Ford is an American auto maker based in Detroit, founded by Henry Ford in 1903. The company has stakes in Mazda, Japan, and Aston Martin, UK. It is the second-biggest auto manufacturer in the US and the fifth largest in the world (based on 2010 sales). The company owns around 90 plants across the world and employs 213,000 employees.
Ford’s production capacity and sales suffered during the global downturn. However, it seems to have made a solid recovery – in 2011, it recorded an $8.8bn profit, up by $463m from 2010.
Ford’s Africa sales have been slow but steady in recent years. Its success is mainly concentrated in South Africa. Vehicle production is expected to increase from 80,000 to 110,000 this year. Engine production is also being increased from 80,000 to 120,000 units. Total vehicle production is estimated to reach a record-breaking 655,200, with 366,200 of these being exported.
TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION GROUP
Toyota is a Japanese automotive firm located in Tokyo. Founded in 1937, the company’s success in recent years has been dramatic. The Toyota Motor Corporation Group is now comprised of Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino Motors. In 2010, the firm was the largest automotive manufacturer in the world, employing nearly 320,000 individuals. Toyota has experienced positive, if unspectacular, growth in the African market. Like Ford, profits are mostly generated from South Africa. Growth in the sales of vehicles in 2011 for its South Africa branch was 15% year on year.
Honda is a Japanese multinational automotive firm. As well as producing cars, it is also famous for its production of motorcycles; it has been the world’s most significant motorbike manufacturer since 1959. Growth of the company has exploded in recent years – in 2001, it overtook Nissan as the second-largest car producer in Japan.
It has recorded steady improvements in its sales in Africa over the past few years. It also looks set to dominate the continent’s motorcycle market and is keen to introduce motorbikes specially tailored for the African market.
Samsung is a Korean multinational corporation headquartered in Seoul. It has several significant subsidiaries, including Samsung Electronics, Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung Engineering.
The company’s products account for around one fifth of South Korea’s total exports. In 2006, its total profits would have made it the world’s 35th largest economy. It has made good progress in the African household appliance market, including through the sale of refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers. It has displayed a particular sensitivity to the specific needs of the African market, for example, through introducing household appliances which are protected against humidity and power cuts.
Hisense is an electronics manufacturing company based in China. The company is state owned and is comprised of publicly traded subsidiaries. Products are sold under several brand names, including Kelon, Ronshen and Combine.
Goods that it produces, other than white goods, include televisions and mobile phones. It has been doing extremely well over the past year – profit levels were up by 16.7% in 2011. It has ambitious plans to increase manufacturing in Africa. It already has plants in South Africa and North Africa, and has intentions to build a factory in Nigeria.
Bosch is an electronics and engineering company based in Germany, near Stuttgart. It is the world’s biggest supplier in the field of automotive components. However, it is perhaps most famous with the general public for its household appliances. The company’s revenue was €51.4bn in 2011. Its products are sold in approximately 150 countries and the company has subsidiaries in more than 60 of these.
Bosch’s South Africa branch generated profits of R1,498m in 2010 (nearly $200m) and it employs 653 employees.
The firm is establishing new sales companies and representative markets, and is keen to come up with customised products for the market.
Dell is an American IT firm. It is based in Texas, United States. It is one of the world’s biggest technology companies and employs more than 103,300 people across the globe. The company produces, amongst other things, PCs, software and computer peripherals. Its net income was $2.63bn in 2011 and its total assets were worth $38.59bn in the same year. The company sells computers throughout Africa and is estimated to have a 10% share of the market.
Lenovo is a Hong Kong-based Chinese multinational. It manufactures desktop computers and laptops, as well as software and other computer equipment. It has experienced astronomical success in recent years. It is now the second-largest PC-maker in the world.
The company has expanded its market share in South Africa to 11.3% and has plans to make inroads into the rest of Africa – it has opened regional hubs in West Africa and East Africa, and plans to open smaller local offices for individual countries. Lenovo sees Africa as the most promising emerging market for its products.
Hewlett Packard is an American multinational company manufacturing a wide range of computer technology, including PCs, software and other peripherals. Its revenue reached over $127bn in 2011, but its net income declined in that year, along with its total equity. It is still a huge company, dwarfing others in the industry through employing almost 350,000 employees.
It has recently committed to expanding its operations in Africa to 10 new locations, including Angola, DR Congo, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Botswana and Uganda.
Toshiba is a Japanese electronics corporation, which also manufactures computers. It was the world’s fifth-largest PC vendor in 2010, after Lenovo, HP, Acer and Dell, and net income reached $1.66bn in 2010. It has plans to expand its reach in the South African market.
Nokia is a Finnish multinational. The bulk of its business is in the mobile phone market. It was the biggest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world in 2011, and had a 23% market share in the second quarter of the same year. In 2010, its revenue was €42bn and its operating profit was €2bn.
The company is doing extremely well in Africa, mainly because of its commitment to offering budget handsets as well as competitively priced smartphones.
Huawei is a multinational firm based in China. It is growing fast and its revenue reached CNY186bn ($29.5bn) in 2010. Its profit was CNY28bn ($4.4bn) in the same year and it employs 110,000 people. It is the second-biggest supplier of mobile telecommunications infrastructure equipment globally (after Ericsson).
It has experienced strong success in Africa through its smartphones, such as the Ideos, which retails for around $100.
BlackBerry is a line of smartphone devices created by the Canadian company Research in Motion. Although it has faced stiff competition in Western markets from the iPhone, it enjoys a strong following in South Africa, where it has a 63% stake in the market (the iPhone, in contrast, only has a 4% stake).
Samsung Telecommunication Business has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. It became the second-largest mobile device manufacturer in the world in 2007 (following Nokia) after experiencing growth of 40%. At the end of November 2011, Samsung had sold more than 300m mobile handsets.
It has big ambitions for its operations in Africa and is doing especially well in South Africa, where its local staff numbers have recently doubled. The company expects to increase its Africa-based profits five times to over $10bn by 2015.
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