“Lear’s factory will be ready for occupation in November and the company is scheduled to move to its new building in mid-December,” he said.
The ASP is an initiative within Blue IQ’s Gauteng Automotive Cluster project aimed at ensuring long-term survival of the South African automotive industry.
“We welcome the decision by Lear to consolidate its current facilities in Rosslyn and Brits to the ASP,” Blue IQ portfolio manager Sipho Mhlongo said.
“This commitment from Lear is a sign of the excellent support Blue IQ has received from the automotive industry in Gauteng,” he added.
The ASP in Rosslyn is next to the BMW, Fiat and Nissan facilities and is also close to the Ford plant.
“Lear and other tenants will eventually benefit from shared logistics, which will ultimately results in savings in information technology costs, transport, infrastructure, inventory and equipment,” Freese explained.
“In addition, they will experience improved security and safety and a better environment for their workforce,” he added.
According to Lear's Rosslyn GM Grant Thorpe the move to the ASP emphasises the company’s commitment to expand its business and improve its customer service in South Africa.
“We have a highly skilled and loyal workforce which is supportive of this move.
“It provides us with an opportunity to consolidate our two facilities, the stitching plant in Rosslyn and the assembly plant currently based in Brits,” he said.
The leased facility, purpose built for the company, will cover an area of 20 000 square metres.
Thorpe pointed out that the Brits plant is geared for just-in-time (JIT) production of seats for various BMW models and the Fiat Palio model.
“Moving this plant to Rosslyn positions our company for future JIT delivery to BMW and FASA.
“It also improves our potential to supply other Pretoria-based original equipment manufacturers,” he said.
Lear South Africa MD Jurgen Kostanjevec said that the company selected to relocate to the ASP because of a number of future expansion opportunities, shared services and synergies.
“We are currently QS 9000, VDA 6,1 and ISO 14001 systems approved and we are aiming to introduce the new TS16949 certification shortly after having complete the move the ASP,” he said, adding that this is a requirement for the export market and will ensure that the company remains competitive locally.
Lear South Africa is a subsidiary company of the $13,6-billion global Lear Corporation, the world’s fifth-largest auto supplier, producing a range of components to most of the world’s top motor manufacturers.
In addition to being the largest single producer of vehicle seats, Lear is the second-biggest supplier of headliners, third in door panels, electrical and electronic distribution systems, flooring and acoustic systems, and number six in instrument panels.
In South Africa, Lear specialises in fabric and leather vehicle seats.
About 65% of its production is geared for the export market.
The company exports leather seats to four countries, including Germany and Italy, as well as providing seats to the local automotive sector.