BMW April 2022

South Africa is a hub for vehicle manufacturing, with most models exported to numerous international markets. As most of us are already aware, bakkie manufacturing is one of SA’s production cornerstones, contributing a great deal to putting Mzansi on the map.

Though bakkies are the most prominent, several passenger vehicles – sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs – are also built here. Not only does the local assembly and sales of these contribute to our country’s GDP, but the exportation of these vehicles contributes to the GDP, as well.

The Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux are perhaps the two most popular vehicles produced locally. We list all the vehicles produced in South Africa for the export market.

From Pretoria to Gqeberha

South Africa’s production landscape stretches across a wide range, with production taking place in Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape. Up north in Pretoria, BMW builds the X3, as well as Ford (Ranger, Everest) and Nissan (NP300/Hardbody, Navara, NP200). BMW recently gave its X3 a facelift, with the first updated model rolling off the production line on 27 August 2021.

At the start of 2021, Ford invested R15.8 billion in its Silverton Plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria. The undertaken upgrades have been made to prepare the plant for the local production of the all-new Ranger bakkie. Sticking with bakkies, Nissan began with local production of its facelifted Navara earlier this year. Sadly, the automaker will cease NP300/Hardbody production later this year.

In Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, Toyota produces the Hilux and Fortuner. These two vehicles are among the best-selling vehicles in South Africa and among the Japanese automaker’s top-selling vehicles both locally and abroad, including the new Toyota Corolla Cross which is produced here. 

The Eastern Cape is another vital production hub. In East London, Mercedes-Benz produces the C-Class for local and export markets. Mercedes-Benz South Africa has been producing the C-Class since 2014. Further south, Isuzu builds the Isuzu and mu-X at its Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) facilities, while Volkswagen produces the ever-popular Polo in Kariega (Uitenhage). All these vehicles are exported.