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Globalization and restructuring in the South African automotive industry


  • Anthony Black

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town, South Africa)


The South African automotive industry has been subjected to rapid structural change as a result of policies, which have liberalized imports but also encouraged exports. The sector has become much more internationally integrated with a particularly rapid increase in exports. This paper assesses these developments. It is argued that the costs of liberalization have been fairly low partly because of the strong encouragement given by the programme for major foreign firms to draw South African operations into their international networks. In spite of the successes, structural problems remain such as the limited rationalization that has so far taken place. Also there are question marks over the nature and sustainability of export expansion. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Black, 2001. "Globalization and restructuring in the South African automotive industry," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(6), pages 779-796.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:13:y:2001:i:6:p:779-796
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.812

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Imraan Valodia, 1999. "Trade policy, productivity and learning: Evidence in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 531-546.
    2. Kaplinsky, Raphael & Morris, Mike, 1999. "Trade Policy Reform and the Competitive Response in Kwazulu Natal Province, South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 717-737, April.
    3. Alcorta, Ludovico, 1998. "Flexible Automation and Location of Production in Developing Countries," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 05, United Nations University - INTECH.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Black, 2009. "Location, Automotive Policy, and Multinational Strategy: The Position of South Africa in the Global Industry since 1995," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 483-512.
    2. Anthony Black, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Technical Change and Firm Level Restructuring in the South African Automotive Component Sector," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 3(2), pages 173-202, July.
    3. A. Black & S Mitchell, 2002. "Policy In The South African Motor Industry: Goals, Incentives, And Outcomes," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(8), pages 1273-1297, December.
    4. Black Anthony & McLennan Thomas & Makundi Brian, 2017. "Working Paper 282 - Africa’s Automotive Industry Potential and Challenges," Working Paper Series 2412, African Development Bank.
    5. Jakob Engel & Deborah Winkler & Thomas Farole, 2016. "SACU in Global Value Chains," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23789, The World Bank.
    6. Lorentzen, Jochen, 2005. "The absorptive capacities of South African automotive component suppliers," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1153-1182, July.
    7. Rasiah, Rajah & Tamale, Henry, 2004. "Productivity, Exports, Skills and Technological Capabilities: A Study of Foreign and Local Manufacturing Firms in Uganda," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 01, United Nations University - INTECH.
    8. Johannes Machaka & Simon Roberts, 2003. "The Dti'S New'Integrated Manufacturing Strategy?'," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 71(4), pages 679-704, December.
    9. Lila J. Truett & Dale B. Truett, 2009. "Firm Size And Efficiency In The South African Motor Vehicle Industry ," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 333-341, December.

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