A grand total of 300,000 BMW X3s have been built right here in South Africa over the last five years.
The blue-and-white badged automaker has a production facility in Rosslyn on the outskirts of Pretoria, where it exclusively manufactures the SUV both for the local market and for export to over 40 markets worldwide, including 14 African countries.
The 300,000th unit rolled off the production line in March 2023, which happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of BMW’s presence in the country.
A local success story
BMW first began making cars in South Africa in March 1973, and the plant was actually the brand’s very first production site to be located outside of Germany.
It was also the first car company in the country to start producing vehicles predominantly for export and it started delivering units overseas in 1995.
Today, the Rosslyn production facility is one of thirty BMW sites around the world and one of only three locations where the incredibly-popular X3 is built, alongside a plant in China and another in the United States.
The local manufacturing hub previously made the 3 Series but switched over to the X3 in 2018 due to growing demand around the world for the SUV body type.
As of March 2023, Rosslyn has produced more than 1.6 million cars – 1,191,604 of which were 3 Series – with the X3 now adding to this number with its 300,000th unit.
A total of 61,609 X3s were made at the plant in 2022, and the vast majority of these vehicles go on to find new owners in other countries, with 95.9% of all units being exported while the other 4.1% remain on local soil.
The production levels at the South African plant are so high, in fact, that hundreds of X3s are exported to both China and the USA on a regular basis, despite those two countries having their own X3 factories.
Much of this is thanks to R12.6 billion invested by the German car firm into its local operations since 1995, which has allowed the plant to greatly expand manufacturing with a third shift and a 24-hour work cycle.
Plant Rosslyn now employs 2,200 people directly with another 50,000 estimated to be involved at various points in the South African supply chain.
The current volume projection is that BMW will create another 67,934 X3s in 2023.
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