Production of the BMW X3 has started at BMW Group's facility in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.
The BMW Group plant has a maximum capacity of 76 000 vehicles every year, but the big and important number here is the R6.1 billion investment into South Africa. The Rosslyn plant previously assembled 3 Series sedans for both local and international markets, but given the demand of the SUV, BMW Group has switched production to the X3.
The investment announcement came back in 2015 and over the past three years, the factory has been retooling and modifying its facilities to manufacture the X3. Thanks to what BMW claims are "three years of hard work and planning", the X3 production has started on time. The Rosslyn plant was the first factory to be built by the BMW Group outside of its homeland in Germany and the 3 Series was built for 35 years. That's almost 1.2 million cars assembled over this period!
Tim Abbott, CEO of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, says the successful ramp-up of production of the BMW X3 at Rosslyn is a vote of confidence in the country and in BMW Group South Africa’s associates. “The allocation of production of such a crucial model to our plant is about as big a vote of confidence as it gets,” Abbott says. “The demand for the BMW X3 globally is powerful, and ramping up on time and to the right standards is vital to the model’s success. I have full confidence in our associates and plant management at Rosslyn. This is the team that won the coveted JD Power Platinum award in 2015, showing that a South African plant can lead the world in terms of quality,” Abbott says.