South African car seat manufacturer Lear has said that its intended move to the Port Elizabeth industrial complex of Neave will be undertaken with a view to boosting its exports, for instance by supplying seat covers for BMW cars.

These are made at a plant that will henceforth be around two kilometres (1.5 miles) from the nearby BMW plant, whereas Lear#;s old plant is 20 km (12 miles) away.

Lear SA, factory manager Willem Maré added that the new facility would also place the company closer to the Delta plant, which produces the Opel range.

The move is also expected to give the company increased flexibility in being able to produce a wider range of products for the vehicle industry.

He added that the South African rand#;s weakness is currently making local manufacturing a more cost-effective option when considering international costs.

The ability to enter the export market is expected to create an additional 120 jobs at the company that already employs 160.

Lear SA also announced that it would begin seeking a foreign supplier for a joint venture in the electronic components sector of the industry.