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Volkswagen SA plant in Kariega. Image: VWSA website

Home » Volkswagen injects R4 billion into Kariega plant: New SUV coming soon!

Volkswagen injects R4 billion into Kariega plant: New SUV coming soon!

Volkswagen Group Africa has announced another R4 billion investment in its manufacturing plant in Kariega in the Eastern Cape.

Volkswagen SA
Volkswagen SA plant in Kariega. Image: VWSA website

Volkswagen Group Africa has announced a R4 billion investment in its manufacturing plant in Kariega in the Eastern Cape.

Kariega was previously known as Uitenhage.

Volkswagen has invested R10.28 billion in Plant Kariega since 2011.

With just over 3 500 employees, VWSA is the largest private employer in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro where it is located.

The plant, which has been building Volkswagens since 1951, stretches over 518 378m² and produces 710 vehicles per day.

Apart from manufacturing engines, the Kariega plant currently builds the Polo Vivo and Polo, and is the sole manufacturer of the Polo GTI.

The latest investment will be used to upgrade facilities in various areas in preparation for the addition of a third model to its production line-up from 2027.

Most of the R4 billion investment will be allocated to capital expenditure for production facilities, manufacturing tooling, local content tooling and quality assurance.

Nearly R877 million will be spent to enhance automation in the Body Shop.

In the Press Shop, an estimated R418 million will be utilised to procure new press tooling.

The first phase of the plant facility upgrade will begin at the end of 2024 during the plant shutdown.

Martina Biene, Chairperson and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Africa, said the investment announcement reaffirms Volkswagen Group’s commitment to South Africa, where it has been manufacturing vehicles for nearly 73 years.


“Plant Kariega is an important manufacturing plant within the Volkswagen Group production network. Since 2011, Volkswagen has invested R10.28 billion in production facilities, manufacturing equipment, local content tooling and training of people. The new investment is a vote of confidence in the future of the plant. It also futureproofs jobs, not only for our people but also those employed in our supplier network,” explained Biene.

Meanwhile, a third model, which will be a SUV, will be manufactured on the same production line as the Polo and Polo Vivo.

The Polo and Vivo models are currently the top selling passenger models for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand in South Africa.

The changes being made in preparation for the production of the new SUV also affords training and upskilling opportunities for Volkswagen Group Africa’s production employees.

Localisation remains a key priority for Volkswagen Group Africa. Polo and Vivo currently have 46% and 58% local content levels, respectively.

The trend is set to continue with the new model, which aims to achieve approximately 40% local content through a R1.2 billion investment.

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