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africon and Wolk After Sales Experts join forces for Africa

We are proud to announce that africon GmbH and Wolk After Sales Experts are joining forces for Africa.

Both German consulting companies are leaders in their respective fields, namely global automotive after sales industry and Sub-Saharan Africa business environment. Together Wolk and africon will be able to provide clients with comprehensive information and consulting support across the continent.

Since the beginning of its operations in 1994 Wolk After Sales Experts has grown into a consulting powerhouse well known to both vehicle manufacturers and independent aftermarket operators. Thanks to carefully built network of partners across Europe, Wolk monitors automotive markets in 35 countries – from Portugal to Russia and from Norway to Turkey.

In one world economy our clients need support not only in Europe, but on the other markets as well. Our cooperation with africon will allow us to include data from Sub-Saharan Africa into our AFTER SALES ACCESS aftermarket business intelligence tool. This will be a major asset for any automotive company aiming at creating or improving its distribution network in Africa” explains Zoran Nikolic, Managing Director at Wolk After Sales Experts.

africon GmbH, established in Germany in 2011, currently has offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. The company employs a team consisting of 7 nationalities speaking more than 10 local languages while running a network of more than 50 consultants in the African region. Over the past 5 years africon conducted more than 20 automotive projects in Africa.

The African automotive markets have been growing with more than 6% over the past years and offer great chances for global operating companies. After various independent aftermarket projects in Africa, africon could obtain significant data and know-how on African markets like Nigeria and Kenya which we are happy to offer to the excellent network of Wolk After Sales Experts” states Marc-Peter Zander, CEO & Partner at africon GmbH. Mr. Zander will be also a keynote speaker during upcoming Aftermarket Forum 2019: Going global! It is a top-level automotive industry event taking place on April 17th in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and organized by Wolk After Sales Experts. This year’s edition will focus on market snapshots of different regions of the world and Sub-Saharan Africa will be covered by the representative of africon.

In day-to-day business operations Wolk After Sales Experts and africon together will provide clients with exclusive market research, market intelligence and consulting projects in African countries.

East african steel industry

africon’s editorial publication in the ITA journal

last October africon published its first editorial addressing the future of the Steel industry in East Africa at the 3rd journal edition of the International Tube Association. The article started by highlighting how East Africa distinguishes itself by economical growth and political stability in the region and being the least dependent on primary commodities such as gold or oil in comparison with other african regions. The East African region was projected to capture the highest regional economic growth over the past year in Africa. The article then went in depth to analyse those macro-economic factors and focused on the drivers of steel industry that promote economic growth in Africa and especially in East Africa.

Now you can read the full version of the editorial here or download it as a white paper

Automotive parts import Sub-Saharan Africa.

SOTM February. Automotive parts imports in Sub-Saharan Africa

africon conducted a market analysis on the automotive industry with specific interest in the automotive parts market in sub-Saharan Africa. Our focus was further narrowed down to the aggregate value of three main automotive service parts which are: Filters (consisting of air filters for internal combustion engines, as well as Oil or petrol filters for internal combustion engines), Spark plugs, and Brake parts. The total combined import value of these automotive parts in Sub-Saharan Africa was $753 million in year 2017. Brake parts recorded the highest import value worth $388 million which is 52% of the total import value of the three selected automotive parts combined, while spark plugs were the least of the imports valued at $58 million.

Based on our analysis of the available data on automotive parts imports in Sub-Saharan Africa, we found that South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, and Ghana were the top five importers of filters, spark plugs and brake plugs into Sub-Saharan Africa in the year 2017. South Africa being the largest market, accounted for 47% of these automotive parts imports worth $355 million, while Ghana being the fifth largest market was worth $21 million.

The major export partners were China, Germany, South Africa, Belgium and USA. However, the data from year 2007 shows that Germany was the largest exporter of these automotive parts to the Sub Saharan Africa region until 2013 when China took over as the largest exporter to the region. Brake parts were also the largest exports (of the three parts) from China and Germany while Filters were the largest exports from South Africa, Belgium and USA.

SOTM. January

SOTM January. The automotive parts market in Nigeria

The Nigerian automotive industry appears to be an interesting market, as our research on the automotive parts market shows that the market size is worth USD 4.4bn or more.

The total vehicles in operation in Nigeria is currently estimated at 12.7 million, and Nigerian drivers spend an average of USD 350 on automotive parts per year.

Interviews conducted with various automotive experts in Nigeria also confirmed that the market for service parts accounts for the biggest share of the automotive market.

africon publishes African steel insights on the ITA Journal.

Last October and in the International Tube Association 3rd journal edition, africon published an article about the Steel industry in East Africa. The article started by portraying the image of Africa that is perceived by the rest of the world. Many countries in the continent have started to change their image from a crisis centre to a potential emerging market. The macro economic factors strongly indicate positive changes that will lead the continent to be the next emerging market. The growing young population together with economic growth on the continent lead to a growing labour force and cities which lead to a significant increase in middle class. Furthermore, the continent is pushing towards manufacturing and automation as this sector remains as the continent weakest link. Also, constant rise in foreign direct investment over the past decades is further boosting the economy not only in financial terms but as well in terms of knowledge, expertise and technology.  Industries of almost all kind will experience a rapid growth due to this economic boom, however the African market is still very diverse as the continent host 54 countries.

