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Hummer to give exports muscle

2006-03-28 15:29

Hummer H3 to be produced in PE

John Oxley

Port Elizabeth - South Africa could become a major export base for GM products, says Bob Lutz, vice president of global product development.

Speaking at a media conference in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday to journalists and dealers visiting the new Struandale facility which will build the new Hummer H3 4x4 for both local demand and exports, Lutz said:

"Hummer is one of the hottest and fastest growing brands in the world.

"In right-hand drive and diesel it's a legitimate long-term sports utility vehicle.

"I think we can attain very high volumes over time and keep South Africa busy with that.

"South Africa will therefore become a major export base for General Motors product".

Lutz went on to say that through the incorporation of General Motors SA into the parent company's global systems, not just GMSA, but local manufacturers of components and other related items, were now able to tender to supply to GM companies in Europe and the US.

He said restructuring of General Motors internationally towards centralisation of engineering and product development would lead to massive economies of scale, which in turn would help GM return to profitability.

"There's no reason why SA cannot compete on a global basis," he said.

Bob Socia, president and MD of GMSA, said just under R600-million would be spent on upgrades and equipment for the Hummer project this year.

"We are on track for the first Hummer to roll off the production line during the last quarter of the year," he said.

"We have implemented GM's Global Manufacturing System and this will ensure that we deliver world-class high quality products to our customers around the globe and in South Africa."

He said emphasis was also being placed on improving customer satisfaction through GM dealerships around South Africa, as well as improving the quality of products by the adoption of GM's Global Engineering structures.

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