BMW SA to export 3 Series to China
BMW South Africa has become the first car manufacturer in the country to get clearance from the Chinese authorities to export vehicles to China.
The permit - known as the China Quality Certification - was recently awarded to the company's Rosslyn plant north of Pretoria, after an audit by a team from the CQC Centre confirmed that Rosslyn's quality management was in line with world standards.
This allows BMW to export the new 3 Series to China, one of the fastest-growing major markets in the world, from later this year, following an investment of about R2.2 billion between 2009 and 2012 in the Rosslyn plant, which re-opened in March with the launch of the new Series.
BMW sales in China are growing at more than 40 percent a year.
The South African-built Threes will go a long way towards meeting that demand and BMW SA managing director Bodo Donauer said production capacity at Rosslyn would increase dramatically in the coming years, up to 90 000 a year.
“The China certification bodes well, not only for our sustainability as a company, but also for the South African motor industry,” he explained. “Our Chinese exports will start small - about 3900 in 2012 - but this market will eventually make up about 10 percent of our exports.
Rosslyn started production in 1973.
It was the first BMW plant to be opened outside of Europe and currently exports about half its cars to the US (its biggest export market) while the rest of the production is shared between the domestic and African markets, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.