BMW South Africa has embarked on a major plant upgrade to add an electrocoat plant to its water based paint shop and establish a new body shop to accommodate a new model, writes Dave Cumming.

The upgrade will increase capacity to 60,000 units a year, many destined for export markets.

The pre-treatment electrocoat plant is a world technological first, the company says, and uses a process developed by Germany's Eisanmann.

The bulk of the company's current $US200 000 investment programme will run over the next two years.