Sonja Carstens, Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA) spokesperson, has raised concerns about the potential job losses in the automotive sector and retail stores. According to Carstens, several dealerships and retail stores have announced their intention to restructure, which could lead to a wave of retrenchments.
Carstens highlighted that MISA has received a notice of proposed closure from 11 retail stores associated with an international tyre producer. The exact number of employees affected by these closures is uncertain at this stage.
The automotive retail industry has been grappling with challenges such as daily load shedding, soaring fuel prices, and high-interest rates, which have further strained its operations.
The South African economy’s contraction has had a significant impact on the automotive sector. Carstens emphasized that the industry is facing immense pressure, with September witnessing a decline in new vehicle sales.
This news of potential job losses follows Nissan South Africa’s recent announcement regarding the restructuring of its Rosslyn plant in Pretoria. The company plans to reduce its staff contingent by 400 employees, out of a total of 1,600, as it will no longer produce the NP200 bakkie.
The production of the NP200 is set to cease in March 2024, and Nissan SA has commenced a formal consultation phase for the restructuring process.