Volkswagen Group South, the country’s leading passenger car manufacturer continues to grow market share, despite the tough economic climate and a declining new vehicle passenger car market.
Brian Joss – Volkswagen has been the passenger car market leader for the last seven consecutive years and continues to lead the market in 2017. Overall the Volkswagen Group has a market share year to date of 22.8%, with Volkswagen alone enjoying 19.8% of the local passenger market and Audi accounting for the other 3%. The two locally produced cars from its Uitenhage factory, have been instrumental in this success, with the Polo Vivo consistently being the best-selling car in the country which is closely followed by the Polo in second place since their launch in 2010.
“This means that nearly a quarter of all cars sold in South Africa come from our stable, something we are very proud of and plan to continually build on”
said chairman and managing director Thomas Schaefer. “This success does not come on its own, but is due to having the right products built by a great workforce, a loyal and dedicated dealer network providing outstanding sales and aftersales back up, good residual values, outstanding advertising and a compelling cost of ownership proposition.” added Schaefer.
2017 has also been a watershed year for Volkswagen Group South Africa with the local company being named as responsible for the fourth fully fledged region in the Volkswagen World, namely Sub Saharan Africa. This comes hot on the heels of the opening of the first assembly operation outside of South Africa in Kenya in December last year.
“We are now working on an integrated mobility solution which we will pilot in Rwanda, this would include an assembly operation together with car sharing offerings exclusively from Volkswagen. This would be the next step in our expansion into Africa,” said Schaefer.
Volkswagen believes that there is great potential in Africa in the future.
The middle class is growing at a fast pace as many of the economies in Africa start to grow and the need for mobility will increase dramatically in the coming years. This presents a great opportunity for Volkswagen South Africa to develop its own markets and reduce its dependence on the local market and the current right hand drive export markets.
Some 18 months ago Volkswagen announced a R4.5 billion investment in new product and technology and this investment is now nearing completion, with the already state of the art factory in Uitenhage being transformed into arguably the most modern and efficient motor assembly plant in sub Saharan Africa. Customers in South Africa and internationally will see the benefits of this investment in early 2018.
The company also continues to invest in its people having been nominated Best Employer in the automotive sector for the last six years. Recently an employee app was launched which was a first in the Volkswagen Group and in another first, earlier this month, the company launched “The Personal Assistant”, an exclusive lifestyle programme which offers a personalised 24 hour service to help reduce the everyday hassle of getting chores done.