16 March 2009
Volkswagen South Africa has celebrated the export of its 375 000th vehicle with news of an increased export order for approximately 6 000 Polos destined for Europe.
Volkswagen South Africa MD David Powels described the extended Polo export order as a “mini windfall”.
“Our factory was set to shut down completely during the weeks before and after the Easter weekend,” Powels said in a statement this week.
“These plans have now been cancelled, and we will run full production due to this increase in export demand.”
German auto industry support
The increased export order is a direct consequence of the German Auto Industry Financial Support Package, which includes a €2 500 (about R32 269) payment to any driver who buys a new, low-emission passenger car and scraps an existing car that is over nine years old.
“The short-term demand created by the support package has resulted in Volkswagen SA’s receipt of the order for incremental export Polos,” Powels said. “In view of the current uncertain business climate, we welcome this new development.”
He said that over 40% of Volkswagen South Africa’s total planned production volume in 2009 would be exported.
“However, the situation in the global and domestic markets remains extremely volatile and depressed,” Powels cautioned. “As a result, our total overall production for 2009 is approximately 30% down on 2008.”
Volkswagen SA’s initial export of vehicles occurred in the early 1990s with the clinching of an export deal for 12 500 left-hand drive Jettas destined for China.
It then proceeded to win orders for third-generation Golf GTIs to the United Kingdom, a significant order for fourth-generation Golfs to Europe and, in 2004, started exporting Polos and new Golfs to the Asia Pacific region.
Following on its Jetta export heritage, the company secured the order to export the latest Jetta model in May last year to countries including Australia, Japan and Great Britain.
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