Top class line-up of speakers at Cape Automotive Forum

Brian Joss – All aspects of the motor industry are in flux, both internationally and locally.

The variables range from electricity becoming an important power source for cars, while diesel engines face bans, autonomous driving vehicles and a total rethink in retailing as the digital world evolves rapidly.

It is vital for and 18 an important event to attend. The organiser, Messe Frankfurt South Africa, is arranging a top-class line-up of speakers to provide the latest developments on many of the burning issues.

“We have linked this insightful conference and exhibition in Cape Town to our world famous Automechanika automotive aftermarket trade fair brand to stress its credibility and value to the South African motor industry,” explained Tracy Gounden, show director for the Cape Automotive Forum.

Andrew Marsh, of Auto Industry Consulting in the United Kingdom, will set the scene as he describes how the motor industry is changing faster today than in the past 100 years, driven largely by electrification, autonomous driving, shared mobility, connectivity, and legislation.

“With these inevitable changes come a whole host of challenges, including how the automotive aftermarket service industry will prepare for this change and develop the necessary skillset,” commented Marsh. He will outline how he sees the automotive sector in South Africa in the short to medium term and how business owners can ensure they are fully equipped to deal with the changing needs of this sector.

Craig Parker, the Research Director for Africa at global growth consulting firm Frost and Sullivan, will tackle the way he sees dealerships and other retail automotive outlets need to adapt to meet the changes in the consumer journey in a digital world.

“The always-on connected consumer is driving online purchasing across all sectors, including automotive,” says Parker. “This buying behaviour has reduced the need for traditional, static dealership showrooms, retail franchises and even to a degree, repair workshops. The automotive aftermarket has also been affected with an increase to a trend towards DIY repairs with the ability of end-users to source parts and accessories online. Frost and Sullivan predicts that by 2020 business-to-consumer (B2C) sales of automotive parts will reach R250-billion annually.”

Another presentation which will be of great interest to those involved in the local motor industry is titled “Electric vehicles and the role of advanced manufacturing and the impact of the fourth industrial revolution.”

This topic will be presented jointly by Barlow Manilal, CEO of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), and Surusha Pillay, Head: Technology Innovation Programmes at the TIA.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is the fourth major industrial era since the initial industrial revolution in the 18th century, is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres,” explained Barlow Manilal. “It is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to dramatically change not only the course of economic development, but also the distribution of wealth. While new technologies are enabling ever higher levels of productivity and efficiency, it is crucial to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to start transformation as well as to encourage the integration of small and medium technology suppliers to realise their full potential,” added Manilal.

The delegate cost to attend the Cape Automotive Forum is R1 500 for one day or R1 950 for both days. Seats are limited.

Visit: to book.

Email Tracey Gounden at:

or phone +27 10 599 6166 or +27 82 063 8157 for information.

CAPTION: Andrew Marsh of Auto Industry Consulting: changing face of the industry. Picture: Quickpic

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