'Accurate info' critical for growth
IT IS crucial for companies in the automotive industry to have access to accurate data because the sector is experiencing growth, said RGT Smart chief executive officer Paul de Vantier.
RGT Smart provides market information solutions to the automotive industry.
In May, the number of new vehicles sold increased by 20,67% year-on-year from 41625 in 2011 to 50228 in 2012.
De Vantier said while the first half of 2012 reported an increase in the number of vehicle sales, manufacturers remained uncertain over the sector's growth in the next half of 2012.
He said the vast majority of cars sold in South Africa were imported, which meant that it took longer to deliver.
"Importers need to make decisions now based on what they believe they are going to sell in six-months' time.
"In the current climate, they face the very real risk of shipping in large quantities of vehicles or components that may not sell if the car market in South Africa turns negative," he said.
De Vantier said local manufacturers who export vehicles also faced high degrees of uncertainty as a result of the Eurozone crisis and general global uncertainty.
According to De Vantier it is crucial that companies operating in the motor industry have access to accurate information and forecasts to help drive their strategic and operational decisions.
"Besides manufacturers and importers, these forecasts are also critical for dealers and dealer groups."
He said that as a result of the increasingly competitive nature of the automotive sector in South Africa, his company was also seeing an increase in the number of players looking for accurate research which can help them improve their customer service capabilities.
"Industry players also need to provide exceptional service in order to keep customers loyal. This will result in a large demand from the industry for intelligent, insightful and advanced information relating to customer experience," he said.
But De Vantier said there were opportunities for car retailers to expand into the rest of Africa.
"Africa remains a huge potential source of growth for the motor industry, but it is a complex market.
"This means it is crucial for companies to have as much information as possible when devising an African strategy.
"To complicate matters, there is very little data available in many African countries, which means we must conduct primary data collection ourselves," he said. - firstname.lastname@example.org