BMW announced today that it will begin producing the X3 at its Rosslyn plant. The 3 Series that is currently built at the Rosslyn plant will be given the boot in favour of the mid-size SUV.
It’s not a simple switch-over from building a 3 Series to suddenly producing an X3. BMW Group will invest R3 billion in new, state-of-the-art facilities at Rosslyn. It will then invest another R3 billion in launch costs, training of associates and suppliers.
BMW X3 in favour over 3 Series
As current market tendencies lean more towards SUVs and Crossovers BMW is looking to expand production of its SUVs. The X3 will continue to be built in the USA along with the forthcoming X7. South Africa will add additional supply for the X3 globally as it will be exported like the 3 Series currently is. The decision comes as the 3 Series market share has somewhat been cannibalised by the 2 Series and 4 Series. The result is less demand for the 3 Series that has been BMW’s bread and butter sales icon for decades.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Rob Davies, says that the investment is testament to the important partnership that exists between business and government as well as the role that business is playing in the development of the economy. “We are excited at the prospect of BMW Rosslyn plant as home to the next generation of the BMW X3. For us this is a boost to our industrial policy objective of positioning South Africa as a manufacturing hub for high valued consumer products. A few days ago we announced the findings of our mid-cycle review of the APDP, which reaffirmed our commitment to providing continued support to the automotive industry for the short to medium term and trust that this provides the industry with policy certainty necessary for long term investment planning. As we change production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan programme, it is our expectation that the new generation X3 programme will make a telling contribution to the long term development of the sector through higher production volumes, local value addition and inclusion of previously excluded groups in the sector.”
The BMW plant at Rosslyn was recently been awarded Platinum Plant Quality status by J.D Power. The stats actually put the Rosslyn plant at the top of all plants around the world, with the least issues per 100 cars produced.