BMW South Africa has successfully gained accreditation to export the new F30 BMW 3 Series to China.
The Rosslyn, Pretoria-based outfit is the first South African car manufacturer since the implementation of the Motor Industry Development Plan (MIDP) to receive a clearance permit to export vehicles to China from the Chinese authorities.
Following a comprehensive audit conducted by a team from the China Quality Certification (CQC) Centre, BMW South Africa’s Rosslyn plant met the standards for production and quality management required for the permit – known as the China Quality Certification. This development allows BMW to export the new BMW 3 Series to China, a market where BMW sales are currently growing at a rate of 40 per cent per annum, from later this year.
Between 2009 and 2012, the BMW Group invested some R2.2 billion in the Rosslyn plant, which re-opened in March with the launch of the new BMW 3 Series.
Bodo Donauer, BMW SA’s Managing Director, explains that Rosslyn’s production capacity will increase dramatically in the coming years and will ultimately exceed 90 000 units per annum.
“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 3 900 units to China.”
Roughly 50 per cent of the vehicles manufactured at the Rosslyn plant are exported to markets such as the US (the plant’s biggest export market). The remainder of the cars will be shared among the local and African markets, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.