Despite fears that a strong rand and an imminent revision of the Motor Industry Development Plan will be detrimental to South Africa’s automotive export sector in 2005, VWSA expects to boost its vehicle output to overseas markets by 45 per cent this year.

Despite fears that a strong rand and an imminent revision of the Motor Industry Development Plan (MIDP) will be detrimental to South Africa’s automotive export sector in 2005, Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) expects to boost its vehicle output to overseas markets by 45 per cent this year.


“Volkswagen South Africa plans to export 40 000 vehicles and increase component exports by eight per cent to R2,7-billion in 2005. That would enable the manufacturer to import substantial volume in the Volkswagen, Audi and Commercial Vehicle ranges,” VWSA managing director Andreas Tostmann said.


“Changes to the regulations of the MIDP have been expected and aren’t a deterrent to the future of our export programmes,” he said. “A weakening of the rand would make the export business more profitable, of course, but it is important to avoid increases in the labour costs – so ensuring that South African plants remain competitive with those in Eastern European countries.


“Meanwhile, the economy is well managed, interest rates are now at a 24-year low, the Rand is consistent, and consumer and business confidence is at an all-time high. That’s why VWSA expects a total passenger market between 340 000 and 370 000 units in 2005, which could be as much as 11 per cent up on 2004,” he concluded.


On the product side of the business, VWSA will next month launch the all-new Audi A4, Volkswagen T5 Panel Van and Crew Bus. Early April will see the introduction of the new Golf GTI.