In a surprise announcement today, Groupe PSA (Peugeot and Opel) have confirmed that it has entered into a joint-venture agreement with the Namibia Development Corporation to start an assembly plant in Walvis Bay.
The first vehicles to be assembled will be sister products, the Peugeot 3008 and its German sibling the Opel Grandland X, which is on the radar for South African introduction later this year. Assembly will start in the second half of this year and the aim is to produce an annual volume of 5000 units by 2020 to meet SACU (Southern African Customs Union) demand – included are South Africa, Lesotha, Swaziland and Namibia. Other products will follow should there be sufficient demand.
According to PSA the agreement is part of the firm's "Push to Pass" strategic profitable growth plan, developed to, "satisfy customer expectations in all the regions in which the Group operates." The PSA Group has a clearly stated ambition to develop internationally by directly producing within Middle East and Africa 70% of the vehicles sold in the region.
The decision to manufacture Opel models in Namibia was made and implemented in a record time frame, less than 4 months after the announcement of the PACE! Strategic plan on November 9, 2017. Executive Vice President for Middle East and Africa Region at Groupe PSA, Jean-Christophe Quemard said: "This investment in Namibia is part of the long-term strategy of Groupe PSA to increase its sales in Africa and the Middle East, consistent with our target to sell one million vehicles in 2025. This new capacity will serve regional markets with products in line with our Opel and Peugeot customer expectation”.