BAIC South Africa was launched in 2016 with the IDC Joint Venture company and is the single largest investment in SA in 40 years. Fast forward four years and they boast a local manufacturing and assembly plant in Port Elizabeth and a network of fourteen dealerships nationwide. Two of their key models, the D20 Hatchback and Sedan, and the X25 SUV have directly created 1000 jobs and indirectly created 5000 jobs in South Africa. BAIC SA is set to dramatically advance the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay through investment, as well as offering BAIC Group a strategic geographic manufacturing and export base to realise their global strategy.
The BAIC South Africa plant project was officially launched in December 2015. The factory construction kicked off in August 2016. The first production units of SKD vehicles came off the assembly plant floor in July 2018. Today, BAIC proudly announces the first shipment of proudly South African assembled units to their dealerships, with the first units arriving at BAIC Edenvale and BAIC Cape Town. This key milestone means all future BAIC X25 units for the local market will be assembled in Port Elizabeth, making it proudly South African and part of BAIC’s South African heritage.
The BAIC SA Management Team commented “The COVID pandemic and economic closures in recent months have created challenges. With the dedication and co-operative efforts from our team and valued partners, we have managed to get the E-NATIS, SARS and logistics processes in place to ship our first fully SA assembled vehicles to our local dealers.”
BAIC reiterates their plan to become a household name in South Africa and a bigger part of the economy from an employment and skills development perspective. BAIC vehicles are set to become a popular sight on our streets, giving much needed independence and mobility to an up-and-coming market.
“We consider South Africa our second home and we have a strong loyalty to this country and to the local communities in which we operate. We are in the business of creating mobility for our customers, but we also work every day to create upward mobility for the South African economy.” says Buhle Hanise, Chief Financial Officer for BAIC South Africa.
The BAIC SA plant is not just the biggest auto manufacturing facility in scale invested by a Chinese enterprise in South Africa and in the entire African continent, it is also a typical example of the successful combination of the need for industrial development and investment in South Africa and the manufacturing capacity and internationalisation from China. It will also remarkably enhance the upgrading of industrialisation in South Africa. The BAIC Group will devote its resources in capital, technology and management to promoting machinery manufacturing capability in South Africa. The BAIC SA plant will upgrade the field of manufacturing technology, from the traditional manufacturing techniques by increasing automatic technique rate and quality and decreasing waste gas emissions.
The local employment rate in the company will be as high as 90-95% once they commence normal production operation. Meanwhile, the BAIC Group continues to transfer its experience in terms of skills, technology and management to South Africa via their experienced managers in BAIC SA, to help cultivate and develop local management and personnel, ultimately contributing to South African employment, training and management skills improvement. BAIC SA believes all these factors will dramatically enhance the industrial modernisation process in South Africa and bring more competitive and relevant products to the local consumer.
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