Car (South Africa) - - BRAND FEATURE -

LO­CATED just north of Pre­to­ria, where it’s been for the past 45 years, BMW’S Plant Ross­lyn has not only es­tab­lished it­self as one the most ad­vanced ve­hi­cle-pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in the world, but has also played a cru­cial role in the con­tin­ued suc­cess of the brand whose fa­mous roundel em­blem adorns its fac­tory walls.

While the 2015 JD Power Plat­inum Plant Qual­ity award con rmed the fa­cil­ity as one of the best in the world, what’s re­ally earned Ross­lyn such high es­teem at board­room level in Mu­nich is the build qual­ity of the more than a mil­lion ex­am­ples of BMW’S best­selling 3 Se­ries that have left its pro­duc­tion line.

From build­ing the E30 3 Se­ries since 1983 to the cur­rent, sixth-gen­er­a­tion F30, BMW South Africa has grown to em­ploy more than 40 000 peo­ple di­rectly and in­di­rectly, while mak­ing a signi cant contribution to South Africa’s GDP. Such has been the faith placed in this fa­cil­ity’s fu­ture suc­cess that, in 2015, the BMW Group in­vested more than R6 bil­lion in up­grad­ing the pro­duc­tion line to ready it­self to build what’s turned out to be one of the most im­por­tant mod­els in the brand’s cur­rent port­fo­lio, the third-gen­er­a­tion BMW X3 SAV. So pop­u­lar has this model been since its in­ter­na­tional in­tro­duc­tion in 2017 that BMW has in­vested a fur­ther R160 mil­lion to in­crease the build ca­pac­ity at Ross­lyn in or­der to meet global de­mand.

Larger in most di­men­sions than the sixth-gen­er­a­tion 3 Se­ries it re­places on the pro­duc­tion line, up­grades to Plant Ross­lyn to ac­com­mo­date the BMW X3 have in­cluded a new 26 000 m2 body shop equipped with 288 state-of-theart Kuka ro­bots.

Of course, with the in­tro­duc­tion of new tech­nolo­gies and build­ing pro­cesses comes the need to up-skill and train the work­force tasked with over­see­ing the pro­duc­tion line. To this end, Plant Ross­lyn’s new R72 mil­lion Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence train­ing fa­cil­ity can ac­com­mo­date not only 300 ap­pren­tices a year, but also en­sures each mem­ber of the cur­rent work­force re­mains fully com­mit­ted to the brand’s goals and out­put ex­pec­ta­tions.

With ca­pac­ity to pro­duce 76 000 units a year, Plant Ross­lyn will build both left- and right-hand-drive xdrive20i, xdrive20d, xdrive30i and xdrive30d vari­ants. From a newly up­graded ve­hi­cle-dis­tri­bu­tion fa­cil­ity, three train con­sign­ments car­ry­ing 160 cars each de­part on a weekly ba­sis for des­ti­na­tions through­out Europe.


Ea­ger to main­tain its first-class rank­ing on the Dow Jones Sus­tain­abil­ity In­dex, the BMW Group har­nesses 51% of its global man­u­fac­tur­ing en­ergy needs via re­new­able sources. In the case of Plant Ross­lyn, 30% of its elec­tric­ity re­quire­ments are met by the Group’s Biomass project lo­cated 60 km from the pro­duc­tion line. Here, four gen­er­a­tors con­vert the meth­ane gases pro­duced by some 25 000 graz­ing cows sited on a neigh­bour­ing or­ganic farm into en­ergy that is used at Ross­lyn.

With a BMW Group goal of be­ing car­bon neu­tral by 2020, ad­di­tional sources of en­ergy, in­clud­ing so­lar, have been in­cor­po­rated into BMW’S South African pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity.


Launched glob­ally in Oc­to­ber 2017, the third-gen­er­a­tion BMW X3 is the brand’s en­try into the hugely pro table and ever-grow­ing pre­mi­um­mid­size SUV seg­ment. Shar­ing its mod­ern CLAR plat­form with the new BMW 5 Se­ries, the X3’s shape has evolved into one of the more ath­letic and un­apolo­get­i­cally bold o er­ings in this com­pet­i­tive seg­ment.

While its larger over­all di­men­sions compared with the pre­vi­ous­gen­er­a­tion X3 (in­clud­ing a 50 mm stretch in wheel­base) have freed up ad­di­tional in­te­rior space, at the heart of all BMW mod­els is a fo­cus on the driver. To this end, the new X3’s cen­tre con­sole, in­clud­ing all its appropriately mod­ern in­stru­men­ta­tion in­ter­faces, is an­gled to­wards the driver. In­cor­po­rated within the mod­ern X3 pack­age is the lat­est con­nected tech, in­clud­ing smart­phone in­te­gra­tion and the op­tion of a dig­i­tal re­mote key­fob, as well as ac­tive cruise con­trol and a full bou­quet of semi-au­ton­o­mous driveras­sis­tance pro­grams.

A BMW at heart, the new X3 aims to de­liver all the ver­sa­til­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity as­so­ci­ated with this seg­ment in a pack­age that re­mains fun and fo­cused to drive re­gard­less of whether the owner has opted for one of the more dy­namic M Per­for­mance pack­ages, in­clud­ing up­rated wheels sizes, brakes and suspension or, in­deed, a more ad­ven­tur­ous o -road­fet­tled vari­ant with suit­ably rugged garb. To this end, BMW South Africa o ers ad­vanced driv­ing pro­grammes for both dis­ci­plines, ei­ther at the brand’s Zwartkops train­ing fa­cil­ity, or at its new o -road ex­pe­ri­ence (BMW X Lifestyle Park) within the Water­fall Lifestyle Cen­tre in Midrand.

clock­wise from top The first BMW X3 to be pro­duced at Ross­lyn in April; the M40i is cur­rently the top-of-the-range X3 de­riv­a­tive; 50 mm longer wheel­base than on pre­vi­ous model frees up oo­dles of cabin space; op­tional dig­i­tal key fob.

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