BMW planning R6bn boost for Rosslyn
Pretoria - Rosslyn is set to become the capital city’s “zone of choice” following a R6 billion injection into its automotive industry.
BMW South Africa said the multi-billion rand investment - among the industry’s biggest yet in South Africa - would be channelled towards its existing plant at Rosslyn.
The decision has been welcomed by the business sector. Fanie du Plessis, chief executive of the Capital City Business Chamber, said it was important to note that Rosslyn was situated in the northern part of Pretoria, an area referred to as a zone of choice in business circles.
“There is going to be a lot of job creation for people in the northern areas of the city, such as Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa, who have always had to travel far to get to work,” he said
Chrys Haipas, strategic development director at the business chamber, said South Africa was the largest automotive manufacturing country in Africa - the world’s continent of choice for economic growth.
“The investment in the automotive sector is definitely in line with the country’s vision for manufacturing development and exporting,” he added.
The BMW SA said it was reaffirming its commitment to the country with the investment, by pumping money and resources into its Rosslyn plant.
X MARKS THE SPOT
The investment will enable the Rosslyn plant to produce the next generation of the BMW X3, which will be sold locally and exported to various countries across the world. It will replace the popular 3 Series sedan that the plant has been manufacturing since 1994.
Tim Abbott, managing director of BMW Group South Africa Tim Abbott said: “ We believe there is an opportunity to increase the localisation of components when we start producing this car.”
Half the investment would be used for state-of-the-art facilities and the remainder for suppliers, launch costs and training, he explained.
The Rosslyn plant produced 92 000 units of the BMW 3 Series between 1994 to 1998, at about 19 000 cars a year.
The fourth generation of the model was built between 1998 and 2005 and 269 000 units were assembled at the plant.
The fifth generation ended production with around 342 000 cars between 2005 to 2012.
Since the start of production of the sixth generation, some 200 000 units have been built.
In 2014 production increased to 68 721 - from 67 662 the previous year - while exports increased to a record 61 735 units.
This year, production of about 70 000 units is projected.
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