The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam) has appointed Renai Moothilal as its new executive director.
Moothilal will take over from Roger Pitot in September. Pitot has been advising Naacam in part-time capacity since last year, following the departure of Robert Houdet.
Moothilal trained at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as a development economist. He joins Naacam from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), where he spent the last decade, most recently as a senior official in the automotive policy unit.
During this time he has been instrumental in managing various policy-related issues, including the transition from the Motor Industry Development Programme to the Automotive Production and Development Programme; institutionalising the Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness Initiative, as well as laying the groundwork for the development of an automotive masterplan for South Africa, set to run from 2020 to 2035.
He also served on several incentive adjudication committees, as well as being an adviser to automotive companies on issues related to investment and production in South Africa.
Moothilal’s appointment comes at a time when Naacam is looking to enhance its position within the South African automotive environment.
“We are truly pleased at Renai’s appointment,” says Naacam president Dave Coffey.
“He brings a unique set of skills and experience and has, in a fairly short time, made his mark in the automotive manufacturing sector. Renai is respected by key stakeholders and has a deep and holistic appreciation of the challenges and opportunities faced by different sector players.”
Coffey says the local automotive sector is operating in a changing, competitive and challenging environment, and that Naacam must adapt and grow accordingly.
“We are entering an exciting phase of operations for Naacam and the automotive sector as a whole. Under the leadership of the DTI, preparations are firmly under way to develop an automotive masterplan and a supporting policy framework to optimise growth and economic outcomes in the sector up to 2035.
“Naacam wants to ensure that the automotive component supplier base in South Africa both contributes to and benefits from this growth.”
Coffey says Naacam aims to maximise the localisation opportunities associated with automotive manufacturing for its members, while also promoting and implementing activities to support government’s push to increase broad-based black participation in the country’s industrial landscape.
Moothilal believes sustainable transformation is “an absolute
imperative” within South Africa’s business environment.
“It is logical that the country’s future economic and industrial policy results will, among others, be viewed through its ability to deliver an economic landscape that suits its demographic profile.”
DTI director-general Lionel October says he supports Moothilal’s appointment.
“This is a great example of skills cross-pollination between the public and private sectors, and follows international trends in this respect.
Naacam represents around 150 automotive component manufacturing and related service provision companies, spread across more than 220 production sites in South Africa.
In 2015, 82 000 direct jobs were associated with the component manufacturing sector. In the same year, companies in this subsector invested more than R2.7-billion, while generating sales in excess of R82-billion.