The factory floor of BMW SA's assembly plant where over 280 robots build its vehicles in Rosslyn, Pretoria. (Photo: Timothy Rangongo)
  • Business Insider South Africa visited BMW's massive manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria.
  • The Rosslyn plant was BMW's first factory outside of Germany.
  • The plant features nearly 300 robots that assemble the new generation X3 model. 

For the past four decades, BMW has been assembling beemers for the local market at its Rosslyn plant in Pretoria. It was the first fully fledged factory that BMW established outside of Germany.

In recent years, some R6 billion has been invested in the plant, which has been tasked with producing the new BMW X3 SUV, exported across the world. Production started earlier this year.

BMW SA's huge plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria. (BMW Group)

Here is what it looks like inside BMW SA's Rosslyn plant:

Some 288 robots assemble the new X3. Danny Bester, the assembly plant manager, tells Business Insider South Africa that the assembly plant is 95% automated.

Still, almost 400 people are employed to oversee the robots. They work in three shifts, five days a week.

The plant makes 15 BMW X3s per hour, with a daily output of 326 units. 

A production line of BMW's X3 models at Plant Rosslyn in Pretoria. (Photo: Timothy Rangongo)

Bester says the production of the X3 consists of seven major process steps: front end, rear end, centre floor, underbody, side frames, framing, and then the finishing.

A BMW X3 being put through various tests. (Photo: Timothy Rangongo)

Some 30% of the plant's electricity supply comes from Bio2Watt, a Bronkhorstspruit renewable energy plant, which uses cow manure and food waste to produce electricity. 

Bio2Watt is a biogas plant that converts waste into gas. (Photo: Timothy Rangongo)
 

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