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.
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.
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.
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.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: