Celebrating the milliionth EA111 engine are, from left, engine plant unit head Richard Reid, production diector Jens Bruecker, Numsa shop stewards Zama Silo and Zuko Adams, and VWSA chairnan and managing director Thomas Schaefer. Picture: supplied

Uitenhage - This is not just an engine. This is the one millionth EA111 engine produced at Volkswagen's Eastern Cape plant since production of this twin-cam four, in 1.4 and 1.6-litre derivatives, started here in January 2010, first for the then new Polo and Polo Vivo on the local market and later for export markets as well, including China, India, Taiwan, Mexico and Malaysia.

In addition to assembling the engines in Uitenhage, the grey cast iron cylinder block for the engine and the bearing cap for the block are also machined in-house. About 350 000 EA111 engines have been fitted in locally built Polos and Polo Vivos over the past eight years, with the rermainder exported.

Engine plant unit head Richard Reid said: “This is the most successful line that we have run in the engine plant since it was opened in 1981; we're operating at an a level far exceeding our initial target."

The production line is designed so that output capacity can be adjusted without affecting quality or stability; two shifts, comprising 192 operators and setters, are now producing more than 450 engines and just over 470 machined engine blocks a day. The EA111 engine, is currently fitted to the latest generation Polo Vivo built in Uitenhage and continues to be exported to India.