Original Research

Beyond survival: Challenges facing South African automotive component exporters

M. J. Naude, C. O'Neill
Acta Commercii | Vol 6, No 1 | a115 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v6i1.115 | © 2006 M. J. Naude, C. O'Neill | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2006 | Published: 06 December 2006

About the author(s)

M. J. Naude, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
C. O'Neill, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Purpose and Objective: The South African automotive component industry faces huge challenges in a very competitive global market. The primary focus of this research article is to determine the challenges facing exporters within this industry with special reference to selected sub-sectors. The challenges are approached from a supply chain perspective only.

Problem Investigated: The research problem of this study was to identify these unique challenges and ascertain whether the implementation of a 'philosophy of continuous improvement' could be used as a strategic tool to address the challenges they face in the market.

Methodology: This study included a combination of literature review, interviews with managers in the selected sub-groups and questionnaires sent out to determine the challenges facing automotive component exporters. In order to test the content validity and the reliability of the questionnaire, a pilot study was conducted at two organisations that are the main suppliers of automotive filters for passenger vehicles. The non-probability convenience sample technique was used to select the sample and consisted of selected sub-sectors that contribute 64,1% of the total value of automotive component exports in South Africa. Out of twenty-seven questionnaires sent out, twenty (74% response rate) were duly completed by the respondents and returned to the researcher.

Findings: South Africa faces unique challenges and these are listed and ranked according to priority from most to least important as follows: 1. The reduction of production costs; 2. R/US$ exchange rate effect on the respondent's export sales and profit margin; 3. Exchange rate fluctuations; 4. Threats to the local automotive component market; and 5. Increased competition by way of manufactured imports being sold in the South African market.

Value of Research: The study provides recommendations that can be used within the automotive component industry.


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Crossref Citations

1. Strategic Complexity of Impactful Innovation in Automotive Component Manufacturing in an Emerging Economy
P. Alexander van den Blink, Jasper L. Steyn
International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management  vol: 15  issue: 05  first page: 1850047  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1142/S0219877018500475