“BMW South Africa is willing to consider any corridor that will give us better cost structures, faster turnover times and less congestion,” says spokesperson Guy Kilfoil.
BMW South Africa manufactures the 3-series model at its Rosslyn plant, in Tshwane, exporting it to markets worldwide.
By the end of this year, Gauteng automotive companies will have the option of exporting and importing cars through the Maputo harbour, rather than the port of Durban.
Grindrod Mozambique GM Pieter Venter says the first phase of a three-phase process to build a car terminal that will ultimately be able to process 250 000 cars a year will be operational in December.
Grindrod owns 95% of the Maputo coal terminal, and has a 12% share in the consortium that manages the Maputo port.
The Maputo harbour is roughly the same distance from Gauteng as Durban.
The contract to manufacture and export the new 3-series model is currently up for allocation within the global BMW group, and BMW South Africa is keen to retain it.
Kilfoil says the contract will be awarded next year.
“We are under some pressure from BMW AG (the parent company in Germany) to submit our bid for the contract as soon as possible, but until the Motor Indus-try Development Programme (MIDP) review has been finalised, we’re unable to commit to concrete figures and, hence, are unable to formulate a concrete bid.
“We really hope the Department of Trade and Industry can complete the review as soon as possible.
The MIDP is an incentive-driven government-support programme for the local automotive industry.