VWSA celebrates 65 years in South Africa
On 31 August, Volkswagen celebrated 65 years of running the South African built Volkswagen Assembly line in Uitenhage
The Uitenhage manufacturing plant was founded in 1946 as South African Motor Assemblers and Distributors (SAMAD). At that time, the factory assembled at least 12 Studebakers a day. 65 years later, the factory has grown to a daily capacity of 600 cars for local and international markets.
In the past 65 years over 3.4 million vehicles have been built at the Uitenhage Factory. The factory has become an integral part of the Volkswagen production network, as such it has been awarded numerous export orders by the parent company. The current two top-selling passenger models, Polo and Polo Vivo are produced at the Volkswagen factory in Uitenhage.
The World and more specifically Southern Africa have changed over the past 65 years. The political and economic landscape has changed dramatically and Volkswagen has grown from a small German company assembling the Beetle to the largest Automobile Company in the world. One thing that has remained constant is Volkswagen in the Eastern Cape. Volkswagen has become entrenched in the minds of South Africans as the people’s car, manufacturing and selling iconic vehicles with catchy, heart-warming adverts.
VWSA also invest in the economy with R4.5million being invested in 2015 alone. VWSA is the largest private sector employer in the Eastern Cape and contributes substantially to all facets of the local economy. It is also the single largest investment in Sub-Saharan Africa by a German company.
VWSA impacts the economy and also the community in which it operates. Through the Community Trust, it provides support and financial assistance to schools and projects in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (Port Elizabeth).
“Our company’s vision is to provide sustainable mobility for Africa with German engineering and a South African heart. At the centre of this company is and always will be the exceptional people who build and sell our vehicles. Without them we would not have made it to where we are today,” said Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director: Volkswagen Group South Africa.