Motor Vehicle Manufacture
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General Motors South Africa (GMSA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of multinational, General Motors Company, sharing in the benefits of GM’s global design, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing, sales and capital investment resources.
With its head office and manufacturing facilities in Port Elizabeth, the company began distributing Chevrolet vehicles since 1913 and started manufacturing in 1926, producing brands such as Chevrolet, Oakland, GMC trucks, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Vauxhall.
Today the motor manufacturer employs approximately 1800 people at its assembly plants and headquarters located in Port Elizabeth. GMSA’s sales and marketing office is located in Woodmead in Johannesburg, and its’ regional offices are in Durban and Cape Town.
The company’s 137 dealerships are situated in towns and cities throughout the country, distributing brands like Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu.
SHORT HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
- 1913 – GMSA established and began with distributing Chevrolet vehicles
- 1926 – GMSA started assembling vehicles in 1926, producing brands such as Chevrolet, Oakland, GMC trucks, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Vauxhall
- 1986 – GM disinvests from South Africa due to political pressure
- 1987 – Delta Motor Corporation is formed
- 1997 – General Motors Corporation purchased 49% stake in Delta Motor Corporation
- 2004 – GM Returned to South Africa by purchasing remaining 51%
GM Africa- Overview
General Motors’ operations in South Africa serve as the headquarters for the company’s Africa region, which is divided into Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa operations.
GM does business in more than 50 markets in Africa, and has manufacturing operations in South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. In 2013, GM sold over 181 000 vehicles in Africa.
GM Africa operations covers 50 countries and incorporates a distribution network of 310 dealers.
High Potential Markets
While today South Africa is the largest market for General Motors, the company has its sights set on significantly growing its sales volumes in some of the other high potential markets such as Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal.
GM South Africa
The company has vehicle production facilities in South Africa where it assembles the market leading sub one- ton Chevrolet Utility, the funky entry level Chevrolet Spark and the successful range of Isuzu light commercial vehicles.
The company has invested R1 billion in three new vehicle assembly programs for the Chevrolet Utility, Spark and 6th generation Isuzu. The 6th generation Isuzu which was launched in 2013 in both right and left hand drive, opening up many more new markets in the region and thus placing the company in a position to increase exports of its locally assembled products on the continent.
Other recent investments include a R150 million state of art Vehicle Conversion and Distribution Centre and a R250 million Parts Distribution Centre which boasts over 144 000 different part numbers, servicing key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
GM East Africa
The company has been assembling vehicles in Kenya since 1977 through its joint venture operation with the Government of Kenya. The key thrust of its vehicle assembly business is Isuzu buses, light commercial vehicles and trucks. Chevrolet products are also sold in the market and the Trailblazer is the most recent addition to the portfolio. GM East Africa has a market share of around 25% indicating the strength of its products. GM East Africa has produced over 70 000 vehicles since 1977.
North Africa Operations
The company has production facilities in Egypt and has been manufacturing vehicles for the Egyptian automotive market since 1985. Currently they produce passenger vehicles such as the Aveo, Lanos and Captiva and commercial vehicles such as the Pick-up, Light Duty Truck, Minibus and Mini-Van under the Chevrolet brand. During the last 3 years GM strongly penetrated the Egyptian automotive market with the introduction of 6 new vehicles such as the Chevrolet N300, the new Chevrolet pickup, the Aveo LCI, the New Optra, Opel Astra & Opel Insignia. GM owns over 24% share of the market and continues to lead the Egyptian automotive industry.
Well positioned to grow
Africa, with a population of around 840 million and a growing middle class, represents a great opportunity for General Motors to increase its vehicle sales in emerging markets. The company’s top-selling products in Africa include the Isuzu pick-up, Chevrolet Utility, Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Spark and Chevrolet Captiva.
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Established in 1946, Volkswagen Group South Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Aktiengessellschaft (VWAG) in Germany. It is the largest German investment in South Africa and is a major contributor to foreign direct investment, technology transfer and skills development. Volkswagen Group South Africa is located in Uitenhage, an industrial town some 35 km from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
For generations, Volkswagen Group South Africa has led the pack in the key areas of transformation. We set key targets and measure our success, which is the reason we have such a proud record as a responsible corporate citizen.
Volkswagen Group South Africa believes very strongly that job creation and skills development will fuel transformation. Our first priority, therefore, is to build a strong and successful business which protects and creates jobs within Volkswagen Group South Africa and the broader Volkswagen family of suppliers and franchised Dealers.
As a multi-national corporation, Volkswagen Group South Africa also has a strong commitment to boost foreign direct investment in South Africa and to promote the transfer of world-class technology, knowledge and skills. Hundreds of Volkswagen Group South Africa employees at all levels have received training at Volkswagen plants throughout the world.
