VW's Polo Vivo plant in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Supplied

Pretoria - Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) has installed 320 new robots in the body shop at its vehicle manufacturing plant in Uitenhage as part of the R3 billion investment in its production facilities for the production of at least two new vehicle models.

Thomas Schaefer, the chairman and managing director of VWSA, said on Monday that the robots would perform monotonous, high-precision work and allowed body shop employees to focus on tasks that required human involvement.

Better quality

“The introduction of robots will improve the ergonomics in the body shop as it reduces strain on our people. The introduction of the specialised robots into the body shop paves the way for higher volumes and even better quality,” he said.

Schaefer said the technology being installed would enable VWSA to produce more than one model on one single assembly line.

The carmaker said last year that it would be investing R4.5 billion into South Africa by next year, with the R3 billion to be invested in its production facilities also raising annual production capacity of its plant by 50 percent to 150 000 units.

A further R1.5 billion is to be invested in the development of local supplier capacity and R29 million on the development of employees.