Volk­swa­gen in­vests bil­lions in Uiten­hage

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

JOHANNESBURG — Thomas Schaefer, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Volk­swa­gen Group South Africa (VWSA) an­nounced the next phase of ma­jor new in­vest­ments in the fac­tory in Uiten­hage, its sup­plier base and the train­ing of em­ploy­ees for the next gen­er­a­tion of prod­ucts to be man­u­fac­tured in South Africa.

The es­ti­mated R4,5 bil­lion in­vest­ment in­cludes over R3 bil­lion in pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties and qual­ity, around R1,5 bil­lion in lo­cal sup­plier ca­pac­ity and a fur­ther es­ti­mated R22 mil­lion for the de­vel­op­ment and train­ing of em­ploy­ees.

This will be the first time that a ver­sion of the Mod­u­lar Trans­verse Ma­trix plat­form will be utilised in South Africa fea­tur­ing the latest tech­nolo­gies and driver as­sis­tance sys­tems.

This will be built for both the lo­cal and ex­port mar­kets. Fur­ther de­tails will be­come avail­able once VWSA an­nounces which new mod­els will be pro­duced at the Uiten­hage plant.

Be­tween 2007 and 2014 VWSA in­vested some R5,9 bil­lion in South Africa; this was for the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion Polo and Polo Vivo as well as plant and in­fra­struc­ture. The Polo is also pro­duced for ex­ports and some 66 000 four-door Po­los are ex­pected to be ex­ported to mostly right hand drive mar­kets in 2015, a 21% in­crease over 2014. The cur­rent lo­cal­i­sa­tion level is around 72% and the new mod­els are ex­pected to have an even higher level of lo­cal con­tent.

Schaefer also used the op­por­tu­nity to up­date the media on var­i­ous as­pects of the mo­tor in­dus­try and VWSA’s per­for­mance in the lo­cal mar­ket.

“South Africa is not a log­i­cal pro­duc­tion lo­ca­tion for the mo­tor in­dus­try as only 0,6% of the world’s ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion is si­t­u­ated here, said Schaefer. “How­ever due to the strate­gic lo­ca­tion and the po­ten­tial of Africa as a fu­ture mar­ket for ex­ports, as well as the se­cu­rity that the APDP pro­vides for in­vestors, on-go­ing in­vest­ments in our ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing base makes sense.

“Hence the de­ci­sion by our par­ent com­pany to al­low us to em­bark on such a ma­jor new in­vest­ment.

“Ex­ports will again play a key role in our strat­egy go­ing for­ward,” added Schaefer.

“We are very grate­ful to the Board in Ger­many for this vote of con­fi­dence in our coun­try, man­age­ment and em­ploy­ees and we will en­sure that we de­liver on our com­mit­ments.”

Volk­swa­gen Group South Africa has dom­i­nated the pas­sen­ger mar­ket for the last five years and con­tin­ues to do so in 2015 with a year-to-date mar­ket share of 21.4%.

“On-go­ing in­vest­ment in new tech­nolo­gies and prod­ucts will en­sure that Volk­swa­gen is po­si­tioned to con­tinue to be the dom­i­nant player in the South African pas­sen­ger mar­ket,” con­cluded Schaefer. — Reuters.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

‘Be­tween 2007 and 2014 VWSA in­vested some R5,9 bil­lion in South Africa; this was for the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion Polo and Polo Vivo as well as plant and in­fra­struc­ture.’

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