Volkswagen South Africa is shifting the focus of its fully built car export programme from Europe to the Asia Pacific region and extending it to include new Polos as well as Golfs.

Volkswagen South Africa is shifting the focus of its fully built car export programme from Europe to the Asia Pacific region and extending it to include new Polos as well as Golfs.

According to VWSA managing director Hans Christian Maergner, the total volume remains at 30 000 for the year, but with growth potential in the future. "The Far East was not the best option back in 1998 when we started our export programme, but trade conditions have changed so much since then that it is now an attractive destination for Volkswagen SA to export to.

"The Asia Pacific region offers good potential for exports for Volkswagen South Africa, the first shipment of Polos to Australia being a case in point. So far, our exports to the region have gone according to expectation, another factor which sends a strong message of competitiveness within the Group.

"Over the past five years, VWSA has shown itself to be an important cog in the Volkswagen Group, and we have successfully been able to maintain and expand our export programs. This enables us to import top class passenger cars to the South African market at reasonable prices in line with the government's MIDP strategy," he concluded.

In addition to the 30 000 export units, VWSA has contracts to export R2 billion worth of components to Europe and China. These include catalytic converters and car sub-assemblies produced at VWSA's plant in Uitenhage. The Uitenhage plant manufactured 77 000 units last year and Golf exports will soon reach the 175 000 mark.