The uncertainty in the global business world caused by COVID-19 does not seem to be easing with many countries in Europe facing renewed lockdowns as the second wave of the virus rocks economies. All these developments have direct and indirect effects on South Africa’s economy, which is already in a crisis.
The local motor industry is not only a major player in manufacturing and exporting, but also a big employer, so the opportunity to hear the latest developments and predictions in the South African and global industry should not be missed.
The upcoming Hypermobility Conference, which is organised by Messe Frankfurt South Africa, takes place on Wednesday, 18 November and has the backing of naamsa and is powered by AutoTrader, the leading automotive marketplace in South Africa.
The conference will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions. In the morning there will be three keynote speakers and three discussion panels, while the afternoon will be given over to three streams of workshops, with three topics each, where delegates can choose in which direction they wish to participate.
Is SA ready for future mobility? AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie will unpack how consumer attention has shifted, highlighting what was important before, and now, post Lockdown levels 4 & 5. “If the automotive retail industry wants to successfully rebound from this tough year, it needs to adapt quicker than it ever has. Data provides a roadmap to do just that.” says Mienie.
“As South Africa’s leading motoring marketplace, we reach the largest and most serious audience of ‘in-market car shoppers.’ AutoTrader serves as a sound proxy for consumer demand, supply and pricing within the South African automotive market. This gives us the ability to provide the automotive industry with unparalleled insights into trends and consumer behaviour changes. The lockdown and global pandemic have visibly caused significant disruption which has led to changes in what consumers expect from the industry. Fittingly, AutoTrader is producing a bespoke report for the conference, titled ‘#MobilityUnusual.’
Wamkele Mene, the recently appointed Secretary General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, will be the first keynote speaker. Uitenhage-born Mene, who has degrees from Rhodes University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, previously served as South Africa’s Head of Mission to the World Trade Organisation and was the country’s lead negotiator from the Department of Trade and industry (dti) in the African Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
His address, titled Navigating the Turbulence, will cover the subject of how the SA Government will stabilise, stimulate and protect the South African automotive sector, which is important not only domestically, but in a multitude of export markets and as a catalyst for growth of the industry on the African continent.
Neale Hill, who has been with Ford for the past 30 years and is currently the Managing Director for Southern and Sub-Saharan Africa, will tackle the importance of the automotive export market to South Africa and will discuss the steps being taken to protect the vehicle and component manufacturing industries at this time.
Hill has extensive experience in international markets, including holding the position of Managing Director of Ford New Zealand and working on international assignments in Shanghai, China, and Bangkok, Thailand, besides working in a variety of disciplines at Ford locally.
The third keynote speaker in the morning session will be Faisal Mkhize, the Head of ABSA Vehicle and Asset Finance, who will set the scene on his organisation’s economic outlook for the automotive industry as demand collapses and exports wane, before going on to make predictions about future trends.
Mkhize has vast experience, both locally and internationally, with the latter including a spell as CEO of Barclays Bank in Mozambique, all derived from more than 20 years’ service in Absa, which he joined in 1996. His experience spans the public sector, small business, corporate and business banking, so he is professionally qualified to speak on his subject.
The wide scope of this conference and its timing when both the automotive industry and the South African economy face huge challenges makes this event all the more important as a valuable information source for those employed in all aspects of the local motor industry.
Pricing (excluding VAT):
Group discount: R350 per person (group of five or more delegates).
Standard booking: R500 per person.