Finance Minister drops in on automaker

20 June 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201810453

Automotive
Government & Municipal
Import / Export
Manufacturing
Motors, Drives & Transmissions

MINISTER of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, recently visited Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) in Uitenhage to view its operations.

The plant will produce about 137 000 Polos and Polo Vivos this year with over 80 000 being exported to markets around the world.

Volkswagen said in a statement that its success could be attributed in part to government’s motor industry development programmes including the MIDP and the APDP which have provided a stable regulatory framework which encourages investments and long-term stability.

“With a successor programme to the APDP in discussion, having Minister Nene familiarize himself with the operations of VWSA can only be beneficial,” the automaker said.

Finance Minister drops in on automaker
Volkswagen Group South Africa Managing Director And Chairman Thomas Schaefer And Minister Of Finance Nhlanhla Nene
Finance Minister drops in on automaker
Vw From left: Richard Reid, Unit Head Engine Plant, Jens Bruecker Director Production, Zama Silo Numsa Shop Steward, Zuko Adams Numsa Shop Steward, Thomas Schaefer Chairman and MD

The visit followed close on a significant milestone for the group when on 11 June, the millionth EA111 engine rolled of the assembly line at its engine plant.

Production of the engine started back in January 2010 when the first engines for the then new Polo and Polo Vivo were produced for the local market which was followed by producing engines for export markets including China, India, Taiwan, Mexico and Malaysia.

Apart from assembling the engine locally, the grey cast iron cylinder block for the engine as well as the bearing cap for the block is also machined in-house.

"This is the most successful line that we have run in the Engine Plant since it was opened in 1981. It's still operating flawlessly and at an output performance level far exceeding the initial target," said Richard Reid, Unit Head: Engine Plant.

An estimated 350 000 local customers have taken delivery of a Polo or Polo Vivo since 2010.

The production line is designed in such a way that the output capacity can be adjusted without affecting the quality or stability.

The Engine Plant is currently producing over 450 engines and just over 470 machined engine blocks per day with a two-shift pattern run by 192 operators and setters

"The Engine Plant's continued dedication to meeting the strict quality standards set by the Volkswagen Group and continuous achievement of volume targets is a credit to their great team work. They are a great example of a team that live our Volkswagen Values of Respect, Integrity, OneTeam and Excellence," said Group Chairman and Managing Director Thomas Schaefer.

The EA111 engine which started production in 2010 is fitted to the latest generation Polo Vivo built in Uitenhage. The EA111 engine is manufactured in two derivatives, namely a 1.4l and 1.6l available with both manual and automatic transmissions. The EA111 engine continues to be exported to India.

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