BMW South Africa has broken into the massive Chinese market after securing a clearance permit from the Chinese authorities to export its new 3 series production to the Asian giant.
In a statement BMW South Africa said it was the first car manufacturer in the country, since the implementation of the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP), to receive the permit – known as the China Quality Certification – for its Rosslyn manufacturing plant north of Pretoria. The MIDP was positioned as key pillar to South Africa’s industrial development plan.
Bodo Donauer, BMW SA’s Managing Director, said “The China certification is a great vote of confidence in our plant and our people. It bodes well not only for our sustainability as a company, but also for the broader motoring industry in South Africa,” said Donauer.
“Whilst our Chinese exports will start at a small level at first, the plan is for this market to ultimately make up around 10% of our total export volume. In 2012, we plan to export around 3900 units to China.”
Donauer added that Rosslyn’s production capacity will increase dramatically in the coming years and will ultimately exceed 90 000 units per annum.
The China Quality Certification was awarded after a comprehensive audit was carried out by a team from the CQC Centre confirmed that Rosslyn’s production and quality management systems were in line with world standards.
The move follows an investment of some R2.2 billion between 2009 and 2012 by the BMW Group in its Rosslyn plant, which re-opened in March with the launch of the all-new BMW 3 Series.
BMW sales in China are currently growing at a rate of more than 40% per annum. The South African-built vehicles will go a long way towards addressing the booming demand in this market.
Currently, Plant Rosslyn exports about 50% of the vehicles it produces to the US which the biggest export market for the plant. The remainder of the cars will be shared among the local and African markets, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
These exports were made possible by significant investment by the BMW Group since 1994. With more than R10-billion invested, BMW South Africa has led the local motor industry in a number of respects in terms of production and export. At the same time, BMW’s development of its production and export programme has been the catalyst for the company’s sustainable growth and contribution to the South African economy.
The Rosslyn facility was the first BMW plant to be established outside of Europe in 1973.