Major step for local manufacturing in SA's automotive sector

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pretoria - South Africa's automotive sector has received a major boost with the launch of the combi metre production facility by Hesto Harnesses in KwaZulu-Natal.

Hesto Harnesses manufactures wiring harnesses for the automotive industry from a factory situated in Stanger, 90km north of Durban. The company supplies automotive electrical distribution systems, commonly known as wiring harnesses and combination (combi) meters, to original equipment manufacturers in South Africa. The company’s main customers are Toyota and GMSA at present.

Hesto Harnesses will be producing the combi metre for the new Toyota Hilux to be introduced in 2016. Currently this cluster (speedometers and instruments) are imported from Japan.

Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies attended the launch. Hesto Harnesses is a beneficiary of the Automotive Production and Development Programme and the Automotive Incentive Scheme.

The Minister said the company has shown commitment to ongoing manufacturing competitiveness improvement and has thus far created over 2 200 sustainable jobs.

He said the project being undertaken by Hesto is valuable as it reaffirms South Africa’s position as a sustainable base for production.

“The manufacturing of the combi metre in the country is an important investment in the manufacturing sector,” said Minister Davies. 

The Minister said projected investments by original equipment manufacturers are expected at a record of R7.5 billion for 2015. Major investors this year have included Volkswagen, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz South Africa.  

The automotive sector contributes between 6% and 7% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Hesto Harnesses Managing Director Theo Loock said the combi metre project is a reflection of the positive effects of the Industrial Policy Action Plan and international agreements that government enters into with other countries.

“Through this project, there will be a lot of technology and skills transfer from the Japanese. This new facility will manufacture the dashboard instrument cluster for the new Toyota Hilux to be introduced in 2016.  

“Currently this cluster (speedometer and instruments) is imported. We have now localised a portion of this with manufacture taking place at our Stanger factory,” said Loock. – SAnews.gov.za

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