Workers at BMW plant Rosslyn celebrate their one-millionth 3 Series sedan. Picture: Howling Hound

Rosslyn, Pretoria - BMW South Africa reached a major milestone this week as the one-millionth 3 Series sedan rolled off its production line at Rosslyn.

BMW SA chairman Harald Kruger - who is also, appropriately, the member of the management board of the BMW group responsible for production - was at the plant on Thursday morning for the occasion.

"When it was established in 1973, Rosslyn was the first BMW plant outside of Germany," he said. "Now it's one of 30 plants in 14 countries, but it's still a great example of a successful market entry through local production."

LEADING EXPORTER

But, he added, Rosslyn doesn't produce cars just for the South African market. From the beginning SA-built cars have been exported internationally and 3 Series exports from Rosslyn increased by more than 17 percent in 2014, making it the country's leading exporter of premium cars and components.

The more than 2967 workers at the plant built 68 771 3 Series sedans last year for the local and export markets, including a number with all-wheel drive, mostly for the North American market.

BMW SA managing director Tim Abbott pointed out: "Building all-wheel drive vehicles requires a high level of skill on the production line, which the workers at Rosslyn have shown they have."