Volkswagen AG is set to increase car exports from its South African plant from a projected 28,500 in 2009 to 55,000 next year. VW plans to export right-hand drive models of its new Polo to the UK, Ireland and other global markets. The carmaker will nearly double South African car exports under a 27 billion rand ($3.59 billion) global contract for the Polo.
Stevens, a spokesman at Volkswagen South Africa, said that the total contract for the 55,000 cars is worth about 27 billion rand.
The new Polo hatchback will be exported by VW South Africa to all right-hand drive countries, including the UK, Ireland, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. The model will also be introduced to the South African market early in 2010.
VW's plant, which builds Golf and Polo hatchbacks, is located near Port Elizabeth in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.
South Africa's auto industry, one of the biggest in the country's manufacturing sector, has not been able to escape from the global economic downturn and its impact on consumer spending.
New vehicle sales in South Africa dropped by 12.5% year-on-year in October. Meanwhile, exports were 25.4% lower compared with October last year at 20,948 vehicles but rose up to 49.9 percent from September.