The automotive industry comprises major vehicle manufacturers that are based in Port Elizabeth, such as Volkswagen South Africa and General Motors. Volkswagen is responsible for the manufacture of industry giants, like the Polo, GTI, Jetta, Amarok, Touareg, Touran, Beetle, Caravelle and even the range of Audi vehicles. General Motors is responsible for the Astra, Aveo, Chevrolet, Corsa, Hummer, Isuzu, Opel and Spark, amongst others. Both of these companies make enormous contributions to the industrial sector of the country, as well as of the city that they occupy.
In addition to these companies, which are dedicated to the construction and production of commercial and other vehicles, the automotive industry in Port Elizabeth is also made up of the entities that manufacture components of these vehicles, such as Goodyear, Continental, Johnson Controls, and so on. These companies must make the batteries, catalytic converters, tyres, wire harnesses, etc... that make the car companies work as well as they do. Many of the cars and parts are exported to Germany, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. This means that the automotive industry plays an integral role in the financial standing of Port Elizabeth and South Africa on a local and international level.
Due to its proximity to other major cities in South Africa, as well as its convenient port location, Port Elizabeth is also well respected for its contribution to the port and harbour industry. The main harbour has a valuable container terminal, fruit terminal and manganese terminal. In addition, the onsite railway trains make the transport of goods to and from the harbour quicker and easier (and, therefore, cheaper). Much of the container traffic is caused by motor vehicles and their components being shipped, although steel, wool and other machinery are also transported frequently. Agricultural products are handled by the breakbulk terminal.
In 1999, the Coega Development Corporation was begun with the aim of making Port Elizabeth the preferred investment destination. The deepwater port of Ngqura has been positioned along the international east-west trading route. The deep channel was created by an ancient glacier, which has now allowed us to construct a port of up to 23 metres. Port Elizabeth enjoys approximately 330 anchor days every year, making this the ideal place in which to establish this vital resource. Ngqura is designed to accommodate bigger container vessels than any other port in South Africa. This is not only important in terms of the financial benefits, but also promises invaluable networking and investment opportunities.
Indeed, Port Elizabeth continues to develop and advance in terms of its industry and finance, creating the ideal hotspot for economic giants.
Mandela Bay Development Agency web site: http://www.mbda.co.za/
Coega Development Corporation web site: http://www.coega.co.za/