Volkswagen of South Africa has been awarded a R12-billion contract to supply the Volkswagen Group with diesel particulate filters for the next five years.
VWSA and local catalytic converter and exhaust systems manufacturer Eberspächer South Africa will share the production volume.
The partners have invested about R55-million in tooling and equipment to manufacture the parts. Additional investment in the national supplier base should amount to approximately R26 million.
Eighty per cent of the suppliers are based in the Nelson Mandela Bay region and the new contract will secure more than 100 jobs. Intensive training of operators and quality personnel will be undertaken to ensure that the very tough international standards on DPFs are met.
VWSA managing director David Powels said the deal was one of the biggest export contracts for a single part ever awarded to the company. “Furthermore, it is a coup for the South African automotive component manufacturing industry,” he added.
Eberspächer SA managing director Henry Eksteen said the project was unique in its co-operation between the two companies and their sharing of manufacturing capabilities.
"This type of parallel project, we believe, will become the benchmark for the future, where an OEM can join forces with a specific technology partner to optimise processes and, thereby, be able to gain access to global business for their region and country.
“The DPF technology is a rapidly advancing field of expertise and as global emission standards become more stringent, we will continue to be at the forefront as a provider of innovative exhaust gas treatment solutions with our global research and development teams," Eksteen said.
Production of the particulate filters will start in November 2008. Parts will be shipped to the Volkswagen Group’s Kassel plant in Germany, where they will be assembled and sent to various user plants in the Volkswagen Group’s global network.