In 2019, a new production record was achieved when 161 954 vehicles were made, contributing materially to the overall total of four-million that was achieved for the brand towards the end of 2020. The 520 963m² Kariega facility is one of four plants worldwide that makes right-hand drive Polos but the only one in the world that makes the Polo GTI.
Ford Motor Company makes engines (pictured) for the Ford Ranger pickup and Everest SUV at its Struandale plant and it has committed to invest R600-million for modernising and growing its local operations.
This is a part of a bigger investment which includes the vehicle assembly operations in Gauteng. Ford has initiated discussions about the feasibility of developing a sophisticated rail corridor between Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. The company wants to send parts to Pretoria and export cars through the Port of Gqeberha.
The Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is host to the first phase of a major investment by Chinese automotive manufacturer Beijing International Automotive Corporation (BAIC). The total investment by BAIC will total R11-billion and significantly add to the province’s already strong reputation for excellence in the automotive sector. Both Coega SEZ and the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) have areas dedicated to automotive and automotive components manufacture.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s new C-Class project (W206) has sparked several other related investments, which collectively will create 2 078 new jobs over two years. Most of this is
happening in the ELIDZ, which has made a commitment to localising the 2nd- and 3rd-tier
automotive components that are not currently in South Africa.
The production of the C-Class vehicle is a technological marvel and the plant regularly
wins international awards for quality. The installation of a new sequencing centre, to be installed by Automotive Logistics Solutions (an AHI company), will make the assembly line even more efficient. Home-grown manufacturer of powertrain and catalytic converter assembly systems, Jendamark, exports to 18 countries.
Continental Tyre South Africa is producing a 19-inch tyre for the first time at its New Brighton facility in Port Elizabeth. Isuzu SA has completed its consolidation project, with truck and bakkie manufacturing now taking place at its new headquarters in Struandale, Port Elizabeth.