SA’s first locally-built BMW X3

Some of the best cars in the world are built in South Africa, the latest addition being the BMW X3, both for local consumption and export.

BMW Group South Africa dispatched the first South African BMW X3 cars for export in the beginning of May 2018. More that 100 units on 27 wagons were transported via train to the Port if Durban.

BMW SA made the decision after committing to a 6.1 billion rand investment in its Rosslyn production faculty in Tshwane. A monumental change, as the facility previously only assembled BMW 3 Series’ for 35 years, winning praise for the quality of its export products.

The decision to convert its SA production assets to the BMW X3, from producing BMW 3 series’, is excellent news for the local economy, not only good for the initial investment but also when considering the current and future automotive demand dynamics.

Production of 3 Series’ staggered and was decommissioned during February, after BMW’s local staff built an amazing 1 191 604 units for local and international customers.  In March, BMW built 78 X3’s, all for local consumption, while testing the new industrial engineering and assembly processes.

April was the second month for local production and the total volume climbed up to 449 X3’s. 244 Cars were distributed to local dealers whilst 205 were shipped overseas, mostly to Europe.

As the X3 production gains momentum and scales to efficiency, BMW expect Rosslyn’s SUV assembly output to peak at 76 000 units annually, 10% more than initially expected.

Production is planned at just over 6000 X3’s a month. At 76 000 units per year, the X3 project will match the total number of 3 Series’ built in Rosslyn over 35 years half the amount of time, providing an indication of how much bigger and significant the Rosslyn asset has become for BMW over time.

-Nadene van der Mescht

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