VWSA’s Engine plant in Uitenhage is again operating at full capacity after receiving an additional export order from China. 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.Volkswagen has a long history of involvement in transformation of the way that people live in South Africa. Since the first Beetle rolled off the line on 31 August 1951, Volkswagen has become one of the leading passenger car manufacturers in the country.
Pioneering steps in Volkswagen’s journey to create a better future and life for all in the country include:
1949 – 18 February
The official opening of South Africa Motor Assemblers and Distributors (SAMAD).
1951 – 31 August
The first Beetle is produced.
A controlling interest in the Company is bought by Volkswagen AG.
The Company is renamed Volkswagen of South Africa.
Volkswagen was one of the first companies to officially recognise a Black Trade Union and was also the first company in South Africa to appoint full time Shop Stewards even though trade unions were not recognised at the time.
Volkswagen of South Africa becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG.
The Volkswagen Golf is introduced.
The end of the Beetle era as the factory ceases production of this iconic vehicle.
Volkswagen qualifies the first black artisan in South Africa, a motor mechanic. Volkswagen then qualified the first black toolmaker in South Africa a month later.
Volkswagen is instrumental in getting the first black students enrolled at Port Elizabeth Technikon, pioneering the racial integration of tertiary institutions in South Africa.
The Volkswagen Community Trust, which is jointly administered and controlled by representatives from the trade union, employees and management of the company, is formed. This Trust administers Volkswagen of South Africa’s Corporate Social Investment commitments.
Volkswagen signs an extensive Recognition Agreement with the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) which includes detailed standards renouncing any advantage provided by apartheid laws, the continued payment of employees detained under Security or Emergency Laws, agreeing to the Protected Right of Strike and setting out detailed commitments on Employment Equity and Affirmative Action. This agreement was drawn up and signed well before the changes to the South African Labour Law were introduced during 1995/1996.
Volkswagen wins the South African Rally Manufacturer’s Championship.
President Nelson Mandela visits the Volkswagen of South Africa factory.
Jannie Habig, driving a third generation Golf, wins the South African Rally Driver’s Championship.
Volkswagen celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first South African Volkswagen, a Beetle, to leave the assembly line in Uitenhage.
The AutoPavilion is opened and the Technology Support Centre at Volkswagen of South Africa’s Service Centre is launched.
Volkswagen is the passenger market leader for the year of 2005.
Volkswagen Driving Academy is opened at the Kyalami racing circuit in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Volkswagen announces its sponsorship of First Division Premier League Soccer side Moroka Swallows.
BP Volkswagen Rally team celebrates winning the 2005 South African Rally Driver Championship.
Volkswagen is the passenger market leader for the year of 2006.
Citi celebrates its 22nd birthday with a facelift.
BP Volkswagen Rally team celebrates winning the 2006 South African Rally Driver Championship.
Volkswagen announces its ‘People for the Future’ initiative, with the Company investing more than R400 million in training and skills development between 2006 and 2010.
Guest of Honour President Thabo Mbeki officially opens the motor manufacturer’s new state-of-the-art Paint Shop.
Volkswagen is the passenger market leader for the year of 2007, the third year in succession.
Volkswagen of South Africa celebrates the production of 2.5 million cars, and becomes the exclusive title sponsor of ground-breaking South African band, Freshlyground.
Managing Director David Powels announces that Volkswagen of South Africa will export in excess of 40 000 vehicles in 2008 including a new export contract for 10 260 fifth generation Jettas to countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Great Britain and Ireland.
Volkswagen of South Africa is awarded a R12 billion contract to supply the Volkswagen Group with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) for the next five years.
Volkswagen Group South Africa is honoured with the Merseta Chairperson’s Award in recognition of the company’s efforts to train people with disabilities.
Three new state-of-the-art Production Training Centres – part of the new Production Academy – are officially opened at the Uitenhage car plant.
The BP Volkswagen rally team celebrates a historic victory at the Volkswagen Rally, not only by winning the event, but by claiming all three podium positions in the process in their BP Ultimate-powered S2000 Volkswagen Polos.
The last Citi Golf rolls off Volkswagen of South Africa’s production line in August 2009 and completes a journey around South Africa to bid the country a fond farewell..
The BP Volkswagen rally team clinches their fifth consecutive national rally title.
Volkswagen Group South Africa announces the commencement of a major worldwide Right Hand Drive export contract for the all New Polo to countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, News Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.
The Learning Academy opens its fourth Production Academy at its Uitenhage plant
Volkswagen Group South Africa introduces the Polo Vivo as its new entry-level car in the AO segment.
The Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen AG, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, opens the new Volkswagen Group South Africa R230million Parts and Accessories Distribution Centre in Centurion, Gauteng.
