Volkswagen SA has landed a contract with parent company VW AG to manufacture right-hand drive Golf 5 cars for export to the Far East and is investing R750 million to gear up its Uitenhage plant.

Volkswagen SA has landed a contract with parent company VW AG to manufacture right-hand drive Golf 5 cars for export to the Far East and is investing R750 million to gear up its Uitenhage plant.


Earlier this year, the German multinational announced that it would invest R6 billion in its Chinese joint ventures, but the export deal underlines that VW AG still views South Africa as a profitable production base despite the rand's strength.


A Golf 5 production line is now being installed at Volkswagen's Uitenhage factory. Commercial production of the vehicle will start this year, and will coincide with the phase-out of production of its predecessor, the Golf 4, which is also made at Uitenhage.


Uitenhage will export the Golf 5 to Asia, particularly Japan, which like SA drives on the right. New Volkswagen SA managing director Andreas Tostmann said export volumes would be maintained at between 30 000 and 35 000 this year.


Tostmann also said that VW AG was also considering building Jettas in Uitenhage.


Fiat, meanwhile, is set to announce next Thursday that it will produce a right-hand-drive Fiat model for the global market, with a new investment in South Africa likely to be worth several hundreds of millions of rand, reported.


Fiat is expected to make its new export cars at Rosslyn, where it has a production facility within the Nissan factory.