BMW South Africa’s manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria produces 75,000 units of the X3 SUV per year, with 96% of these bound for export.
The factory delivers vehicles to 30 overseas markets around the globe, and it recently added 16 African countries to its portfolio.
The South African site has been producing BMWs since 1968 and was the brand’s very first production facility outside of Germany.
After 35 years and over one million units produced of the world-renowned 3 Series sedan, BMW invested R6.2 billion in its South African operations to prepare the plant for building the new SUV in a move called the “X-Era of Plant Rosslyn”.
The cash injection went into increasing maximum vehicle output by around 10%, adding a new 26,000 square metre body shop, building a R73-million training academy, and expanding product lines.
Following the investment, the assembly of the current-generation X3 kicked off in April 2018.
By the end of 2020, the factory had produced 162,399 units of the popular SUV, and currently the number of X3s produced stands at over 300,000.
“The continuation of the BMW X3 story in South Africa, from its mid-lifecycle refresh in 2021, reaffirms the group’s commitment to operations in the country and, with the story extending beyond national borders, to the rest of Africa,” said the company.
Among the recent sub-Saharan African markets added to the Rosslyn export portfolio are Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal, all of which previously sourced their X3s from Plant Spartanburg in the United States.
“The addition of 16 key export markets is further evidence of the increased trade relations within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the broader African Continental Free Trade Agreement region,” said Peter van Binsbergen, CEO of BMW Group South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
“We all have a role to play in encouraging stronger trade relations on the continent, and I am especially proud of the BMW X3’s ambassador role – both for the BMW Group and South Africa.”