Port Elizabeth, February 25 Press Release – Construction of the BAIC SA vehicle plant is making steady progress. Production is set to commence before the end of 2019 under the leadership of the newly appointed Chief Executive of the automaker
The appointment of CEO of BAIC SA, Nemo Tian (54), in June 2018 has proven to be a major win for the project.
Mr. Tian holds 30 years in the automotive industry with a background in Engineering, Marketing and industry aftersales, giving him holistic insight into the automotive business value chain.
NEW TIMELINES SET
New timelines have been established for the completion of the project, and a new work schedule has been adopted for all contractors on site, announced Tian.
The principle contractor BIDR will commence construction activity in 2019 Q2.
Tian noted full scale production will commence, upon completion of the assembly and welding facilities and all construction is set to reach completion in 2020.
“This is BAIC International’s first overseas project of this magnitude. We’ve experienced some challenges and have learned from them, with the support and guidance of our local shareholders,” said Mr Tian.
SMME BENEFICIATION & JOB TARGETS
The project is well on its way to exceeding the targeted 35% SMME participation, this is undoubtedly one of the project highlights.
To date, the value of construction tenders allocated to SMMEs has been R44,1 million.
“We remain committed to our contractual obligations of providing work to small local businesses and their development” continued Mr Tian.
According to data released by the Coega Development Corporation, total local labour (or all persons employed on the project permanently residing in Nelson Mandela Bay) since commencement of the project up until 2018 stood at 1839.
PRODUCTON VOLUME & LOCAL CONTENT
The annual production target is set at 50 000 vehicles. Mr Tian has noted that this will be a gradual process which will come to effect in approximately three years from commencement of production, after which it will be upscaled to 100 000 vehicles per annum.
Of the locally manufactured vehicles, 40% will be sold to the South African market and 60% exported to other markets in other parts of Africa and South America to name a few.
Although the automaker plans to continue importing parts from China, BAIC SA will further cement their commitment to boosting the local economy by purchasing parts from local suppliers.
This drive will intensify year by year to eventually meet South African requirements.
The company has already established a local suppliers procurement database with at least 100 companies listed.
Mr Tian has expressed his gratitude to South Africa for the positive reception to BAIC and promises to deliver quality vehicles and aftersales service to the local market.
“The South African plant is part of the BAIC International’s long-term globalisation strategy of developing a global market and South African market is quite fertile for a new brand like BAIC.”
The BAIC SA dealership network is growing quite rapidly, and currently sitting at 20 fully operational dealerships around the country.