The quality of vehicles being manufactured in South Africa is increasing, according to the Vehicle Quality Satisfaction survey done by Ipsos, a global market research and a consulting firm. The survey included feedback from over 7000 vehicle owners and 16 manufacturers.

The quality of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are showing the biggest improvement. The number of defects per 100 vehicles has been steadily decreasing year-on-year. This is the case for both locally-made cars and imported vehicles.

How the vehicle quality survey works

The survey not only assesses the number of defects per 100 vehicles, but also design issues and annoying features that owners have experienced after three months of ownership. Each issue is given a weighting in accordance with their importance – for example, defects in the assembly process have a higher weighting than small design issues.

The survey is then used to inform manufacturers and dealers on strengths and weaknesses, as perceived by customers. Understanding the customer’s needs and experience is vital in the highly-competitive vehicle industry in South Africa.

Vehicle manufacturers benefit from the survey results

The survey is a testament to the quality of products being produced by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and vehicle brands. South African OEMs showed a great willingness to participate in the survey in a transparent manner.

As cars become more complex, the potential for defects is increased. However, new technology and better methods of production mean that the overall quality of the finished vehicle is improving. Consumers are becoming more demanding so the standards have to be high to ensure customer satisfaction.


Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.

Formex specialises in producing components for the catalytic converter industry, as well as metal components and assemblies for the various vehicles. Formex aims to become one of the foremost suppliers for the South African automotive industry by 2035, aligning itself with the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM) which takes effect in 2020.

Formex is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with over 80% black ownership, of which more than 40% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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