: R2.2 Billion Investment in BMW Rosslyn Plant
Recent Gauteng Business News
Following in-depth negotiations with government, the BMW Group announced today that it will invest an additional R2.2 billion at BMW Plant Rosslyn, triggering the introduction of the newest BMW vehicle and production technology at the Plant and within its local supplier network. The investment will enable maximum plant capacity to increase from 60 000 to 87 000 units, while securing production in South Africa for the future.
The investment announcement follows the signing of a Letter of Commitment with theDepartment of Trade and Industry (the dti), which will honour the investment under the new support scheme for the motor industry, the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP).
The APDP will replace the current support programme for the automotive industry, the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP), in 2012.
At the same time, the German automaker announced a training program for 1,100 associates at Plant Rosslyn. The training program commenced in early September and will run for the next 18 months, providing a MERSETA-accredited qualification to the associates. It also serves to avoid a ‘no work, no pay’ situation, during scheduled Plant shutdown periods, for associates who have not opted into BMW’s flexible Working Time Account. BMW is confident that this program will be given the support of government’s well-timed Training Scheme, announced in August.
BMW Plant Rosslyn became the BMW Group’s first manufacturing facility outside of Germany in 1975.
“The BMW Group has never shied away from making decisions for the future in spite ofthe current tough conditions the motor industry is facing,” explains BMW South Africa Managing Director, Bodo Donauer. “By making an announcement of this magnitude during the worst known crisis the automotive industry has faced in recent times, we not only send a positive message to our staff about the long-term sustainability of BMW South Africa, but also a positive message about the future of South Africa as a whole.”
However, Donauer stresses that it is important for the open issues with regard to the APDP to be resolved quickly.
“We have experienced that Government is certainly willing to support the entire automotive industry but this willingness seems to be overshadowed by the many hurdles encountered in creating a program that fits all stakeholders,” says Donauer. “It’s high time that all of these stakeholders – the OEMs, the suppliers and government – get beyond these hurdles quickly, in a unified effort, so that the automotive industry can concentrate on its core business. And by doing so, and maintaining and growing our operations, fulfil the most important prerequisite to support government’s call to sustainand create decent jobs in the process.
Business News Sector Tags: Motoring|