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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  27 Oct 2008

Motoring: Volkswagen of SA exports 200 000th five-cylinder TDI engine


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Volkswagen of South Africa has manufactured its 200 000th five-cylinder TDI engine for export from its plant in Uitenhage.

Volkswagen of SA announced the R12-billion export contract to supply engines to the Volkswagen Group in 2004. The contract, initially set to run until 2010, has been extended through 2013.

Volkswagen of SA Communications General Manager Bill Stephens said the contract’s required volumes had steadily increased from the first shipment of 27 500 units in 2004, to an anticipated 60 500 units to be shipped in 2008.

He continued: “The engines were first used in the range of Volkswagen LT Vans, a medium commercial vehicle, which has since been replaced by the Volkswagen Crafter model range (gross weight 3,5 to 5 tons), and is part of the Volkswagen of SA Commercial Vehicles range.

“The five-cylinder TDI engine has evolved with changes in the model range. The latest engines are manufactured in four derivatives ranging from 65kW to 120kW. At present, the engines comply with Euro 4 emission standards and will be upgraded to comply with Euro 5 standards from next year.”

The engines are unique, as the cylinder bores are polished with an extremely high pressure water jet. This is to the advantage of the customer as it leads to lower running costs and extends the lifespan of the engine.

Volkswagen of SA invested R240-million in its facilities to successfully manage the contract. The contract has enabled the automotive manufacturer to secure an additional 250 jobs over the period in its engine manufacturing facility in Uitenhage.

Indirectly, at the suppliers involved - Halberg Guss South Africa, Halberg Aluminium, LuK Africa, Sentech Industries, First Pro Engineering, Smiths Plastics and Zealous Automotive – an additional 130 jobs have been created.

“Volkswagen of SA is currently developing a new engine export strategy which will result in additional export opportunities to major overseas markets. The engine manufacturing plant in Uitenhage is a key factor in the company’s future export strategy,” Mr Stephens concluded.

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