BMW South Africa has been ruled out of the bidding for the production of a new model that would have created hundreds of new jobs, because of the ongoing strike in the automotive sector.
Company spokesman Guy Kilfoil said on Tuesday BMW SA had been in contention for a contract to produce a second model at its Rosslyn plant - currently building the 3 Series - but had “been taken off the bidding table for that model” because of the strike.
Kilfoil couldn't give any details about the new model because it was one that didn't yet exist in BMW's global product range - but said the bid was to build the new car only at Rosslyn for the whole world.
He said BMW SA's parent company in Germany would be taking a decision in the next few months on where the new model would be produced.
“But there is absolutely no way BMW's management team is going to increase its risk so dramatically by awarding a contract for a model that is only built in South Africa for the world if South Africa is already risky in terms of continuous supply,” he cautioned.
He said BMW SA had lost the production of 13 000 cars - almost 12.5 percent of its total annual production - due to strikes this year.
BMW had only been able to make up about 2000 of those in other plants. That meant the group as a whole had lost more than 10 000 cars, which could be the difference between being first or second in the premium-car segment, he said.
National Union of Metalworkers of SA treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo said the union would hold a special national executive committee meeting on Thursday to formulate a response to the latest proposal by the Retail Motor Industry Organisation to end the strike. - Business Report