturing plan, automakers are required to double annual production to about 1.4 million cars by 2035.

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