GMSA wins R6bn US export contract

2 July 2013

General Motors South Africa (GMSA) and component manufacturer Tenneco South Africa have been awarded a R6-billion contract to export catalytic converters for GM’s next-generation V-6 engines to the United States.

The converters will be manufactured at Tenneco’s clean air plant in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and will be used for vehicles sold in the US from 2015 to 2022.

GMSA and Tenneco have been in partnership for over 12 years to produce catalytic converters for the US market, and current export levels are 2.6-million converters per year for use on 17% of all vehicles manufactured by General Motors around the world.

‘Supporting strategic export growth’

“The decision to award this contract to South Africa is a great show of support by our parent company, as it comes ahead of a clear legislative framework by the South African government to support the strategic growth of exports,” GM Africa’s managing director, Mario Spangenberg, said in a statement last week.

The programme will provide a boost for the Eastern Cape economy as it will create employment in manufacturing, supply and support services.

The country’s mining sector will also benefit from the programme with a projected need for 10 tonnes of platinum group metals over the duration of the project.

“Supplier operations in South Africa are competing with other operations around the globe. In order to attract business, suppliers need to be globally competitive in the critical areas of both cost and productivity,” said GM’s international operations vice- president for global purchasing, Johnny Saldanha.

“A key characteristic of vehicle manufacturing is that we often have to plan as far as five years in advance for the next vehicle programmes.

“Tenneco and General Motors have long and proud associations in South Africa spanning many years. We are delighted to have been selected by GM for this critically important programme,” said Tenneco country manager, Gary Keen.

SAinfo reporter