BMW Group South Africa has confirmed it plans to resume production of the X3 at Plant Rosslyn on 18 May 2020.

The Munich-based firm’s local arm began its shutdown of the Rosslyn factory in mid-March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, before South Africa headed into lockdown.

Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, said some of the group's German plants, along with Oxford (United Kingdom), San Luis Potosí (Mexico) and Rosslyn here in South Africa, would re-open on “18 May at the earliest”.

A BMW Group SA communications official confirmed to CARmag.co.za the firm planned to resume production on 18 May, adding preparations were already underway.

Meanwhile, Zipse suggested production at BMW’s various plants would ramp up in a “successive, structured process” strictly aligned with conditions and demand in the respective markets. He said the company would initially restart production with just one shift, with a transition towards two-shift operation depending on “further development in the markets”.

Zipse added “clear rules” for employees on how to adhere to measures to protect against infection had already been outlined. Examples he cited included facemasks (if a minimum distance of 1,5 m could not be maintained), “one-way traffic” rules for walkways and assigned seating on plant buses.

BMW Group SA manufactures the X3 (for both the local market and export) at the Rosslyn factory in Pretoria after switching from producing the 3 Series sedan in 2018.


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