Volkswagen South Africa has started exporting Golf 5s as part of a five-year contract with its parent company which will be worth about £2 billion over five years. Its Uitenhage plant is the first VW factory outside Europe to do so.

The cars are destined largely for Japan and Australia but some will be shipped to New Zealand and other Far Eastern markets.

VWSA says it will produce 2 300 units a month and it has invested about £66 million to upgrade production facilities for purposes of the contract, which had seen creation of about 750 new jobs.

The company now exports vehicles and components to the value of about £700 million a year. Other models in its export lineup include Golf 4s and Polos and managing director Andreas Tostmann has hinted it will make a bid to manufacture the new generation Jetta when it is launched.

The Golf 5 project is VWSA’s second major export project this year. Earlier it began shipping TDI diesel engines as part of a project which will account for about £1 billion over six years.

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