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Pretoria - Production at BMW South Africa’s manufacturing plant in Rosslyn has been halted by a shortage of steering gears from supplier, Bosch.

The plant is unlikely to produce any 3-Series models this week because of the component-supply problem.

Diederik Reitsma, the general manager group communications at BMW Group South Africa, said yesterday this was a global problem affecting BMW 1-Series, 2-Series, 3-Series and 4-Series and meant that only limited vehicle production was currently possible at various BMW Group plants in Germany.

Reitsma said the Tiexi plant in China and the Rosslyn pant in South Africa had extended or pulled-forward planned interruptions to production, because of the component-supply issue.

READ ALSO: BMW to stop production for a day in SA

He said this situation was unlikely to change this week, which had affected more than 1000 workers at its Rosslyn plant.

However, Reitsma said workers would still be paid, despite them not being at work as part of the flexibility measures in place at the plant.

“This is also a key component of the competitiveness of the plant,” he pointed out.

In terms of these flexibility measures, workers were paid the same salary even if they worked fewer hours when production volumes dropped, because they would be required to work more hours for the same salary when increased production volumes were required.

Reitsma added that BMW had not at this stage lost any vehicle production because the flexibility measures meant its plants were able to work increased production volumes back into the schedule.

He said the Rosslyn plant produced an average of about 200 3-Series models a day and that the parts-supply problem would definitely have a big impact on the BMW group.

But Reitsma said it was difficult to gauge the impact because it was dependent on how soon Bosch resumed normal supplies and deliveries to BMW to limit the economic damage as much as possible.

“The relevant purchasing and production departments are doing everything possible to find a solution as quickly as possible.

"We are taking advantage of the flexibility of our processes to minimise economic damage,” he added.

Production of Mini and BMW X models and BMW’s larger model series, including the BMW 5-Series, 6-Series and 7-Series, have not been affected, Reitsma said.