Volkswagen announces R4 billion investment in Kariega plant

Volkswagen announces R4 billion investment in Kariega plant

  • Majority of investment to be spent on refurbishment of production facilities, local content tooling, quality assurance and manufacturing equipment
  • Investment aimed at preparing the plant to manufacture a third model from 2027
  • The investment reaffirms the company’s long term goal to establish its footprint on the African continent
  • Volkswagen has invested R10.28 billion in Plant Kariega since 2011


Kariega – Volkswagen Group Africa announced a R4 billion investment in its manufacturing plant in Kariega.

The investment will be used to upgrade facilities in various areas in preparation for the addition of a third model to its production line-up from 2027.

Most of the R4 billion investment will be allocated to capital expenditure for production facilities, manufacturing tooling, local content tooling and quality assurance. Nearly R877 million will be spent to enhance automation in the Body Shop. In the Press Shop, an estimated R418 million will be utilised to procure new press tooling. The first phase of the plant facility upgrade will begin at the end of 2024 during the plant shutdown.

Martina Biene, Chairperson and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Africa, said the investment announcement reaffirms Volkswagen Group’s commitment to South Africa, where it has been manufacturing vehicles for nearly 73 years.

“Plant Kariega is an important manufacturing plant within the Volkswagen Group production network. Since 2011, Volkswagen has invested R10,28 billion in production facilities, manufacturing equipment, local content tooling and training of people. The new investment is a vote of confidence in the future of the plant. It also futureproofs jobs, not only for our people but also those employed in our supplier network,” explained Biene.

The third model, which will be a SUV, will be manufactured on the same production line as the Polo and Polo Vivo. The Polo and Vivo models are currently the top selling passenger models for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand in South Africa.

The changes being made in preparation for the production of the new SUV also affords training and upskilling opportunities for Volkswagen Group Africa’s production employees.

Localisation remains a key priority for Volkswagen Group Africa. Polo and Vivo currently have 46% and 58% local content levels respectively. The trend is set to continue with the new model, which aims to achieve approximately 40% local content through a R1,2 billion investment.

Volkswagen Brazil is leading the design and development of the new SUV. Volkswagen Group Africa’s Engineering team has collaborated with Volkswagen Brazil for the adaptation of the new model to the local and continental requirements, that for example includes the development of a right-hand drive version.

Biene added: “South Africa is an important market for the Volkswagen Group, particularly in terms of our long-term goal to establish our footprint on the African continent, which is seen as the last frontier for automotive development. As such, we have recently renamed our local company to Volkswagen Group Africa, to represent our steering responsibilities and ambitions to grow the Volkswagen brand on the continent. The new model has the potential to be sold in other African markets where Volkswagen has a presence.”

Biene further added: “As most global vehicle markets transition to electric vehicles, African markets like South Africa will continue manufacturing and selling vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) for the foreseeable future, owing to customer demand for ICEs and slow introduction of electric vehicles in these markets. However, for the Volkswagen Brand the electrification journey begins this year with the introduction of our ID.4 test fleet in South Africa and Rwanda.”


Caption: L – R: Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Gary van Niekerk; German Ambassador to South Africa Andreas Peschke; Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel; Volkswagen Group Africa Chairperson and Managing Director Martina Biene;  Eastern Cape Premier Lubabalo Mabuyane; Volkswagen Group Africa Production Director Ulrich Schwabe.


2024 Exporter of the Year Awards officially launched

2024 Exporter of the Year Awards officially launched

SINCE the sweet success of Cadbury’s winning the very first Exporter of the Year Award in 1995 at City Hall, many more captains of industry have had the privilege to be awarded this prestigious title.

Now in its 30th year, Exporters Eastern Cape’s 2024 Exporter of the Year Awards was launched in Gqeberha on Thursday, 18 April 2024 at the Tramways Building, which will be the new venue for the gala event taking place on October 11.

“The Exporter of the Year Awards has been hosted since 1995 to acknowledge the achievements of the province’s exporters and related industries. Despite the economic climate, it offers us an opportunity to celebrate our export victories and encourage others in the industry to keep going,” said Exporters Eastern Cape Chairman Quintin Levey.

During the launch event, which was attended by strategic partners from the Border-Kei Chamber of Business Executive Director Lizelle Maurice and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Denise van Huyssteen, Levey also shared the new strategic direction of Exporters Eastern Cape with a sectoral focus on the automotive, wool and mohair, citrus, logistics, maritime and emerging industries. The revised strategy is aimed at maximising the value proposition for members and sponsors, through facilitating conversations, growing the number of exporters in the Eastern Cape, and assisting exporters become globally competitive.

On the judging panel for the 2024 Awards is the IDC’s Regional Manager Kingsley Dell-Robertson, who said the Exporter of the Year Awards offers the opportunity for customers to see the performance of the exporters and “to stay with you because you are a winner”.

Another one of the judges, Managing Director of Randall Jonas Consulting (Pty), Dr Randall Jonas, said sifting through each entry can take between 5 to 6 hours individually before deliberating as a group of judges until the category winners are decided. Key focus areas that he looks at for entries are innovation and sustainability.

Winning the coveted title of Exporter of the Year three times – including 2023– is an incredible feeling that never gets old, according to S4 Marketing Manager Gideon Smith.

“It is one of the best feelings in the world to walk up to the stage and collect the award. It is the validation and recognition of countless hours of work. The boost in the staff morale is fantastic, as well as all the exposure and publicity you get from the award. There is so much credibility and merit behind this award, especially to be recognised by industry,” said Smith.

Standard Bank will be the Platinum Sponsor for the awards evening and was also a sponsor of the launch event, along with other sponsors on the night being The Herald, SJM Flex, BLG Logistics, LX Events, and S4.

There are several categories in which companies can enter in 2024. These include: SJM Flex Environmental Award; SJM Flex Environmental Practice Award; IDC Job Creation Award; Best Provider of Services to Exporters; Emerging Exporter Award; Best Exporter: Small Business; Best Exporter: Medium Enterprises; Best Exporter: Corporate Category; and Best Exporter: OEM. The Overall Exporter of the Year for 2024 will be chosen from the category winners.

The winner of the Emerging Exporter Award will this year also battle it out with other entrants during a ‘Dragon’s Den’ with guest “dragons”.

The closing date to enter the 2024 Exporters of the Year Awards is 19 July 2024. For more information on how to enter or to attend the event, please contact Exporters EC Branch Manager, Suzanne Loubser at or Exporters Chairman, Quintin Levey at


PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured during the launch of the Exporter of the Year 2024 Awards were from left Quintin Levey (Exporters Eastern Cape Chairman), Leigh-Anne de Witt (Standard Bank Eastern Cape Head of Client Coverage, Business Clients), Deon Joubert (Exporters Eastern Cape Vice-Chair) and Nyameko Lusu (Standard Bank Eastern Cape Corporate and Investment Banking, Global Markets Regional Sales Manager).