By Matthew Clark
Published Nov. 17, 2015
BMW Group is investing nearly 6 billion rand ($423 million) in the company’s Rosslyn plant in Pretoria with the intent of beginning production of the next-generation X3 model, according to a news release from the company.
BMW will sell the South African-produced model domestically and in Europe, the release said. The X3 model is currently being produced solely at the company’s plant in Greer. BMW recently reported its $1 billion investment in the Greer facility to make it the largest production facility in the BMW network.
The Greer plant will continue to produce the X3 and the new X7 model. According to Ian Robertson, a member of the BMW sales and marketing board and a previous managing director of BMW Group South Africa, “This realignment of production at Plant Rosslyn is in response to the continuing growth of the SAV (sports activity vehicle) segment worldwide and we will be expanding the X-range in the coming years, building the new X7 in Spartanburg, USA.”
According to BMW Group, the X series models have all seen sales increases over the first nine months of 2015. Tim Abbott, managing director for BMW Group South Africa, told Bloomberg that the X series accounts for 28% of the total global sales for BMW.
The Pretoria plant has produced the company’s 3-Series sedan since 2012, and that production will be moved to other plants in BMW’s production network, according to the news release. The company gave no time line as to when X3 production will begin at the Rosslyn facility.
BMW will use half of its investment in upgrading the Rosslyn facility with the other half going toward training, startup costs and suppliers. South Africa has started an incentive program to attract auto manufacturers, and according to the Bloomberg report, the program has also brought Volkswagen A.G. and Ford Motor Co. into the country.