/ 20 February 2012

Car investment is economic ‘vote of confidence’

A major car manufacturer is to invest R2.2-billion in the South African economy with a new vehicle series, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Monday.

“[This] is a private-sector vote of confidence in our economy,” Patel said in a speech prepared for delivery at Rosslyn in Pretoria.

The launch of the production of the new 3-series BMW at the company’s Rosslyn plant would create 600 new jobs.

BMW SA exports about 85% of the cars it manufactures. The plant’s current capacity stood at 55 000 units a year. Patel said this was likely to exceed 90 000 units annually with the new investment.

The government’s motor industry development programme would soon be replaced by the automotive production and development programme. The latter would focus on production incentives that calculate benefits on the basis of actual local production value (local content), and not on material cost, as was the practice under the old one. — Sapa