South Africa Stable, diversified, and bouncing back fast

South Africa Stable, diversified, and bouncing back fast

21 June 2021

Motus, A Preferred Partner
by Newsweek

South Africa is expecting a GDP growth of 3.3% in 2021, according to a recent report by Deloitte. After a volatile period for one of Africa’s biggest economies, the country is set to reassert itself as one of the world’s most promising emerging markets.

With a strong growth outlook, among the highest income levels in Africa, and a population nearing 60 million, South Africa is one of the biggest automotive markets on the continent. Vehicle sales rose 32% in March 2021 when compared to March 2020 as demand rebounded, with 44 217 units sold. Motus Holdings, the country’s leading automotive group, is well-placed to benefi t from the market’s resurgence. Selling one in fi ve vehicles in South Africa each year.

The South African vehicle market is projected to stabilise at 450 000 vehicles for the 2021 calendar year. “If you want to be in the motor industry in South Africa, you need to speak to the Motus Group.” says Osman Arbee, Motus’ CEO. “We have an integrated business model where we import, distribute and retail new and pre-owned passenger and light commercial vehicles and parts, rent vehicles, and provide motor-related fi nancial services and after-market parts sales”.

Founded in 1948 and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1987 as part of the Imperial Group, Motus then unbundled and listed separately on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2018. Motus is the local exclusive importer and distributor in South Africa for brands including Hyundai, Kia, Renault and Mitsubishi. Motus has an unrivalled dealership footprint in South Africa with 320 dealerships representing 24 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s), with operations across Southern Africa and as far afi eld as the United Kingdom (110 dealerships) and Australia (36 dealerships).

Despite the Covid crisis, the Motus Group sold 105 821 vehicles in the second half of 2020 – 57 503 new and 48 318 pre-owned vehicles. Motus’ investment in IT has borne fruit during the period of lockdown and its aftermath. “Digitalization is a big part of our business so we have to invest in technology to ensure we talking to customers all the time,” says Arbee. “Technology is a differentiating factor, and helps improve effi ciencies.”

As the company expands, it is looking for potential acquisitions, including importers and dealerships, but also technology companies which can act as partners for the company’s growing range of digital services. Motus is a gateway for foreign investors in the Southern African market, and Arbee is keen to emphasise the company’s role as an ambassador for the country. While businesses in the sector must contend with over-regulation and high taxation, ongoing reforms are improving the investment environment. “To grow the economy, we need foreign investment and foreign tourists in our country,” he says. “We want to grow our business and create more employment opportunities.”

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