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Jul 25, 2019

Ebrahim Patel, who has succeeded long-serving Rob Davies as Minister of Trade and Industry, is expected to head a list of very well qualified speakers at the NAAMSA Automotive Conference which takes place on 22 August as part of the South African Festival of Motoring at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit  and Conference Centre. The conference is organised by Messe Frankfurt South Africa in association with the Innovation Group and AutoTrader.

Patel, the former Minister of Economic Affairs, is scheduled to talk on whether the Government is ready to act as a catalyst and an enabler for change in this important industry.

The local motor industry will come under scrutiny from two other prominent speakers, Andrew Kirby, the President of NAAMSA and President and CEO of Toyota SA Motors, who will address the subject of how localisation and transformation will create joint prosperity and unlock growth, while Douglas Comrie, Managing Director of B&M Analysts, will give his views on whether the current Automotive Masterplan is robust enough to insulate further changes.

The overall theme of the conference will be: “Reimagining the Future Together” and there will be two sub-themes. The three speakers mentioned above will talk to the first theme which is: “Embracing innovation as an indispensable catalyst for prosperity and sustainable growth”.

This session will interrogate how best the local industry can use the Automotive Masterplan to collaborate better so as to build a resilient automotive sector by creating joint prosperity and unlocking potential to ensure growth and development of the sector.

The second theme will be “Automotive trends, technology and consumer behaviour” which will examine the increasingly digital ecosystem and disruptive landscape in which the automotive industry finds itself. Global energy trends and the importance of clean fuels in South Africa will come under the spotlight, as well as the way consumer behaviour is changing and impacting on the automotive industry globally.

The lead speaker in this second session brings an international flavour to the conference. He is Bruno Grippay, Nissan’s Regional Director Africa-Middle East-India for Connected Cars and Intelligent Mobility coordination. He will make a significant contribution to the overall conference theme of Reimagining the Future Together as he paints a picture of the manner in which the future of global mobility is changing the way we view transport, as well as the adaptations required by consumers and the motor industry, both global and regional.

This keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion which will look at the readiness of the South African automotive industry to lead the innovation charge. The panel will be hosted by Mike Vincent, a Director of Deloitte. Panel members will be the Minister of Trade and Industry, Bruno Grippay, of Nissan International; Hiten Parmar, a Director of uYilo e-Mobility; Craig Parker, Research Director and Associate Fellow of Frost and Sullivan and George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader.

The final two speakers will be Ghana Msibi, Executive Head of the Motor Division of WesBank, and Mike Mabasa, the CEO of NAAMSA. Msibi will talk about the consumer of tomorrow, the impact of changing buying behaviour and the role of dealerships, while Mabasa will discuss the automotive industry roadmap for the future.

The conference, which also offers ideal networking opportunities, will run from 08:30 to 13:30, when it will be followed by a light lunch.

BOOK NOW: There is limited seating for this important conference which is “must attend” for those involved in all aspects of the South African motor industry. You can book online by going to:

To view the full conference programme:

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