BMW’s Plan For Africa

“When the time is right”, BMW would establish an assembly plant in Sub-Saharan Africa within the next ten years, says Tim Abbott, chief executive of BMW Group South Africa. 

In 2018, it was anticipated, and now it is fast coming to reality as the automobile industry establishes another assembly plant in Giza, Egypt. Though Egypt is not recognized as a Sub-Saharan African country, plans are currently in place for the Sub-Saharan region. 

Contributing to the transportation industry in present-day technology through its high production of vehicles across the globe, the Germany-based company seeks to increase the availability of cars on the road by establishing production plants in strategic locations as it had already done in Austria, Brazil, China, Mexico, India, South Africa, and the United States. 

Now, BMW is adding Giza (Egypt) to the list after building the Rosslyn plant in South Africa. Giza production plant is set to run with the production plan to manufacture 10,000 units of BMW cars yearly. This was revealed by Global Auto Group, the official importer of BMW, BMW i and MINI automobile. 

The first batch of BMW cars assembly process would start in the first quarter of 2023 in Giza. Mohamed kanji, CEO of Global Auto, said that the production plant in Egypt would start by producing models of BMW, specifically the X5 40 model of SUVs. According to him, X3 and X4 can be booked for local sales from January to March, while X7 will be available to those who book before June this year.  

The General Manager of BMW, Egypt, Khaled Shadid, stated that establishing an automobile production plant in Egypt would generate nearly 600 job opportunities and enhance economic development through a partnership with local investors in the country. 

In solving the global problem of e-waste, 30% of body components would be obtained from recycled materials. The company also plans to focus on assembling investments exceeding $150m, not just hosting exhibitions and maintenance centres. 

What is BMW’s plan for Sub – Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria? 

Having production/assembly plants in the Sub-Saharan region will greatly reduce the amount of import duties, thereby making cars cheaper. The African Association of Automobile Manufacturers is assisting African countries in formulating automotive development policy options in their countries.  

Currently, Nissan and Ford Paton have been partners with Semi Knocked Down vehicle assembly operations in Nigeria since 2015, as well as Volkswagen and Nissan partnering with Semi Knocked Down in Kenya since 2016. 

Tim reveals that BMW would be moving into Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Ghana, Kenya and Angola. Tim has announced that BWW will be joining the African Association of Automobile Manufacturers (AAAM) delegates visiting Nigeria in July this year to see if the region is ready for automobile manufacturers. This is important because the import duties to get cars into targeted countries are usually high since the company has a large volume of vehicles set for sale. 

With a high production of vehicles, the matter arising may be the unavailability of good roads in Sub-Saharan Africa leading to traffic congestion on roads, or is it something that can be overlooked? 

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Photo by BMW

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