East Africa currently distinguish itself by economical growth and political stability in the region and the least dependent on commodities such as gold or oil. The region was projected to capture the highest regional economic growth over the past year in Africa. The article went in depth to analyse those macro-economic factors and focused on the drivers of steel industry that promote economic growth in Africa and especially in East Africa

Overall, Africa does host enormous opportunities for firms from around the world. With its diversity and complicity however comes the need to evaluate closely where they are and how to make use of the it.

To access the full article, please use the link below:
The East African Steel Industry

Automotive projects conducted by africon

Over the past years, more and more automotive firms have shown increasing interest in Sub-Sahara Africa. Even though OEMs like VW and Nissan have dominated the news with their announcement of establishing assembly plants in Africa, the largest immediate automotive business potential lies elsewhere: in the automotive aftermarket.

With more than 12,7 million vehicles on the road in Nigeria, more than 6 million in Egypt and almost 2 million in Kenya, more and more automotive parts are sold in Africa. The main challenge especially for global aftermarket leaders from Europe and Japan: the sector requires large amount of data to efficiently and effectively increase sales. With data availability in Africa being a major challenge, africon has successfully plugged this gap and supported aftermarket firms from around the world and in different product segments on their Africa strategy.  Amongst other points, we supported firms with market sizes, details on vehicles in operation, suitable import partners and even research on specific part numbers. For the upcoming years, africon has set an increased focus on the sector and expects more companies to follow current early movers to the continent.

Slide of the month October – Automotive industry in sub-saharan Africa

In the past three years, africon has conducted extensive market research projects on the automotive industry in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, the market for automotive filtration in Kenya and Tanzania was analysed in detail. During the project, 60 senior level industry players from authorities, key automobile traders and leading parts distributors, more than 300 consumers, around 70 workshops and 100 parts traders in Kenya and Tanzania were interviewed.

In terms of vehicles in operation (VIO), Kenya and Tanzania belong to the countries with the highest stock of VIO in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Through a fast-growing local assembly industry, Kenya promises to stay the local automotive hub in East Africa. This also reflects in a growing local spare parts industry ranging from automotive batteries to tires. Also the automotive market in Tanzania, with a first local assembly line for agricultural vehicles in place and various spare parts manufacturers operating successfully, promises to continue growing in the next years.

Apart from the activities in Kenya and Tanzania, africon has been active in the Nigerian automotive market since 2015. With the new insights from Kenya and Tanzania gathered in 2017, the africon expertise regarding the African automotive market grew decisively.

 

 

Slide of the month June – Automotive Kenya vs. Nigeria

In two different projects, both concerning the automotive industry in Kenya and Nigeria, africon has been conducting more than 65 interviews with vehicle assemblers, coach builders, repair garages and distributors of vehicles. Aim was to understand the current maintenance of windscreens in Africa to develop a go-to market strategy for a leading adhesives company.

These interviews as well as the analysis of general market data shows that the size of the automotive market in Kenya and Nigeria is quite different, which comes naturally when looking at the size of the population (46,05 million in Kenya vs. 182,2 million in Nigeria). But the proportion of new vs. second hand vehicles is very much the same.

Having 75% and 80% of second hand vehicles cruising the streets in Kenya and Nigeria the market for spare parts as well as chemical materials needed in the repair sector – like adhesives, sealants, paints, etc – is huge.

 

Slide of the month April – Spark plug market Nigeria

Within a large independent aftermarket (IAM) project in the automotive sector for Nigeria, africon GmbH had the chance to interview more than 50 experts and found that the IAM market in Nigeria is strongly dominated by fake products. A good example is the spark plug market where fakes in 2015 were at 65% but increased to almost 80% in 2016. According to an expert in the IAM market in West Africa, Chinese suppliers have lowered the quality of fakes to meet the lower buying power of Nigerian clients. The current market leader is NGK from Japan with a strong distribution by Asahi Brands. Other brands are distributed through various players e.g. Hydrotrans but also by OEMs e.g. Bosch.

africon in “Märkte weltweit”

africon has published its slide of the month in the economic daily paper “Märkte Weltweit”. In the article, difficulties of doing market research in African countries are underlined and an “African approach” is presented. This has been illustrated on the example of a big IAM automotive aftermarket study.

German investors are still cautious when it comes to the African market. Differences in culture and doing business are big and scare many companies. Corruption and the importance of the black market seem to be unmeasurable. For these reasons, African business seems to be unpredictable. However, the africon article shows that extensive research on the ground can complete lacks in traditional statistical studies. The slide of the month that was published in “Märkte Weltweit” indicates that about 59 % of the spare parts in automotive aftermarket in Nigeria come from the open market. In order to raising reliable numbers, africon visited about 150 workshops and interviewed 48 experts as well as 500 consumers. Also, we created our own data base on the existing automotive brands evaluating more than 12 500 photos of the cars in Nigeria’s streets. That’s what we call an African approach for a study on the African market. And that is the reason why the regional knowledge and presence on the ground are that important when it comes to business in Africa. For a market entry, German companies should have partners with a very good knowledge of the African continent by their sides. That is one of the strengths of africon.