9 May 2008
Port Elizabeth-based Volkswagen South Africa has secured a contract to export the latest version of the Jetta sedan to countries that also use right-hand-drive vehicles, enabling the company to achieve record export volumes this year.
In a statement this week, the company said that its South African operations would export in excess of 40 000 vehicles in 2008, a figure that includes the new export contract for 10 260 VW Jettas to countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Great Britain and Ireland.
“The Volkswagen world-wide group posted record sales in 2007 which continued into the first quarter of 2008, placing the group’s world-wide production facilities under capacity pressure,” said VW South Africa MD David Powels. “As a result, Volkswagen of South Africa has been given the opportunity to build 5th generation Jettas for these key right hand drive markets.”
The additional export order is above existing plans to export 21 000 5th generation Golfs and 8 800 5th generation Polos in 2008 to various countries in the Asia Pacific region, with the bulk of the vehicles going to Japan.
Powels said the order provided the perfect opportunity for the local operation to demonstrate to both the Volkswagen Group and its customers around the world that South Africa was capable of producing world-class quality products.
“This additional export contract is particularly welcomed during a period when volumes in the domestic market are under pressure from macro economic factors well-known to us all,” he said.
“We plan to build around 100 000 vehicles in our plant in Uitenhage (in the Eastern Cape province) this year, of which 40% will be exported.”
Volkswagen of South Africa will celebrate a number of export milestones in 2008 – by the end of April, 100 000 5th generation Golfs will have been exported into countries in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, by the end of June, Volkswagen of South Africa will have exported a total of 350 000 vehicles into various markets around the world.
Motor Industry Development Programme
Powels said that VW South Africa had embraced the principles of the Motor Industry Development Programme from its inception, which has enabled the company to embark on an aggressive export strategy that is optimised not only for fully built up vehicle exports, but also for engine and component export contracts.
“In fact, the export business is at the core of our business strategy going into the future,” he said.
“It is critical that the Government not only clarify the future of the Motor Industry Development Programme on an urgent basis, but also structure it in a way that continues to encourage the South African manufacturing industry to optimise production platforms and maximise production volumes to both domestic and export markets.”
Powels said that the Volkswagen Group had been extremely supportive of VW South Africa’s export initiatives, and the latest contract to manufacture and export the newest generation of Jettas to key markets was a clear indication of the confidence that the group had in the local operations.
“Together with the Volkswagen Group, we are developing an aggressive long-term export strategy for Volkswagen of South Africa, which will enable it to continue to import the premium segment Audi brand, and the entire Volkswagen commercial vehicle range,” he said.
“We are confident regarding the longer-term prospects for Volkswagen of South Africa as a volume manufacturer of globally competitive vehicles.”
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