Written by: Anazi Zote Piper
In the heart of the African continent lies a gem that has captivated automotive enthusiasts worldwide – BMW South Africa.
With a rich history dating back to 1973, BMW’s presence in South Africa has become synonymous with precision engineering, cutting-edge technology, and unrivalled performance.
Recently, the company invited media representatives from around the globe to embark on an immersive journey through their South African operations to not only celebrate its 50 years as a partner to South Africa but also to offer unique insight on the company’s Transformation Days. . I was grateful to be invited as one of those media and wanted to take the opportunity to share with you what I saw. BMW’s Transformation Days embody its determination to stay at the forefront of the automotive evolution, setting a new standard for excellence in the rapidly changing landscape of the automotive industry.
In 1973 BMW first opened its doors to the first-ever car manufacturing facility outside German, in South Africa. Near the capital, Pretoria, Plant Roslyn has since delivered vehicles to customers all over the world. Over the years its operations expanded to include a mega campus in Midrand comprising of 4 business units: IT Hub, Financial Services, Vehicle Sales and Distribution Centre and Plant Roslyn.
The media expedition began at the BMW Midrand Campus, located in the heart of Gauteng, South Africa, stands as a testament to BMW’s dedication to excellence in both design and function. Spanning over 70,000 square meters, this sprawling complex serves as the regional headquarters for BMW Group South Africa, housing a dynamic blend of administrative offices, cutting-edge training facilities, and state-of-the-art workshops.
The campus not only exudes a sleek, modern aesthetic but also embodies BMW’s commitment to sustainable practices, with features such as energy-efficient lighting and water-saving technologies integrated seamlessly into its infrastructure.
Peter van Binsbergen – CEO of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa celebrates this milestone and says, “We are really proud of the fact that in this country, here on the tip of Africa, we were innovating and driving the topics of equality and environmentalism since 1999.”
As a hub for innovation and collaboration, the BMW Midrand Campus not only serves as a central nerve centre for the brand’s South African operations but also exemplifies BMW’s global pursuit of automotive excellence. BMW South Africa aims to have a 360-degree approach to sustainable transformation across its entire value chain. According to BMW this includes “decarbonising vehicles produced at Roslyn, introducing highly efficient technologies, working closely with suppliers and business partners on emission reduction and resource conservation.”
“Socially we are dedicated to improving the lives of our employees and supporting South African communities more widely,” says van Binsbergen.
Over the past five decades BMW Group South Africa has invested its time, resource and energy in being a pioneer of corporate sustainability and looks forward to the next 50 years, trailblazing the industry operations in the same way.