Production line machinery for the new X3 is ready. Picture: BMW SA

Rosslyn, Gauteng - BMW is to pump yet another R160 million into its Rosslyn plant to speed up production.

That’s on top of the R6 billion investment announced in November 2015 to rebuild the production line for the new X3, which will be built here for the local market and for export to Europe, starting in the first half of 2018.

The extra input will increase the new production line’s maximum capacity by almost 10 percent, from 71 000 a year to 76 000 - which, if it’s realised, would be the highest yet in the plant’s 44 year history.

Success story

BMW South Africa CEO Tim Abbott said the group had been encouraged to plan for increased production by the unexpected success of its SUV range worldwide. X-models accounted for more than 30 percent of BMW sales in 2016, he said - and one in four of those was an X3.

The production line machinery was ready, he said, and the staff had been trained in the new technology; supplier development was in progress, he added, and he was confident that the new X3 would have more local content than the outgoing 3 Series, which would continue to be built at Rosslyn until early in the new year.