Foundry Daily News

SA - BMW freezes expansion plans due to South African car strikes

Motor industry protests in South Africa have cost BMW a huge 75% cut in sales as car manufacturing workers strike continues.

BMW have put a halt to future plans to expand in South Africa due to ongoing strikes in the South African car manufacturing industry, causing sales to decline by a massive 75%.

BMW  Cape Town has commented that the labour circumstances in the industry are still “inherently unstable” and plans for expansion remain suspended.

It is claimed that there were around 30 to 40,000 participants in the strikes, demanding a pay rise of 14%. Car manufacturing strikers ended their strikes in early September, accepting an 11.5% pay increase, with the following two years decreasing to 10%. However car component strikers are said to be in their seventh week of protest.

The car component industry workers were offered a similar increase of 10%, followed by 8% within the next two years. A National Union of Metalworkers for South Africa (NUMSA) spokesman said these negotiations are still in process.

According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa, the fall in export sales cost the economy around £1.2 billion.

Several major car makers in South Africa such as Nissan, Ford, Toyota and Mercedes Benz were also affected by the protest.

Guy Kilfoil of BMW said that they lost the production of approximately 13, 000 vehicles during the weeks that the strikes took place.

The three-year wage deal brings hopes of recommencing full production later this week.


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