BMW Group announces R4.2 billion investment to produce the new X3 in South Africa

The next generation of the BMW X3 will be produced as a plug-in hybrid from 2024.

BMW will invest R4.2 billion over the next five years in its Rosslyn plant in South Africa to build the new-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle, including a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

South Africa will be the exclusive global supplier of the X3 PHEV, with internal combustion engine production to only be added to the fold later in the product’s lifecycle.

Founded 50 years ago as the first BMW Group plant outside Germany, the BMW Group Plant Rosslyn site has been a stable constant in the company’s worldwide production network ever since. To mark this anniversary, Dr Milan Nedeljković, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Production and Chairman of the Board of Management for BMW Group South Africa, announced the electrification of the plant: “From 2024, we will produce the BMW X3 in South Africa as a plug-in hybrid and export it to the world. To this end, the BMW Group is investing R4.2 billion in the site over five years.”

BMW Mexico EV production floor

With this investment in electrification and digitalisation, the BMW Group is further underlining its commitment to South Africa forged over five decades in the country. This secures the future of BMW Group Plant Rosslyn, as well as the livelihoods of more than 20 000 people directly and indirectly employed at BMW Group South Africa’s facilities and within its supply chain. Additionally, it underscores the BMW Group’s role as a key player in the South African automotive industry’s move towards a green economy.

Plant Director Dr Niklas Fichtmüller is responsible for ensuring the Rosslyn plant’s readiness for the new product: “BMW Group South Africa prides itself on building communities, opportunities, and sustainable solutions. More than that – we are committed to transformation and our associates’ skills development with the implementation of a plant-wide training programme for the new model. In addition, more than 300 BMW Group Plant Rosslyn associates will receive specialised training to support the production of the next-generation BMW X3 Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle.”

Celebrating 50 years as a partner to South Africa
The BMW Group remains committed to the long-term development of South Africa. BMW Group is electrifying another location in its production network following the global BMW iFACTORY masterplan for automotive production. This further drives the development of high-quality, intelligent and resource-efficient manufacturing, which is central to BMW Group Plant Rosslyn’s strategic direction and ensures highly-skilled jobs are retained.

More than 1.6 million vehicles have been manufactured in Rosslyn to date and exported to more than 40 countries worldwide, including 14 African countries. The production portfolio in Rosslyn included the BMW 1800 SA and BMW 2000 SA, as well as BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series vehicles. Rosslyn had been an important pillar for the production of the BMW 3 Series from 1983 until 2018 when the BMW X3, the best-selling BMW vehicle in South Africa, started rolling off the assembly line.

Nedeljković underlined that the BMW Group builds more than just cars in this country: “In South Africa, we have not only built a plant that creates jobs and contributes to industry. Furthermore, we have been demonstrating here for years what social responsibility means.”

South African youth to benefit from UNICEF and BMW Group association
A responsible corporate citizen invested in the wellbeing of the communities it supports, the BMW Group today also announced a donation of R30 million (1.5 million EUR) to support a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) programme. The BMW Group and UNICEF will embark on a joint effort targeted at thousands of South African primary and secondary school learners to extend and deepen their knowledge in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).