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Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) notched up two prestigious awards at the Exporters Club Eastern Cape 2011 Exporter of the Year Awards. They were for Best Exporter of the Year and Best Exporter Corporate 2011. Managing Director David Powels collected the awards on behalf of his 5 000-strong workforce in Port Elizabeth last week.
The Exporter of the Year award is given to the company who achieved the most success in the period under review and who would have scored the highest in the list of criteria. Companies with a turnover of greater than R100 million are contenders in the Corporate category. “It is with great pride that I accepted the awards on behalf of all Volkswagen Group South Africa employees,” said Powels. “A lot of hard work has gone into being recognised for our work in the export arena.”
“We have, over recent years, expanded the scope of our destination markets to include regions such as Brazil, Spain, India and China. This is a major achievement as we aim to explore growth opportunities outside of the traditional European export market. We have also invested about R23 million into the development of our Port Elizabeth production plant in order to support the export of catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters,” said Powels. VWSA has achieved a number of export accomplishments over the past twelve months, including Japan import car of the year for the Uitenhage produced Polo.
The Company increased its export of Fully Built-Up units from 29 225 in 2009 to 76 875 last year – an increase of some 163%. In terms of components VWSA exports catalytic converters to Germany and India. In addition various sheet metal parts, including door single parts, side panels, wheel housings, are exported for the Parts and Accessories market to Volkswagen in Germany. Additionally, dashboards, dash carriers and alloy wheels are also exported to Spain.
“There are four key factors which differentiate us from other companies in the industry. Firstly, there’s our comprehensive export component strategy, supported by the Automotive Production Development Programme (APDP). Secondly, our commitment to the local component industry in respect of the further localisation drive of components has seen significant financial investment made by VWSA,” said Powels. In 2008 the local content levels were at 39%, and by the end of 2010 VWSA achieved its highest local component level of 70%. This is also the highest in the South African automotive industry.
There’s also a strong focus on the Company’s suppliers. “The Process Optimisation Programme at the supplier base ensures the sustainability and cost competitiveness of the local industry. And finally, VWSA-hosted Supplier Days identify and improve export opportunities,” said Powels.