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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


BMW commits R4.2bn for production of next X3 PHEV at Rosslyn

Production of the hybrid X3 will be a first in South Africa.


BMW has announced one of its biggest investments in South Africa in recent years in the form of a R4.2-billion upgrading of its Rosslyn Plant over the next five years for production of the next generation X3 in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) form.

50 years and counting

Coming on the back of Munich of celebrating five decades in South Africa, the investment will not only go towards updating the Pretoria facility in readiness for the new X3 and its PHEV sibling due out next year, but also secure the futures of the 20 000 employees directly or indirectly employed by the plant.

ALSO READ: WATCH: An X3 being born as BMW celebrates its 50th in SA

Reportedly, the investment comes without government backing in spite of ongoing industry demands for the support of new energy vehicles comprising hybrids, plug-in hybrid and fully electric.

BMW investment R4.2-bn into Rosslyn for next X3 PHEV
Over 300 000 X3’s have emerged from Rosslyn since 2018. Image: BMW

Since taking over the Rosslyn Plant from what was known as Protea Monteerders before 1973, a total of 1.6-million BMWs, ranging from the 3 Series to the X3, have been built for the domestic and export markets, with the latter representing more than 300 000 units since replacing the former in 2018.

“More than 300 BMW Group Plant Rosslyn associates will receive specialised training to support the production of the next-generation X3 plug-in hybrid,” Rosslyn’s Plant Director Niklas Fichtmüller said in a statement.

UNICEF

BMW South Africa Board Chairman Milan Nedeljković in addition to confirming the X3, also announced a donation of R30 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as it continues to make a broader difference in Africa and abroad instead of being seen as only a producer of vehicles.

BMW investment R4.2-bn into Rosslyn for next X3 PHEV
First X3 together with the last 3 Series made at Rosslyn. Image: BMW

“In South Africa, we have not only built a plant that creates jobs and contributes to industry. We have been demonstrating here for years what social responsibility means,” Nedeljković said.

BMW investment R4.2-bn into Rosslyn for next X3 PHEV
300 000th X3 at Rosslyn. Image: BMW

“For 50 years, BMW Group South Africa has been practising sustainable development through social investment, particularly in education. We are honoured to have UNICEF’s support as we inspire and mould a new generation of leaders that will continue the BMW Group’s success story in South Africa for the next 50 years.”

New X3 soon

While little is known about the next generation X3 at present, speculation is it could potentially be revealed towards the end of this year or in early 2024 in the run-up to production commencing at Rosslyn.

At it stands though, an official date-of-reveal remains a mystery, but could become apparent within the coming weeks and months.

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