The BMW Group has announced it will invest a total of R6-billion at its Rosslyn factory in Pretoria over the next few years.
The investment, one of the biggest in the local automotive industry, will enable Rosslyn to produce the next-generation X3, which will be sold locally and exported.
Production of the X3 spells the end of the locally-produced 3 Series Sedan, which will now be allocated to other factories within the global BMW production network.
BMW’s Spartanburg factory in South Carolina, USA, will continue to produce the next-generation X3.
WATCH: Holy cow! BMW is running its Pretoria factory on dung
Tim Abbott, managing director of BMW South Africa, said: “The potential for Africa as a future market for exports as well as the newly reviewed Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) enables South Africa to play a significant role in the manufacturing industry and production of high quality cars.
“We are excited about the future prospects of Plant Rosslyn and cannot wait to start with the production of the next generation BMW X3. We believe there is an opportunity to increase the localisation of components when we start producing this car.”
— Edward Makwana (@EdwardMakwana) November 16, 2015
More than R3-billion will be invested in new state-of-the-art facilities and operations of the plant and an additional R3-billion will be for suppliers, launch costs and training of associates. Start of a new era: The next-generation X3 will be built locally ending production of the SA-built 3 Series Sedan. The X-factor Why build an X-badged BMW in SA? Dr Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG, says that the BMW’s X models proved to be very desirable, since the launch of the automaker’s X5 in 1999. Robertson said: “These vehicles now represent some of the most successful model ranges in the BMW line-up, accounting for 28% of our total global sales. This realignment of production at Plant Rosslyn is in response to the continuing growth of the SAV segment worldwide and we will be expanding the X-range in the coming years, building the new X7 in Spartanburg, USA.” Rosslyn – heart of BMW in SA Production at BMW Plant Rosslyn dates back to 1968, when Praetor Monteerders began assembling cars, utilising BMW engines and drive-trains fitted to Hans Glas sheet metal pressed and shipped from Dingolfing in Germany. In 1973, BMW AG took over full shareholding and established BMW Group South Africa (Pty) Ltd with BMW Plant Rosslyn becoming the BMW Group’s first manufacturing facility outside of Germany. Since then, the BMW Group has been a major investor in South Africa with Rosslyn moving from a limited vehicle-production plant that merely assembled vehicles to a world-class facility, capable of producing highly customised cars for customers globally. Production of 3 Series in SA: By the numbers In 2014, BMW 3 Series Sedan production volume at Plant Rosslyn increased by 1.6% to 68,721 (2013: 67 662) while exports increased by over 17% to a record 61,735 units. This mass export secured BMW South Africa’s position as the country’s leading exporter of premium vehicles. For 2015, production of around 70 000 units is projected. • The third-generation 3 Series (E36) at Rosslyn produced around 92 000 units from 1994 to 1998 or around 19 000 cars per year. • The fourth-generation 3 Series (E46) was built from 1998 to 2005. Rosslyn was responsible for approximately 269 000 units or around 38 500 cars per year. • The fifth-generation 3 Series (E90) ended production with around 342 000 units or around 49 000 cars per year, having been built from 2005 to 2012. • Since the start of production of the sixth generation BMW 3 Series (F30) in 2012, around 200 000 units have been built at Plant Rosslyn.