Volkswagen AG announces a R20 million investment announced into a “Love Life” Legacy Project in the Uitenhage region.
Volkswagen Group South Africa’s Learning Academy opens its fifth Production Academy – and the first at its PE Plant.
2010 – November
The Polo, manufactured in Uitenhage, wins the prestigious Japan Import Car of the Year 2010/2011 award. The Polo was also runner-up in the closely contested Japan Car of the Year Competition.
2010 – December
The company achieves level 4 B-BBEE status.
2011 – January
VWSA commits a further R 2 million to the Department of Education’s Adopt-a-Dinaedi-School Project in Atteridgeville and Hammanskraal.
2011 – February
Construction of Volkswagen’s new 11 500 m2, R500 million “green” Press Shop begins. It is expected to be fully operational by late 2012.
2011 – June
VW Commercial Vehicles announces a R 2 million sponsorship of six Amarok bakkies to the Rhino Protection Initiative.
2011 – July
Work kicks off at the beginning of the month on VW’s R30 million dealership in Soweto, which is scheduled to start retailing in November.
2011 – August
VWSA celebrates its 60th year in South Africa.
At the end of August VWSA opens a new R60 million Training Academy in Centurion to provide high-quality training courses to improve the performance of its dealers.
2012 – February
Volkswagen celebrates the 35th anniversary of the iconic Golf GTI in 2011 with the introduction of special edition Golf GTI Edition 35.
2012 – 29 March
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe officially opens the Volkswagen dealership in Soweto, Soweto Volkswagen. The R30 million Soweto Volkswagen is a joint venture between Barloworld Automotive and Maponya Group.
2012 – April
The Chairman of VWSA, Hubert Waltl, turns the first sod at the site of the R20 million loveLife Youth Centre in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage.
2012 – June
VWSA Customer Interaction Centre (CIC) scoops Gold at the Contact Centre World’s Top Performers Conference and Awards held in the United Kingdom.
VWSA’s Engine plant in Uitenhage is again operating at full capacity after receiving an additional export order from China. 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.
2012 – 10 October
VWSA awarded the highest accolade at the WasteCon 2012 Top Green Organisation Gala Event in East London.
2012 – November
At a gala event held in Sandton Volkswagen won Gold in three categories in the South African Rental and Leasing Association Motor Manufacturer of the year Awards including Overall Manufacturer of the Year. Audi won the Most Improved Leasing category.
VWSA’s Customer Interaction Centre’s Ryan Kleinhans was awarded Silver in the category of Best Operational Contact Centre Manager at Contact Centre World’s Top Performers Conference held in Las Vegas.
VWSA tops the passenger car market for the fourth consecutive year. The group sold 107 689 units in the total market made up of 99106 Volkswagen and 16743 Audi with the balance commercial vehicles. Polo and Polo Vivo were top selling passenger cars accounting for 14.4 % of that market in 2012.
2013 – January
The Amarok is the first pickup to get an innovative eight speed automatic transmission.
VWSA ends 2012 as the market leader of the passenger car segment in South Africa for the fourth consecutive year with the total sales of 99 106 units (Volkswagen – 82 363 and Audi – 16 743) and overall market share of 22.3%.
2013 – February
Two of the powerhouses of South African motorsport have joined forces for the 2013 national motorsport championship season. Volkswagen and Sasol announce a partnership which will form one of the most formidable collaborations in the national rally championship.
Golf 7 – ‘the best Golf ever’ – is launched in SA, five months after its Paris Motor show launch in September 2012.
2013 – March
The new Golf is Europe’s “Car of the Year 2013.” The renowned international “Car of the Year” Award is deemed one of the most important barometers in the automotive industry.
2013 – 15 March
Dr Hubert Waltl, the Chairman of the VWSA Board of Management officially opens the R564 million state-of-the-art Press Shop in Uitenhage.
2013 – 22 March
The new Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre is officially opened in Uitenhage VWSA contributed R4 million towards the over 80 exhibits in the centre.
2013 – April
Volkswagen launches the first open top version of the icon: the Golf GTI Cabriolet with 155 kW.
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Port Elizabeth Plant – Catalytic Converters, Body Shop Tooling, Engine Components, Clutch Components, Brake Components, Vehicle Security Systems, Steel & Alloy Roadwheels, Engines, Bearings, Radiators, Sheet Metal, Safety Glass, Shock Absorbers
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From humble beginnings on a farm outside Port Elizabeth in the early 1990’s, Hi-Tech Automotive is today considered to be the world’s foremost specialist sports car manufacturer. This ultra modern facility located a few kilometers out of Port Elizabeth, slightly set back from the main road to Cape Town, employs over 500 people and builds hundreds of sports cars annually for a world-wide market.