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Mineral Circles Bearings take on South Africa in 2017 with top Korean wheel bearing manufacturer ILJIN

Dubai, UAE— Accessibility, OEM and aftermarket business. These are the core competence of South Africa as it continues to be the continent’s automotive manufacturing and bearings trade powerhouse.

Based on the May 2017 report of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), the country produced last year a total of 600,007 units which amounts to 0.63% of the production worldwide, a figure that is higher than its global GDP contribution of 0.42%. Most recently last month, NAAMSA automakers’ output reached 46,719 units which included passenger cars (PC), light commercial vehicles (LCV), multi-convivial vehicles (MCV), heavy commercial vehicles (HCV), XHV, and bus.


Ranking                 Automaker                               PC Manufactured (July 2017)
1                           VOLKSWAGEN GROUP SA                                  6,781
2                           TOYOTA                                                           5,280
3                           FMC                                                                 3,141
4                           HYUNDAI AUTOMOTIVE SA                                2,753
5                           RENAULT                                                          2,226
6                           MERCEDES-BENZ SA                                         1,794
7                           NISSAN                                                           1,690
8                           BMW GROUP                                                    1,582
9                           KIA SOUTH AFRICA                                          1,403
10                         MAZDA SOUTHERN AFRICA                               1,081

Source: NAAMSA


Mineral Circles Bearings (MCB) Marketing Director Hassanein Alwan said, “South Africa is interesting for us to explore because of its proximity to the logistically challenging landlocked areas. As it’s the center of vehicle production and the main exporter of bearings to the Sub-Saharan region, we foresee a favorable market for both OEM and aftermarket sectors.”

A New Frontier
Due to considerable progress in relations, top Korean bearing manufacturer, ILJIN, awarded the master distributorship to MCB in 2016 for the entire Middle East and African (MEA) region. With its quality product range plus the latter’s 33 years of bearing expertise, both companies benefit from mutual gains not just revenue-wise but also on the business intelligence landscape.

“Having ILJIN’s master distributorship in our portfolio, MCB is stronger than ever to penetrate the OEM market of South Africa for the first time in its history. As ILJIN is the OE supplier of Hyundai since 1978 as well as Kia, we are positive on the forthcoming outcome of this new frontier venture as both Korean carmakers have their own manufacturing facilities in the area,” Alwan mentioned.

ILJIN’s Sales Manager Nick Moon (2nd from left) next to MCB Chairman and Founder Amar Ridha with the rest of the ILJIN delegation at Automechanika Dubai 2015/MINERAL CIRCLES BEARINGS

This promising outlook is just the tip of the iceberg for both companies.

Apart from an established OEM industry, used vehicle trading remains a strong growth driver for South Africa. According to, a Johannesburg-based online car trading platform, four out of its top 10 fast selling pre-owned cars are all from Hyundai which means more doors of opportunities for ILJIN wheel bearing aftermarket business.

Automechanika Johannesburg 2017
Through the years, Automechanika has transformed itself from an automotive event to a trusted brand showcasing the latest products with solid following from notable exhibitors within the motoring industry. For the first time this year, MCB joins Automechanika Johannesburg, a biennial trade fair, from 27th-30th of September at the JHB Expo Center, Nasrec.

Alwan stated, “The organizers of Automechanika have been instrumental in our growth here in Dubai and in the Middle East for the past couple of years. As we will invest heavily now in South Africa, our best bet is to join their Johannesburg team whose captive audience and territorial know-how will be valuable in championing one of our goals which is promoting ILJIN wheel bearings throughout the continent.”

Join Mineral Circles Bearings at hall 5, stand 5G60 and witness excellence, creativity, and innovation in wheel bearings only from ILJIN! Made in Korea.



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