THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY EXPORT COUNCIL (AIEC)
The AIEC is operated from the NAAMSA offices in Pretoria and the activities and administration are coordinated by the AIEC Board. The AIEC Board of Directors consists of Mr Roger Pitot (Executive Director – NAACAM – Chairperson), Mr Nico Vermeulen (Director – NAAMSA), Dr Norman Lamprecht (Executive Manager – NAAMSA) as well as two ex-officio members from the Department of Trade and Industry, Mr Mzwakhe Mbatha and Mr Jacob Moatshe.
Export Councils are the prime delivery vehicles that stimulate export growth and deepen the export base. This format was initiated by Trade and Investment South Africa in a number of key sectors, and is also aimed at assisting Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) companies to enter the export market successfully.
The AIEC was established at the end of 1999. The purpose was to provide a cost effective administered central body to assist companies in the automotive sector that are currently exporting, may be interested in exporting in future, or may become capable of exporting in future. The end result of the AIEC activities will be to broaden the export base by bringing in more companies that export directly in their own right or by being suppliers to exporting companies. In addition, the objective is to increase the value of exports of automotive products.
The AIEC represents the interests of eight motor vehicle exporters/manufacturers, namely BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen as well as exporters/manufacturers of trucks and buses, and over 400 component suppliers in South Africa.
The vision of the AIEC is to ensure improved international competitiveness and, for the automotive sector as the leading manufacturing sector in South Africa, to upgrade its own export value chain as well as cross cutting value chains to make a bigger contribution to the economic growth and employment levels of the country.
Continuous efforts to grow the South African automotive industry’s export business are imperative, especially in view of the vision of doubling vehicle production in the country to 1,2 million units by 2020. The South African domestic market is generally not large enough to generate sufficient economies of scale for world-class competitiveness/production; consequently exporting needs to be viewed as a necessary step towards international competitiveness. Failure to rise to the challenge by finding new markets and products could result in stagnation of exports. The current global economic environment is dominated by intense competition for export markets, investment and technology. This makes it important to gain and maintain access to these markets.
The customers and stakeholders of the AIEC are all the domestic automotive industry stakeholders as well as Dti Head Office, Dti foreign economic representatives, and global players abroad. The needs of members are primarily twofold, namely: (i) research and information, and (ii) practical assistance with exhibitions and missions. These needs form the basis for the assistance provided.