The first phase is a 30,000 square meter plant that will initially assemble completely knocked down (CKD) heavy commercial vehicle units at an annual rate of 5,000.
Phase 2 will see a 140,000 square meter plant erected on the 400,000 square meter site in Zone 2 of the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) to produce 30,000 light commercial vehicles and passenger cars annually. A decision on whether to proceed to phase 2 is likely to be taken within three years.
The initial R600m investment will create 500 permanent jobs and many more temporary jobs during the construction phases.
“Establishing a production facility in SA is a critical part of FAW’s global strategy, as SA is not only a market in its own right, but also the gateway to the rest of Africa,” FAW chairman Jin Yi told a media briefing.
Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet said today marked an historic beginning for the province as she was re-positioning the Eastern Cape as an investment and transport hub.
“In a few years’ time the Eastern Cape will be significantly different as more companies will follow the lead of FAW and invest in this province,” she said.
She hailed the bold decision of FAW to invest in the Coega IDZ and thanked the backroom people of the CDC for their hard work in clinching the deal. She said they were true servants of the province.
FAW started operating in 1953 and produced its first vehicle in 1956. It is now in the top 200 of the global Fortune 500 list, and in 2011 had turnover of close to US$70 billion, producing 2.6 million vehicles. FAW has been selling trucks in SA since 1993.
It is currently owned by the Chinese government but plans to list this year.
*Helmo Preuss was hosted in Port Elizabeth by the CDC.