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Uitenhage News

VW Invests billions in Uitenhage

Thomas Schaefer, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) announced the next phase of major new investments in the factory in Uitenhage, its supplier base and the training of employees for the next generation of products to be manufactured in South Africa.
The estimated R4.5 billion investment includes over R3 billion in production facilities and quality, around R1.5 billion in local supplier capacity and a further estimated R22 million for the development and training of employees.
This will be the first time that a version of the Modular Transverse Matrix platform will be utilised in South Africa featuring the latest technologies and driver assistance systems. This will be built for both the local and export markets. Further details will become available once VWSA announces which new models will be produced at the Uitenhage plant.
Between 2007 and 2014 VWSA invested some R5.9 billion in South Africa; this was for the current generation Polo and Polo Vivo as well as plant and infrastructure.
The Polo is also produced for exports and some 66 000 4-door Polo’s are expected to be exported to mostly right hand drive markets in 2015, a 21% increase over 2014. The current localisation level is around 72% and the new models are expected to have an even higher level of local content.
Schaefer also used the opportunity to update the media on various aspects of the motor industry and VWSA’s performance in the local market.
“South Africa is not a logical production location for the motor industry as only 0.6% of the world’s vehicle production is situated here, said Schaefer.
“However owing to the strategic location and the potential of Africa as a future market for exports, as well as the security that the APDP provides for investors, on-going investment in our vehicle manufacturing base makes sense.
“Hence the decision by our parent company to allow us to embark on such a major new investment. Exports will again play a key role in our strategy going forward.
“We are very grateful to the Board in Germany for this vote of confidence in our country, management and employees and we will ensure that we deliver on our commitments.”
Volkswagen Group South Africa has dominated the passenger market for the last five years and continues to do so in 2015 with a year-to-date market share of 21.4%.
“On-going investment in new technologies and products will ensure that Volkswagen is positioned to continue to be the dominant player in the South African passenger market.” concluded Schaefer.
The Polo Vivo and Polo have been the number one and two sellers respectively in the local market since they both were launched in early 2010. Volkswagen Group South Africa highlights include:
•Volkswagen Group South Africa to invest in excess of R4.5 billion by 2017 for new products and infrastructure
•Volkswagen Group South Africa announces plans to invest over R4.5 billion for new models to be produced at the Uitenhage factory by 2017.
•New model to be built on the MQB platform and will feature new technologies and driver assistance systems.
•Volkswagen Group South Africa continues to dominate the passenger market with a share of 21.4%.
•Export volumes of Polo in 2015 expected to increase by 21% over 2014.
“On-going investment in new technologies and products will ensure that Volkswagen is positioned to continue to be the dominant player in the South African passenger market.”
- Thomas Schaefer

GoodYear South Africa invests R670m in Uitenhage factory

Goodyear South Africa to invest ZAR670 million to increase High-Value-Added production at Uitenhage Tyre Factory

Port Elizabeth, South Africa - 15th September 2015: Goodyear South Africa today announced it will invest ZAR670 million to increase production of high-value-added (HVA) consumer tyres at its Uitenhage manufacturing plant to drive profitable growth and meet market demands.

The investment plan would see the introduction of state-of-the-art manufacturing technology for the plant and will enable Goodyear to meet the strong and growing market demand for HVA consumer tyres in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa. The tyre market in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa is expected to experience double-digit growth through 2020 led by the consumer segment.

"This is an important investment by Goodyear and is consistent with our strategy to serve the needs of our customers and the company's focus to invest in high return projects that drive profitable growth," said Jean-Jacques Wiroth, managing director of Goodyear South Africa.

The new technology and accompanying comprehensive employee training will further improve the plant's capability and capacity to produce Low Rolling Resistance tyres that promote fuel economy in vehicles to meet the growing demand from vehicle manufacturers and the replacement market, as well as meet the increase in market requirements for HVA 4X4 SUV tyres.

To allow for this expansion, Goodyear South Africa also proposes to relocate the plant's production of Medium Radial Truck tyres (MRT) to other plants across the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Under the proposals, Goodyear has affirmed its intention to consult with the union
representatives and employees who are currently working in the MRT area to minimise the impact through offering a variety of alternatives.

Subject to consultation, the company expects to be substantially complete with the investment plans by the end of 2016 or early 2017. The company does not anticipate disruption to tyre services or supply during this period.

Goodyear South Africa will continue to communicate with union representatives, employees, customers, business partners and local authorities in an on-going dialogue together throughout the consultation process.

Uitenhage Tourism: Groendal

South Africa’s tourism sector is emerging as one of the most important pillars of the country’s economy in terms of growth and competition with other emerging economies of the world.
This industry contributes significantly towards the creation of employment, growing the economy and developing entrepreneurs. It presents opportunities for self-employment, it contributes to rural and urban development and foreign exchange earnings.
Tourism Month is an annual celebration held in September to focus on the importance of tourism to the economy of South Africa. An additional purpose is to alert locals to the attractions within their own areas.
The locals are considered to be the best tourists and Tourism Month aims to increase civic pride and enable the residents to persuade visitors to spend at least an extra night in the province which will further boost the local economy.
In aid of this and to celebrate Tourism Month, the ECPTA has planned initiatives that will showcase the area to residents and visitors alike.
The ECPTA manages some incredibly diverse Nature Reserves in the Eastern Cape. A Promotional Campaign called “Go Wild” has been launched to increase awareness of the Wild Coast Provincial reserves and ultimately to increase the bookings.
The stunning coastal nature reserves like Silaka, Hluleka, Dwesa and the spectacular Mkhambathi offer more than just natural splendour. And this Tourism Month the ECPTA will be offering a 20% discount on all bookings for the months of September, October and November 2015.
The beautiful Groendal Wilderness Area is the only established wilderness area in the Eastern Cape roughly10km from Uitenhage, renowned for its remoteness and myriad hiking trails.
Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) encourages visitors to the Groendal Wilderness area to enjoy a Hiking Trail Challenge during the month of September. Nature lovers and hikers will be encouraged to take up the Groendal Wilderness Hiking Trail Challenge hiking two or more separate trails featured in this hidden gem.
The reserve offers both marked and unmarked trails that include the relatively easy 16km Blindekloof trail that takes hikers to Crystal Cavern Pool, and a short 4km circular trail to the picnic area that is good for families.
Members of the public will be able to access the reserves at no charge during the month of September. The open days will take place on each Saturday and Sunday in September.
Groendal photographic challenge
The Groendal Wilderness Hiking Trail Challenge is a photographic challenge with categories in flora and fauna as well as landscapes.
It will be held on September 19th & 20th as well as September 26th & 27th at 08:00 at the Groendal Nature Reserve.
Each group will consist of not more than twelve hikers. And the categories for pictures include:
• Flora & Fauna
• Landscapes
• A max of 10 pictures per group may be submitted.
• The cut-off date for submission of pictures is September 30th at 16:00.
•Complimentary stay within either Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve or Groendal Nature Reserve. There will be one winner of each category and winners will be notified via e-mail.
)Visit www.visiteasterncape.co.za