The start of construction on the new, state-of-the art Bodyshop at BMW South Africa’s Rosslyn Plant is a strong visual reminder of the expansion that comes hand-in-hand with the R6bn investment announced by the automotive giant in 2015.
CEO BMW South Africa and Sub-Sahara, Tim Abbott, was joined today by Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina, and Plant Director Stefan Huelsenberg at the ceremonial ground breaking at the company’s recently acquired area of land, adjacent to its current plant.
The investment represented at the time the biggest in the local automotive industry and reaffirms the long term commitment of the BMW Group to South Africa. It will enable Plant Rosslyn to produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3. The plant secured its status in the BMW production network in 2015, with a prestigious platinum award in the JD Power quality survey. “Our passion for perfection at Plant Rosslyn has demonstrated that we are highly competitive within the global BMW production network both in terms of cost of production and quality. We are excited about the future prospects of Plant Rosslyn and cannot wait to start with the production of the next generation BMW X3,” said Abbott.
The new Bodyshop is a significant element of the R6bn investment, with funding also allocated to other infrastructure and operational enhancements, suppliers, launch costs and employee training. Construction of the new Bodyshop is planned for completion in the first half of 2017, and will be followed by facility installation, testing and commissioning.
Deputy Minister Masina congratulated BMW on their latest milestone: “We look forward to working with BMW, as a corporate citizen that continues to do great work in South Africa. Your investment will expand the industrial base in South Africa,” he said.
New Bodyshop takes state-of-the-art to the next level
The new Bodyshop will see a 50% expansion in size to 26000 m2, up from currently 17000m2. Around 300 robots are expected to be in operation in the future. It will set the benchmark in the local automotive industry, and give BMW South Africa a competitive advantage in the global group. “This expansion will result in an increase in the number of employees in the new Bodyshop, and the increased robotics will allow us to empower employees with new skills to run these new technologies,” says Plant Director Stefan Huelsenberg.
The production of the next generation BMW X3 at Plant Rosslyn will replace the BMW 3 Series Sedan, which will be allocated to other plants within the global BMW production network. BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, USA, will also continue to produce the next generation BMW X3. Preparation of the plant for the next generation X3 will happen alongside current production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan until the end of its lifecycle.
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