By Liabo Setho
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 17 (NNN-SABC) — German luxury car maker BMW says it will invest six billion rand (about 419 million US dollars) at its Rosslyn Plant in Pretoria to enable the plant to produce the next generation of the BMW X3, which will be sold locally and exported to various countries.
It is one of the biggest investments in the local automotive industry. More than three billion rand will be invested in new state-of-the-art facilities while an additional three billion rand will be for suppliers, launch costs and the training of associates.
The X3 is currently built at BMW’s South Carolina plant in the United States. BMW said in a statement here Monday that it wanted to increase the level of content it produced in South Africa.
This investment came barely a week after the South African government re-affirmed its commitment to continue supporting the automotive industry.
The government’s delays of reviewing its current policy in the automotive production and development programme (APDP) had caused anxiety in the sector.
The incentive programme is aimed at steering the automotive industry towards producing 1.2 million vehicles by 2020.
Two years ago, the Rosslyn plant lost production of 1,270 BMW 3 series cars because of a strike in the sector.
Tje APDP has attracted companies such as BMW, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen to set up and invest in factories in the country.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers projects the number of vehicles produced in South Africa to increase to 622,000 units this year. — NNN-SABC