An innovative Swiss-South African trade partnership, launched in the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park (NMBLP) outside Port Elizabeth yesterday, 19 August 2015, is set to create opportunities to increase local content in South African automotive manufacturing.
Under a global contract secured by Swiss company WEIDPLAS, its South African trade partner QPlas, a subsidiary of Cape Town-based plastic injection-moulding specialists QTeC Moulding, has set up shop in the NMBLP to manufacture a range of interior, exterior and under-bonnet plastic components for Mercedes Benz South Africa (MBSA).
After the collapse of the trade agreement between Weidplas and another local injection moulding company the time frames to set up the partnership shortened as the manufacture of the C Class Mercedes had to go on.
In this regard QPlas Managing Director, Tom du Toit, heaped praise on the parastatals involved in helping the Cape Town head-quartered business set up in the Coega managed Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park close to Uitenhage and Despatch.
The Cape Town based QTech Mouldings is a Tier 1 supplier to Volkswagen and the QPlas NMBLP facility has been earmarked for expansion of around 8 000 square metres in the near future.
“People sometimes complain in South Africa but our local government is really keen to help create jobs,” said du Toit. “After one meeting with Coega it took them two weeks to present proposals, time plans and architecural drawings,” he noted.
With reference to the Nelson Mandela Bay Electricity Department Du Toit said that he was told by one official; “The faster I help you the faster I can create more jobs” – some very admirable sentiments that one really wants to hear from a municipality.
Du Toit and his wife will be leaving their home in Paarl and relocating to Port Elizabeth.
So there you have it – Tom du Toit ticked three boxes that make me proud of the Friendly City.
The WEIDPLAS facility currently manufactures 2000 parts per day for the 450 C Class vehicles that come off the line at the East London Mercedes Benz plant. Raw materials for the parts are imported.
WEIDPLAS South Africa general manager David Krumbock said the company’s unique trade partnership approach was more than a standard customer-supplier or outsourcing relationship.
“Our model is to secure global supply contracts and then form trade partnerships with local suppliers, supporting them with equipment, project management, skills development and technology transfer.
“This is not about an international company coming into South Africa and bringing its own people. It’s about developing the local company and enabling them to compete globally, create employment and add value to the local economy.
“The intention is for QPlas to be able to grow their business off the back of an initial solid contract and project support provided by WEIDPLAS,” he said.
Krumbock said that, since commencing production, WEIDPLAS had both grown volumes and started negotiations for supply of additional parts in order to “deepen localisation” for MBSA.
“We have also secured a supply contract for the new Toyota Hilux platform and are in the final stage of negotiations with VW for components for the VW Polo platform. Our goal is to become the supplier of choice of interior trim and under-bonnet components to global OEMs in South Africa,” Du Toit said.
Krumbock said WEIDPLAS’s backing through securing the international contract, and its technical and project management support, led to “upskilling” of local companies and enabled them to secure business from global OEMs “as the risk is covered by the international partner, ensuring security of quality and an unbroken supply chain”.
“The opportunity is now there for QPlas to develop the skills of its employees, ensure the quality of its operation, and seek out new business on the basis of a strong and credible foundation of what it has delivered to the WEIDPLAS customer,” Krumbock said.
The following two tabs change content below.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/things-that-make-me-proud/52810/2015/08