BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) last week dispatched its first made-in-South Africa X3 vehicles for export, transporting more than 100 units on 27 wagons via train to the Durban port, with Europe the final destination.
“[This is] the result of a R6.1-billion investment into the country and the culmination of three years of hard work and planning,” says BMW SA CEO Tim Abbott.
“It’s really exciting to know that BMW Group Plant Rosslyn has joined the enormous success story of BMW’s X models globally, and goes to show the power of combining good industrial policy and foreign investment.”
The BMW Vehicle Distribution Centre in Rosslyn, Pretoria, can accommodate up to three train dispatches a week, with each transport capable of carrying up to 160 cars.
In February 2018, the plant produced the last of 1 191 604 BMW 3 Series cars built over five model generations and 35 years.
Upgrading the plant for X3 production represented the largest infrastructure upgrade in the plant’s history.
BMW X3 production was initially planned with a maximum capacity of 71 000 units a year. However, the German car maker under-estimated the demand for the new BMW X3 and, after a further R160-million investment to increase line-speed, the maximum capacity of the plant was raised almost 10%, to 76 000 units a year.
Within this maximum capacity, BMW SA is confident the plant will produce record volumes in 2019.
BMW X-model sales make up more than 30% of BMW’s global sales volume.