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BMW Thinks Sub-Saharan Africa Needs Locally-Built X3 Crossovers

BMW has extended the X3’s reach in sub-Saharan Africa by domesticizing the model’s production, which is now available in around 30 countries locally.
BMW X3 - South Africa 6 photos
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Made at the Rosslyn plant in South Africa, which was the company’s first facility outside Germany when it was inaugurated back in 1968, the premium compact crossover is now being produced for 16 more African markets, including Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. Previously, the X3s for these countries were built at Spartanburg, in the United States.

The addition of 16 key export markets is further evidence of the increased trade relations with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the broader African Continental Free Trade Agreement region,” said BMW’s CEO of South Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa, Peter van Binsbergen. “We all have a role to play in encouraging stronger trade relations on the continent, and I am especially proud of the BMW X3’s ambassador role – both for the BMW Group and South Africa.

Production of the X3 commenced at the Rosslyn facility, back in April 2018, subsequent to an R6.2-billion (equal to $386 million) investment. Deemed as one of the biggest in the local automotive industry at the time, the cash injection has allowed the facility to prepare for the assembly of the premium compact crossover, after it made the 3 Series for 35 years. Since then, over 300,000 units of the X3 have been made there. The factory has a production capacity of 75,000 units annually, out of which 96% is exported.

In production for global markets since 2017, the third-generation BMW X3 received a mid-cycle refresh last summer, alongside its X4 sibling, during which its grille has become bigger, and both ends have been updated. The cockpit has been tweaked too, and some of the engines have been modestly revised. BMW is understood to pull the plug on it after the 2024 model year, when its successor is expected to premiere.

press release

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