Haval Motors South Africa (HMSA) is investing in SA’s new energy vehicle (NEV) market by supplying NEV components to the Automobile Association (AA) Technical College.
According to a statement, the investment is part of the Chinese multinational automobile manufacturer’s efforts to contribute to the higher learning institution’s practical and curriculum development on NEV technology.
HMSA says it recognises that NEV in the local market requires not only infrastructure and government policy to grow and develop, but also skills development.
The company bills itself as one of the world’s major investors in vehicle battery technology through SVOLT, a company wholly-owned by Haval’s parent company Great Wall Motors. It has also developed Haval HEV models through the new ORA electric vehicle brand.
“This investment serves as further evidence of our full and unwavering commitment to the country,” says Yusuf Patel, head of aftersales at HMSA.
“After 16 years in South Africa, Haval now consistently ranks among the top players in national vehicle sales and is also at the forefront of introducing NEV technology locally with our ORA brand and Haval hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) models.
Electric and HEV require special skills, safety, training and equipment to service, and this transforms the role and skills required by vehicle technicians, adds Patel.
“HMSA recognises this and as we are well-positioned in the NEV space, we want to be the pioneers of driving skills development for NEVs in the local industry, in particular where it is not being addressed by government or the industry.”
The Automobile Association offers specialised apprenticeships to help motor industry players build in-house skills, and short skill courses for individuals – in addition to its travel and mobility services, technical and legal advice, emergency rescue services and roadside security.
The AA Technical College addresses SA’s industry’s skill shortage by offering a range of MerSETA-accredited courses focusing on the automobile industry.
Werner Wandrey, principal of the AA Technical College, says the Haval donation could not have come at a better time. “The curriculum for the technical college is currently being updated by the Department of Education and part of the new curriculum is an introduction to electric vehicles as well as hybrid vehicles.
“With this donation, we will undoubtedly be one of the first training facilities that now supports actual modules, not only in theory but with practical tasks and exhibitions in this new technology. We can therefore train our learners way ahead of time before EVs and hybrid vehicles become mainstream in our market.”