SA lucks out – motor industry fixed investment couldn’t be better timed | Fin24

SA lucks out – motor industry fixed investment couldn’t be better timed

Jun 08 2016 08:26

Watching Mary Meeker’s annual update on Internet Trends is akin to a cold shower in reality. Her presentation moves at warp speed, requiring a notebook and pause button (it's available online, Google it).

This year the research queen identifies a number of trends, highlighting the motor sector where a South African – Elon Musk – is part of America’s challenge to regain pre-eminence.

In 1950, the US produced 76% of the world’s motor vehicles. That’s fallen to 13%. Meeker believes a combination of Tesla’s dominance in electrical cars, Google’s in self-driving vehicles, the lead in innovation by US universities (Stanford, Carnegie Mellon etc) and fleets (Uber/Lyft/Zendrive) positions the world’s biggest economy best as the industry approaches a very different future.

South Africa may have lucked out again. The taxpayer-subsidised MIDP has been one of the bright spots of a struggling fixed investment story. It has attracted massive investment from multinationals into retooling the local motor sector at exactly the right time.

Cars are currently among the world’s least productive assets. Their poor utilisation wastes time (traffic jams) space (parking) and energy (burning fossil fuels).

The wave of disruption promises to have unimaginable ramifications. There can be no better time to invest in new technology. As SA’s motor sector is doing right now. Hope springs.

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biznews  |  elon musk  |  motor industry


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