Volkswagen plant gets additional export order

Volkswagen South Africa’s Engine plant in Uitenhage is again operating at full capacity after receiving an additional export order from China. 

The plant is scheduled to produce 107,200 engines in 2012 of which 50,200 engines are for the locally built Polo and Polo Vivo models, while 57,000 engines will be produced for three export markets, namely India, Mexico and China which is Volkswagen South Africa’s biggest export market for engines.The additional order of over 12,000 engines means that the Engine plant will now run at full capacity with three working shifts for the remainder of the year.

“Exports are a key element of our business model and whilst our Polo exports tend to grab the headlines, engines and components form an integral part of our export strategy,” said David Powels, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa.

“This additional order confirms our ability to supply our Group customers. With the uncertainty in world markets at the moment, it is a welcome additional order for our plant,” concluded Powels.

The Engine plant, which opened in 1980, has to date produced over 1,662,000 engines. These include engines for icons such as the Citi Golf and T3 Bus apart from the other various cars produced at the Uitenhage manufacturing plant in the last three decades.

Source : businesslive.co.za

Last Volksie Bug lives to drive another day

by Duncan Reyneke

The completely rebuilt Beetle

Image by: File Foto
The last Volkswagen Beetle to roll off the Uitenhage production line in 1979 has been restored to its former glory after being virtually destroyed in a crash in 2006.

The popular Beetle became the benchmark for affordable, mass-produced cars after the Second World War and was one of the most recognisable cars on roads around the world.

Uitenhage’s Volkswagen Auto Pavilion manager Johan Wagner said the 1979 Beetle had been destroyed in a carrier crash after a 2006 show in Cape Town.

The car, along with eight other historic cars from the Auto Pavilion collection, was crushed when the carrier they were being transported on overturned.

“Being such a special vehicle, the last Beetle was restored over a period of two years and returned to its former glory,” Wagner said. “All the mechanical [parts] and most of the interior from the original car could be used and were transferred to another body of the same era.”

The car has a range of features not available on standard models, such as Bilboa cloth upholstery, black fender spats, taper-tip exhaust pipes, a centre tunnel console and Rostyle wheel rims.

“[The car] was built with most of the luxury features of the higher specification and limited edition 1600s like the Fun Bug, Lux Bug, Jeans Bug and Snug Bug,” Wagner said.

The historic Beetle features a plaque that reads “The legend lives on”.

Source : Times LIVE

VW to benefit province’s youth

Zanoxolo Wayile Nelson Mandela Bay MayorVolkswagen South Africa, chairperson Hubert Waltl, says he believes the soon-to-be-built loveLife Youth Centre in Uitenhage will be to the benefit of youth in the area. Waltl turned the first sod this week at the site of the planned loveLife centre in KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage.

The sod turning was also attended by Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile. The R20m loveLife Youth Centre aims to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the youth of the Uitenhage area. It will offer young people specialised counselling services and also provide support to teenagers and parents.

“Additionally, it will have outreach programmes covering nearly 20000 young people annually in the 20 surrounding schools,” said Waltl. The centre was Volkswagen SA”s World Cup legacy project, he said.

source: Sithandiwe Velaphi / The New Age

Volkswagen unveils SA investment plans in Uitenhage and Pretoria

Europe’s biggest automaker Volkswagen said on Thursday it would expand its South African operations with investments in a plant in Uitenhage and a distribution centre near Pretoria.

VW said it would invest about €70 million ($85 million) on top of around €500 million already ploughed into South Africa over the past four years as part of its goal to become the world’s biggest carmaker.

“The Uitenhage plant plays an important role in this context,” a statement quoted VW chairman Martin Winterkorn as saying.

Production at the plant is expected to double this year as its press shop is modernised and expanded with €50 million in investment.

Another €23 million is expected to be spent on a new distribution centre in Centurion, near Pretoria, the statement said.

“Volkswagen is the market leader on South Africa’s passenger car market. Our existing investment, coupled with the new measures, lays the foundation for staying on our growth path,” Winterkorn said.

VW hopes to overtake Toyota as the world’s leading carmaker by 2018.

source: I-Net Bridge/Business Report

VWSA’s Polo production milestone

Volkswagen South Africa marked the production of its 400 000th Polo at its factory at Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape last month, with demand for the car being boosted by an earlier export order destined for Europe. Launched in South Africa in 1996, the second-generation Polo is top of the Ao hatch segment for the year to date, with a 19.8% market share.

“In addition, over the past two years, the Polo brand has claimed the title of South Africa’s most popular passenger car with sales far outnumbering its nearest rivals,” VW South Africa said in a statement last week.

Approximately 70 000 Polo hatchbacks have been exported to countries in the Asia Pacific region since 2002, while the company also secured an order for an addition 6 000 units for export to Germany.

“The new generation of this successful Volkswagen marquee will arrive in South African showrooms in 2010, having just been launched into the European market,” VWSA said.

Export markets

Volkswagen South Africa said earlier this year that 40% of its total planned production volume in 2009 would be exported. Its initial export of vehicles occurred in the early 1990s with the clinching of an export deal for 12 500 left-hand drive Jettas destined for China. It then proceeded to win orders for third-generation Golf GTIs to the United Kingdom, a significant order for fourth-generation Golfs to Europe and, in 2004, started exporting Polos and new Golfs to the Asia Pacific region.

Following on its Jetta export heritage, the company secured the order to export the latest Jetta model in May last year to countries including Australia, Japan and Great Britain.

source: SAinfo reporter, South African Information website.