Tim Abbott (right), the chief executive of BMW Group South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, and Wolfgang Baumann, the vice-president of parts logistics management at BMW, at the opening of BMW’s regional distribution centre. Photo: Supplied
JOHANNESBURG - BMW group South Africa has opened its new regional distribution centre at Waterfall in Midrand following an investment of R260million, together with Attacq, the developers of the Waterfall precinct.

The investment is in addition to BMW’s R6.1billion investment in upgrades to, and production-capacity expansion at, its manufacturing plant in Rosslyn for the new BMW X3. The plant is currently ramping up production of X3s.

Tim Abbott, the chief executive of BMW Group South Africa, said yesterday the new regional distribution centre would allow the company to react timeously and seamlessly to changing customer needs, because the facility was state-of-the-art.

“The business of mobility is increasingly complex and intricate. More than ever, it’s critical that we’re able to be flexible in our approach.

“The most important factor for me is delivery three times a day for our customers.

"That means a customer can take a car in the morning into the dealership, and twice during the day we can look at that vehicle and get parts sent to the dealerships and get him or her back on the road by the evening,” he said.

The warehouse has been doubled in size to 32000m² from 16000m², and provision has also been made for its capacity to be expanded by a further 7000m² in the medium term.

It has sufficient storage space for 600000 parts and there are about 100000 bin locations.

Wolfgang Baumann, the vice-president of parts logistics management at BMW, stressed the importance of the warehouse for BMW’s South African customers, adding that, since March 5, they had been supplying their 56 dealers in Southern Africa with more than 30000 parts from the new warehouse.

BMW said there were about 300000 BMW vehicles on South Africa’s roads, of which about 140000 were under a motor plan.

Abbott said that taking care of their customers was a vital part of BMW’s business, and consolidating their operations in Waterfall and combining multiple functions under one roof would boost efficiency.

He said that this was important, because the regional distribution centre would not only operate as a regional parts distribution centre for BMW brands, but would also serve as the group’s central headquarters in Southern Africa.

The parts warehousing has been relocated to Waterfall from BMW’s head office in Midrand.

A further R260m was being invested in upgrading the space vacated at BMW Group South Africa’s head office and all the group’s head-office facilities, including the development of the Midrand campus.