BMW committed to SA

BMW SA is not ceasing its production in South Africa, a joint statement issued by the company and the country's Department of Trade and Industry (dti) says, however the country has lost out on a significant contract for BMW SA to build a new BMW model as the company had frozen its local expansion plans because of strikes in the automotive sector.

The CEO of BMW SA Bodo Donauer on Wednesday met with South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies and re-iterated that it remains 100 percent committed to the ongoing production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan at Rosslyn and is in "no way, shape or form threatening any disinvestment from the region".

He acknowledge that it was a matter of fact that lengthy strike action in the automotive sector and the consequent non-supply of 15.8 percent of annual BMW 3 Series volume, most of which was destined for major export markets, had cost BMW South Africa an opportunity to compete for a potential second model.

The company envisioned this model would be "produced alongside the BMW 3 Series Sedan in a second production line, if it had been awarded to South Africa".

According to the statement, there was "an open discussion" and the parties discussed how they could work together to create a sustainable environment for BMW South Africa to compete for similar additional investments in the future, should the opportunities arise.

Dr Davies reiterated that the dti and the government remained committed to supporting the development of motor manufacturing in South Africa and both parties committed themselves to participate in ongoing discussions with all stakeholders in the industry to create a climate to ensure its continuing growth.

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