Fiat SA intends to push its automotive component exports from South Africa past the R1-billion mark by sourcing new products.
Fiat SA intends to push its automotive component exports from South Africa past the R1-billion mark by sourcing new products, the firm’s chief executive, Alberto Montanari, said.
According to Montanari, Fiat is currently sourcing catalytic converters and leather car upholstery from South Africa and is considering a range of other components too.
The Italian motor company is trying to maximise exports from South Africa in order to generate credits under the Motor Industry Development Programme.
“We have to increase as there is a need for component exports,” Montanari said in . “We have a component buying department here which constantly visits suppliers, and we have visits from the purchasing department at Fiat’s headquarters in Turin.
“We are awaiting the green light on other components and we will increase our sourcing from South Africa,” he said.
However, he added that South African suppliers needed to be competitive to win orders from Fiat as it could source components throughout the world.
“There are some SA components which are competitive, but the cost of raw materials can be a problem,” he added. “For some components, we don’t see any competitive advantage in South Africa bearing in mind that logistics costs already bring down the competitive benefits of the country.”
Montanari said Fiat, Vauxhall and Opel had a joint purchasing operation for their European operations. Given that General Motors was likely to take control of Fiat Auto in 2004, future sourcing might not be for Fiat brands alone. “And if we do source, it might not just be for Europe, but for Brazil, Turkey and other Fiat plants,” he said.