Survey puts VWSA plant ‘best in the world’

VW South Africa rated top plant in global network
Best manufacturing plant of 13 Volkswagen factories
113% scored on key set of performance indicators

VW Uitenhage plant
BEST IN THE WORLD: VW Uitenhage plant. Image: VW SA

Here’s a good news story against South Africa’s current state-of-the-nation… Volkswagen SA’s production plant in Uitenhage has been recognised as the best of 13 around the globe.

The plant began assembly in August 1951 – its first product the VW Beetle (as it eventually became known). It achieved the highest index score of 113.2% among the 13 plants.

Each of the 13 was measured on the same key performance data, among them production volume, product quality, cost per unit, units produced per employee, health and safety incidents and success in reducing carbon emissions.

BIG PLAYER IN GLOBAL EXPORTS

Carman’s Corner was told in a media release from VW SA that a key factor in winning was the assembly of 120 000 Polo and Polo Vivo units for way below budgeted costs.

Another was its beating (it achieved 42.2%) a ‘Think Blue’ factory target, set in 2010, to reduce energy and water consumption, waste production and emissions by 25% by the end of 2015.

More than 66 000 of the 120 000 Polos were exported to right-hand drive markets such as Britain, Australia, Japan and Ireland. In addition, 113 000 engines were produced of which 81 000 were exported to markets India, China and Mexico.

In South Africa, VW maintained its dominance of the car market for a sixth consecutive year with the Polo Vivo and Polo first and second best-sellers.

PRODUCTS ARE TOP SELLERS

Thomas Schaefer, chairman and MD of VW Group South Africa, said: “This recognition couldn’t have come at a better time. It will bolster our shareholders’ confidence; we’ve commenced with a R4.5-billion investment plan for new products (announced in 2015) so this will further enhance VWSA’s status and ability to deliver and exceed its targets at the required quality levels for domestic and export markets.

“I’m extremely proud of all employees at VW SA who have made this recognition by our parent company possible and thank them for their hard work and contribution.”

Schaefer added that VWSA would continue to strive to be the No.1 car company in South Africa while meeting and exceeding its internal targets to remain a respected member of the VW production network – and by delighting its customers.

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