Re: General Motors South Africa May 2008 Sales
^^ I didn't know there was a HUMMER plant there. BMW also builds a lot of its right-hand drive vehicles there. It's sound like production of HUMMERs for
South Africa just started a few months ago.
GM's Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth supplies all the Hummer H3's sold in the Eastern Hemisphere. It also assembles the Isuzu KB-series pickup (D-Max) from Thai CKD packs. The Struandale plant was bought from Ford (who opened the plant in 1973 to build the wildly successful Cortina) in the early 1990s to assemble the Opel Corsa for SA.
BMW South Africa supply all the world's RHD 3-series sedans.
Mercedes source all their RHD C-class sedans from East London.
Nissan have no export contracts outside of a few sales in sub-Saharan Africa. Its only product (as far as I know) is the last-gen Nissan pickup.
Corollas built at Prospecton, near Durban, are exported, but I'm unsure where. I believe they go to Britain and Ireland, with Turkey supplying European LHD Corollas. Not sure if the new Corolla is being sent to Australia or not. TSA also build the Hilux and Fortuner, and I believe the SA Hiluxes are exported to Europe.
Ford supply some SA-built Focuses to Australia/NZ, and the Silverton plant near Pretoria (originally a Chrysler plant) is tapped to be a global supplier of the next-gen global Ranger. I don't know if any of the Mazda3's assembled there are exported.
VW build all the world's RHD Golfs and Jettas in Uitenhage, near Port Elizabeth (the plant was originally built by Studebaker, who, strangely, built VW's for the SA market). It all the RHD Polo Sedans to wherever needed, and some Polo hatchbacks are shipped to Australia and New Zealand. Uitenhage also builds the Citi Golf, an updated version of the original Golf/Rabbit, fitted oddly enough with the Skoda Fabia's dashboard! Despite its age, it's regularly a top-3 seller in South Africa because of its low price and bulletproof reputation.
Things are so much different there than when I was a boy, when we had 18 assembly plants in the country assembling a bewildering array of makes and models, all for local consumption. SA-built cars had atrocious build quality, because makers were building for a captive market. Imports cost us twice what they did elsewhere because of tariffs. South Africans were voracious consumers of cars and carmakers exploited this to the fullest, building some the crappiest-made cars seen outside of the Soviet Union.
They had to get their collective acts together to win the lucrative export contracts needed once that import tariffs dropped to nominal levels.