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Iveco assembly plant to be fully operational by June, targets Tshwane BRT

5th December 2014

By: Leandi Kolver

Creamer Media Deputy Editor

  

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Iveco South Africa (SA) Works’ new truck and bus assembly plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, would be fully operational by June next year, chairperson Dr Anna Mokgokong confirmed recently, adding that the plant, where some assembly had already started, would be officially inaugurated in March.

Iveco SA Works was a joint venture company that was formed specifically for the establishment of the assembly plant and to bring Iveco holding company CNH Industrial’s business to South Africa.

Iveco held 60% of the new company, with local public transport operator and bus manufacturer Larimar Group owning the balance.

At the official launch of the $60-million assembly facility, Mokgokong stated that, through the establishment of this plant, Iveco would target the supply of buses for the Tshwane bus rapid transit (BRT) programme.

“We believe [this plant] will add value and local content to the BRT programme,” she said.

“[BRT] is where it is all going and we have to position ourselves and, with the quality of the buses we [assemble, which have] low emissions and feature high technology, it is logical that this should be the standard of buses that commuters use,” she told Engineering News.

Also speaking at the launch, Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said Iveco was “in the right place” with its investment into the city, adding that Tshwane would make significant investments into developing the city’s automotive sector in the coming years.

He said it was important to note that Iveco products met the BRT programme’s minimum localisation and sustainability requirements.

Meanwhile, Mokgokong pointed out that the assembly plant would contribute to job creation, with 1 000 direct jobs to be created, while also providing business opportunities for small, medium-sized and microenterprises in the area through enterprise development.

“What supports a plant of this nature is small business, as they render all kinds of services,” she said.

She stated that, while the components to be used at the plant would initially be imported, over time, Iveco would seek to source more components from local manufacturers.

“The numbers we will produce will justify that. We plan to distribute into Africa and that will justify the need to manufacture some of the components in South Africa,” she highlighted.

Mokgokong added that there were already companies in the Rosslyn area that manufactured components that could potentially be used by Iveco.

Also speaking at the launch, CNH Industrial Southern Africa senior VP Mario Gasparri stated that the opening of the Rosslyn facility was a major milestone in the company’s plans for South Africa and Africa.

He said CNH Industrial considered South Africa a large potential market, adding that the company was also planning to establish a research and development facility in the country.

This would also enable the company to better adapt to South African local content requirements, he added.

CNH Industrial would continue to spread its presence in the South African and sub-Saharan Africa markets by expanding its dealer network and after-sales capabilities, he said.

Of the targeted 6 000 vehicles a year that would be assembled at the Rosslyn plant, about 20% would be exported and the rest sold locally.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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