Volkswagen South Africa says that it has produced its one millionth EA111 engine at its Uitenhage plant in the Eastern Cape, hitting the milestone four years after building its 500 000th example.

The local arm of the Wolfsburg-based automaker started producing EA111-family engines back in January 2010. At that time, the engines were used in local models as well as exported to India, China, Taiwan, Mexico and Malaysia (now, however, it seems the only remaining export market for the SA-built EA111 engine is India).

The four-cylinder mill is manufactured in two capacities – 1,4 litres and 1,6 litres – each offered with manual and automatic transmissions. Currently, the engines do duty in the latest Polo Vivo hatchback range, powering five of the six derivatives on offer.

VW says that apart from building the engine locally, the grey cast-iron cylinder block as well as the bearing cap for the block are machined in-house. The engine plant is currently producing more than 450 engines and just over 470 machined engine blocks per day with a two shift pattern run by 192 operators and setters.

“This is the most successful line that we have run in the engine plant since it was opened in 1981. It’s still operating flawlessly and at an output performance level far exceeding the initial target,” said Richard Reid, unit head: engine plant.

VW says the production line is designed in such a way that the output capacity can be adjusted "without affecting the quality" of the product.

“The engine plant’s continued dedication to meeting the strict quality standards set by the Volkswagen Group and continuous achievement of volume targets is a credit to their great team work,” added Thomas Schaefer, chairman and managing director of Volkswagen Group SA.
Volkswagen SA: one millionth EA111