Building blocks for new manufacturing plant in place

The final building blocks for the establishment of South Africa’s latest automotive manufacturing site have been laid, paving the way for construction to begin shortly at the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Gqeberha, Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape.

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Stellantis, the world’s third biggest automotive manufacturer by volume, and South Africa’s largest development funder, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), have concluded key milestones that will lead to a Joint Venture (JV).

The investment - estimated at R3-billion - is expected to facilitate the creation of massive employment opportunities in the Eastern Cape. The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), which is supplying the land on which the factory will be built, has begun preparing the site to start the construction.

“I welcome the progress made with concluding all modalities with Stellantis that will enable construction to commence this year and start the production of a new auto model to roll off the assembly-line by the end of 2025. The SA auto industry is Africa’s largest producer of cars, bakkies and trucks, and this new investment by Stellantis will consolidate the country’s position, helping us to achieve the goal of producing 1.4 million vehicles by 2035.

“The biggest attractions for new investors are the size of the domestic market, together with the auto industry masterplan, which supports local production for both the South African and export markets. Stellantis has a strong growth vision with an excellent range of vehicles in its global stable, and we look forward to increase the range of locally manufactured cars available to motorists through this investment.

“It’s heartening to see the manner in which the combination of expertise within the collective of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), the IDC, CDC and Stellantis have united to form a cross functional team that is making excellent progress,” says Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.

He adds: “It’s this teamwork that will realise not only having Stellantis as SA’s eighth OEM, but most importantly, it will fulfil the plans for employment and investment in South Africa and support our industrialisation drive. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship between Stellantis and South Africa.”

Stellantis Middle East Africa (MEA) COO, Samir Cherfan; Stellantis SA MD Mike Whitfield; IDC interim CEO David Jarvis, and CDC Acting CEO, Themba Khoza, echoed Patel’s sentiments stating that the progress made thus far was in line with their respective organisations’ strategic development goals.

The project is a major vote of confidence in South Africa as an investment destination and as a gateway into Africa. “We are very proud of being involved in this. The construction of this plant is a major statement of faith in this country and the capacity of South Africans to be entrusted with running a project of this magnitude.

“This is a factory that we can all be proud of, not just because of what it will represent to the people of the Eastern Cape, but also because of the technological advances that it will incorporate and the environmentally conscious way that it has been planned, will be built and will be operated,” Samir adds.

The Stellantis Greenfield project in brief:

  • It will be built in a South African Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Coega, near Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.
  • Construction will be completed by the end of 2025.
  • A high level of localisation is targeted at launch (35%).
  • Ultimate production volume of 50 000 units a year, with the majority destined for export.
  • 1 000 new jobs to be created directly.
  • Thousands of hours to be invested in training to develop local teams to global standards.

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