27 February 2015
The one-millionth vehicle, a BMW 3 Series Sedan, rolled off the assembly line at BMW’s South African manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, on Thursday.
Established in 1973, the Rosslyn plant was BMW Group’s first plant outside of Germany.
“Globalisation has been an inherent part of our corporate strategy for more than four decades,” Harald Kruger, CEO of BMW South Africa and member of the Management Board of BMW AG responsible for production.
The South African production site “represents a cornerstone” of BMW’s global production network of 30 sites in 14 countries, Kruger said, and it remained “a vivid example of a successful market entry through local production”.
BMW has been producing vehicles in South Africa since 1973. (Image: BMW SA)
BMW cars made in South Africa are also successful on the international stage. Since its inception, and before the establishment of a dedicated international automobile industry, BMW South Africa has exported cars.
In 2014, BMW 3 Series Sedan exports from the Rosslyn line increased by more than 17%, which helped solidify BMW South Africa’s position as the country’s leading exporter of premium vehicles.
BMW South Africa directly and indirectly employs more than 43 000 people: more than 3 700 associates at the plant and at the national sales organisation, as well as more than 3 700 dealership staff and about 36 000 first-tier supplier employees.
In 2014, the more than 2 900 workers at the Rosslyn plant built 68 771 BMW 3 Series Sedans for the local and export markets.
“With a high demand for all-wheel drive vehicles in markets such as the North American Free Trade Agreement region huge potential exists for export numbers to increase. In addition, production of the xDrive units requires skilled and highly trained production workers, which Plant Rosslyn has proved it has,” Wheels24.com reported Tim Abbott, the MD of BMW SA, as saying.