20 November 2009
Volkswagen South Africa is set to double the number of cars it exports from its plant in the Eastern Cape, after the company won an order to export 55 000 new-generation Polos to countries including the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore in 2010.
The contract, which follows from a multi-billion rand investment programme by the automaker and its component suppliers, will also see the export of 19 000 of the cars to right-hand-drive country destinations around the world by the end of 2009.
This will double Volkswagen SA’s total exports from approximately 28 500 in 2009 to 55 000 in 2010. Production of the new Polo hatch began at the Uitenhage plant in July, and the vehicle is due to go on sale in South Africa from early 2010.
“By the end of 2009, Volkswagen South Africa will have invested R3.5-billion in new plant, local content development and new product,” VW South Africa MD David Powels said at the opening of the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park in Uitenhage this week.
“A further R500-million will be invested in 2010 to complete the process and ensure that the company is well placed to capture future opportunities both in the South African and global markets.”
According to the company, one of the key factors enabling it to secure the contract was the investment of approximately R600-million by suppliers, including Rehau, Bentler, Flextech, Faurecia and Grupo Antolin, in the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park (NMBLP).
“The investment on the part of these five suppliers into the NMBLP has resulted in the creation of 685 highly skilled, new jobs in the Metro with upside potential in coming months,” Powels said.
This has enabled the company to increase local content of the new-generation Polos from below 40% to in excess of 70%.
“The establishment of the NMBLP has been a crucial step in the process to enable Volkswagen to become a globally competitive manufacturer of vehicles in the Eastern Cape,” he said.
As a result of the suppliers’ investment in the park, 77% of suppliers to Volkswagen of South Africa are now based in Nelson Mandela Bay – a factor Powels described as critically important in Volkswagen’s globalisation strategy.
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