Johannesburg - BMW has confirmed that it will build the next-generation X3 at its Rosslyn Plant in Gauteng.
This marks the end of an era, however, as it will replace 3 Series production as the sedan reverts to being a full import after over three decades of local production.
The changeover does at least reaffirm BMW's commitment to building cars in this country and the deal will bring around R6 billion worth of investment in the local production facility.
BMW says it's too early to confirm projected production volumes, and whether they'll increase or decrease for that matter, but the company has confirmed that, as was the case with the 3 Series, the locally-built cars will be for export as well as local consumption. BMW SA's MD Tim Abbott did however state that he sees this as an opportunity to increase the localisation of components.
But why the changeover?
BMW board member Dr Ian Robertson explained that the realignment of production at Plant Rosslyn is in response to the "continuing growth of the SAV segment worldwide" and added that the X-range will be expanded in the coming years with an X7 that will be built in Spartanburg in the USA. The latter plant will also produce the X3 alongside Rosslyn.
The Rosslyn plant, near Pretoria, dates back to 1968 and has been owned by BMW AG since 1973. Earlier this year, the plant built its millionth 3 Series.