About the SAABC

History of the SAABC

The SAABC originally comprised three chapters – the KwaZulu-Natal Benchmarking Club (established in 1997), the Eastern Cape Benchmarking Club (established in 1999) and the Gauteng Benchmarking Club (established in 2001). Initially these chapters were public-private partnerships, funded through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Sector Partnership Fund (SPF).

In 2004, when the SPF programme ended, the SAABC was formally promulgated as a privately funded, non-profit Continuous Improvement (CI) initiative, comprising four regions – namely KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Port Elizabeth and East London. The Western Cape chapter amalgamated into the initiative in 2005. The SAABC has a strong national presence, covering all the major automotive regions in South Africa.

Why benchmarking?

As the automotive manufacturing industry in South Africa aims to expand its share of local and international markets, benchmarking provides firms with the opportunity to compare themselves against peers, enabling them to identify areas requiring increased focus. The benefits of benchmarking include:

  • Confirmation of performance benchmarks achieved by peers
  • Detailed objective assessment of operations and processes
  • Identification of major priority areas requiring focus and attention



Enable the competitiveness of the South African automotive manufacturing supply base.


To use benchmarking as a platform for firm, cluster and industry-level continuous improvement activities.



Increased supplier competitiveness (Manufacturing Value Add [MVA] per unit of employee cost ratio).

Why our objectives matter

MVA is the value addition through manufacturing; it is revenue less consumables and services. The SAABC has chosen to focus on MVA growth as this encapsulates the activities throughout the value chain and will enable both employment and private sector investment growth and will achieve sustainable growth in the long run.

Strategic focus areas

In order to support the improved competitiveness of the South African automotive industry, the SAABC focuses on delivery of firm-level benchmarking, supporting knowledge sessions in the form of State of the Automotive Industry sessions, World Class Manufacturing study tours, and undertaking networking facilitation to encourage increased levels of engagement and learning among member firms.

Our founding principles

The founding constitutional principles of the SAABC are incorporated into its memorandum of incorporation under the New Companies Act and this governs the activities of the SAABC. This specifies, amongst other things, objectives, membership requirements, decision making processes and the appointment of a facilitation service provider. The operating model of the SAABC entails industry contributing management expertise, representing the major operational regions, which comprise the Executive Committee that provides direction and guidance and oversees the activities of the programme.


The project management and facilitation services are provided by an independent team from B&M Analysts appointed by the Executive Committee.

Founded in 1997, B&M Analysts’ primary areas of expertise and service provision include cluster facilitation, competitiveness benchmarking and upgrading, project management, training, and policy and strategy research services. These services are provided to government, non-government organisations (NGOs), clusters, industry associations, and manufacturing companies.


The SAABC is a verified Level 4 B-BBEE contributor under the Codes of Good Practice for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). 100% of expenditure can therefore be claimed as Preferential Procurement.