BMW celebrates 50 years in South Africa and announces electrification of Rosslyn plant

BMW SA celebrates 50 years of building vehicles in South Africa

2023 sees BMW’s Rosslyn manufacturing facility, located outside Pretoria, celebrate 50 years and as part of that celebration the company has announced a massive investment that will ensure the plants longevity.

When it was opened 50 years ago, Plant Rosslyn outside Pretoria was BMW’s first foreign facility and it has since become a mainstay of the global production network. This plant has played a critical role for BMW as it was the first step in transforming BMW into a truly global brand.

Over the 50 years the plant has proven itself to be an essential member of the BMW production network as it consistently improved quality and productivity. Five decades later, in addition to BMW Group Plant Rosslyn, the BMW Group South Africa business includes a National Sales Company that sells and distributes BMW, Mini and BMW Motorrad, a Financial Services company that was established in 1990 and an IT Hub that services more than 50 countries.

As part of its 50th celebrations it was announced that the plant will make the transition to building electric models with the manufacturing of the BMW X3 as a plug-in hybrid for global export from South Africa. An investment of R4.2 billion rand will ready plant Rosslyn for electromobility, and this investment will be accompanied by specialist training of more that 300 employees at the plant.

The announcement of the electrification of another site in the BMW Group production network marks a further step in advancing the development of efficient, digitalized, resource friendly production. 

Plant Rosslyn has produced more than 1.6 million vehicles to date and exported them to more than 40 countries worldwide. Its product portfolio has included the BMW 1800 SA and BMW 2000SA as well as the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series. For decades it was the cornerstone of BMW 3 Series production and it has been manufacturing BMW’s current best-selling models, the X3 since 2018.

In addition to the investment in Plant Rosslyn, BMW will be donating more than 1.5 million euros to support a programme run by UNICEF that teaches science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to thousands of children and young South Africans.

In 2023, BMW Group South Africa directly and indirectly employs close to 23 000 people.

Find out more about how Sovereign Motors BMW is catering for the Northern Cape.

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