Rosslyn. This week the 300,000th current generation BMW 3 Series Sedan rolls off the production line at the BMW South Africa manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.
The vehicle, a Titanium Silver BMW 335xi, represents a major milestone in 3 Series production at BMW Plant Rosslyn since production began in April 2005. The current generation car now substantially exceeds the production totals of the two previous generations of BMW 3 Series built in South Africa. The third generation BMW 3 Series sedan, which was produced between 1990 and 1998, enjoyed a production run of 92,589 units. Meanwhile, its successor, the fourth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan totalled 269,810 units during the period 1998 to 2005.
This landmark production figure follows the expansion of BMW Plant Rosslyn’s export operations earlier this year. The plant started production of BMW 3 Series xDrive all-wheel drive models for export to left-hand drive markets in February 2011. In addition, BMW Plant Rosslyn started exporting painted BMW 3 Series bodies and hang-on parts to other BMW markets for CKD assembly. These additional export opportunities have resulted in an additional 5,000 units of export production for 2011.
“Although it’s a small production plant in international terms, BMW Plant Rosslyn is an important part of the BMW Group Production Network,” explains BMW South Africa Managing Director, Mr. Bodo Donauer. “Most of our BMW 3 Series Sedan export volume is produced for two of the most demanding customer markets in the world, being the United States and Japan. At the same time, we are only the second BMW Group plant (apart from Plant Munich) that produces the BMW 3 Series Sedan with xDrive.
“Importantly, the R2.2-billion investment we announced in Plant Rosslyn in October 2009 will allow Plant Rosslyn to exceed this milestone when production of the next generation BMW 3 Series begins. Our investment will allow the maximum production capacity of the Plant to increase to 87 000 units per annum beyond the horizon of the current model, depending on the level of international demand. This once again highlights the BMW Group’s commitment to the South African economy and job creation and sustainability,” Donauer concludes.
Over the past 13 years, BMW South Africa has grown its overall production volume by 220%, while its production of cars for export markets has quadrupled. Today, BMW Plant Rosslyn produces an average of 250 BMW 3 Series sedans per day, of which over 80% are directly destined for export markets. To date, about 230,000 units of the current generation BMW 3 Series have been exported to markets such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Korea.