http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.96Change: -0.03
R/$ = 12.73Change: -0.07
Au 1093.85 $/ozChange: -1.33
Pt 977.00 $/ozChange: -5.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Nov 25, 2010

German components firm opens R178m Uitenhage facility

Back
Construction|Africa|Building|Components|Export|Africa|Automotive|Equipment|Logistics|Manufacturing|Product|Steel
Construction|Africa|Building|Components|Export|Africa|Automotive|Equipment|Logistics|Manufacturing|Steel
construction|africa-company|building|components|export|africa|automotive|equipment|logistics|manufacturing|product|steel
© Reuse this



German parts producer Benteler has cut the ribbon on its R178-million new plant in the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park, in Uitenhage.

The operation, churning out dashboard carrier panels, body parts, front and rear bumpers, and chassis parts, will employ 250 people once it reaches full production next year.

The plant supplies the Volkswagen Group South Africa (VW Group SA), which produces the new Polo for the local and export markets, and the Polo Vivo for the local market.

With around 40% space still available for future expansion, Benteler boss Hubertus Benteler says that the 130-year-old company, a fourth-generation family-owned business, will also seek to secure work from other local vehicle manufacturers, a process which will take shape over the next 2,5 to 3 years.

He adds that the new plant is number 68 for the group, with number 69 and 70 already under construction in India and China.

The Uitenhage plant saw the introduction of a country-first hot-forming line, where blank steel parts, such as the A-pillar on a car, are shaped while heated to 900 ˚C.

Benteler Automotive CEO Hein van Gerwen says that body parts are traditionally welded together, which adds weight to the vehicle.

“So, Benteler invented hot-forming. If you shape a blank while it is still hot, there is no springback.” (‘Springback’ refers to the tendency of material to partially return to its original shape when cold-worked, because of the elastic recovery of the material.)

In the end, this means that these parts are stronger, lighter and dimensionally more accurate.

Benteler says that the South African factory is unique in that the decision to invest was made in April 2009, when the recession had well and truly bared its teeth and Benteler had lost 30% of the sales it had forecast for the year.

However, he emphasises that the company believed in its South African investment on the back of strong government support for the automotive industry, a vibrant Volkswagen brand, and a strong localisation programme.

He notes, for example, that importing parts from Asia to South Africa, building a car here, and then exporting that car to Europe mean a part can spend six months on the ocean.

“Benteler is key to VW Group SA’s business strategy to increase the local content on the new Polo and the Polo Vivo to in excess of 70%,” adds VW Group SA MD David Powels.

Benteler, together with other parts manufacturers – Faurecia, Grupo Antolin, Rehau and Flex Tech – has invested more than R700-million and created more than 600 jobs in the logistics park in the past 12 months, he says.

“Importantly, this investment enables VW Group SA to manufacture in excess of 120 000 vehicles a year for both the export and domestic markets. It is exactly this level of investment that helps provide an original- equipment manufacturer (or car manufacturer), with a hedge against the threat of imports to the South African automotive manufacturing industry,” says Powels.

“Four years ago, VW Group SA commenced a R5-billion investment programme in new plant, new technologies, new product and the required people skills development. One of the fundamental pillars of this ambitious investment programme was to take local content levels from below 40% to in excess of 70%. Together with Benteler and our other suppliers, we have achieved this.”

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Automotive News
Daimler truck test engineer Dirk Stranz pushes one button and then retracts his hands from the steering wheel of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. “And now the truck is driving itself.” It is unsettling to see the steering wheel move unaided as the truck gently...
Hino has embarked on a strategy to become the number one truck brand in South Africa by 2020, says Hino South Africa (SA) VP Ernie Trautmann. Hino is currently placed third in the market, trailing Mercedes-Benz and Isuzu Trucks.
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 14 minutes ago Barnacles encrusted on a piece of plane debris that washed up on the French island of Reunion might help unravel the mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that disappeared last year with 239 passengers and crew on board. Malaysia said on Sunday the piece...
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies
Updated 52 minutes ago South Africa should raise the economic growth rate and promote inclusive growth to win the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said. “For us as a country, industrialisation is fundamental and we need to move-up...
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters
Updated 3 hours ago Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has asked the auditor general’s (AG) office to conduct a forensic investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). Peters has commissioned the AG’s office – a Chapter Nine...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Daimler truck test engineer Dirk Stranz pushes one button, and then retracts his hands from the steering wheel of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. “And now the truck is driving itself.”
The statutory body responsible for skills development and support in the banking sector, BANKSETA, was investing R68-million in the capacity building project of the University of Venda (UniVen), announced Bankseta company secretary Caroline King at a media event in...
LIONEL MOYAL Cloud services providers must compete against other cloud services providers for business by providing up-to-date systems and services
Legacy information technology (IT) systems are becoming increasingly obsolete because of the maturity, efficiencies and cost effectiveness of cloud-based IT services, says information and communication technology major T-Systems subsidiary Intervate head Lionel...
ARMANDÉ KRUGER Balancing the collection and processing of data must be aligned to strategy
Many complementary services enable companies to derive broad value from data inside and outside them. The complexity of data management means that companies’ strategies determine the various data systems and functions they will use, says PBT Group regional sales...
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has announced that it had awarded the country’s first remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) pilot’s licence. It was issued on Friday, July 10, to SACAA employee and qualified commercial pilot Nicole Swart,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96