SOUTH AFRICA: VW South Africa risks losing export contracts

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 September 2007

Production at Volkswagen's South African plant in Uitenhage has ground to a halt as a strike by metal workers enters its second week.

The plant builds a wide variety of models including an updated version of the original 'Mark One' Golf, the current Golf and the Jetta for both domestic and export markets. According to Reuters, output ceased a week ago, with the loss of 500 cars a day.

Volkswagen of South Africa managing director David Powels said in a statement that the company was unable to fill key orders for Asia Pacific markets and feared that his company would lose export contracts as a result, resulting in the elimination of 36,000 units a year, the equivalent of 1,500 jobs.

The strike began on 12 September and has affected 10,000 companies and 50,000 workers.

Reuters noted that South Africa has suffered a series of strikes over pay over the last few months.