This chapter assesses the prospects of regional value chains (RVCs) in car manufacturing in Africa, focussing specifically on Southern Africa (because of relatively advanced regional integration there). After examining the state of the automotive industry across the continent and in particular in the Southern African Development Community, the authors refer to international examples—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the country of India and the South American Mercado Común del Sur—so as to derive the prospects for and necessary steps towards RVCs in Africa—or, at least, on parts of the continent. The key idea here is that such value chains depend on a viable ‘automotive space’, meaning a sufficiently large market, on competitiveness in manufacturing and on supportive policy arrangements. The chapter outlines the challenges and opportunities concerning these three conditions. It concludes with policy recommendations regarding what can realistically be achieved in the region.
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