Uitenhage Industry details
Uitenhage Industry, manufacturing industries and Assembly plants2 such as Volkswagen and Goodyear.
Note we have nothing whatsoever to do
with VW or any other company so do not contact us with
enquiries regarding them we are only trying to bring you
information regarding the industry in the town. Many of the
industrial activities in Uitenhage center around
Volkswagen, who took over the motor assembly
plant stated in 1946 just after the second world war, with
the first Beetle rolling off the lines on 31 August 1951.
that is more than 60 years ago and cars have changed
dramatically since then.
In 2011 the company started construction of a new R500 million press shop in its Uitenhage assembly plant. The investment is in addition to the R4.5 billion the car maker has invested in South Africa over the past four years. Building up the Eastern Cape's potential. The new building when finished will consist of an 8 429m2 main production hall, to house the state-of-the-art six-stage press line and its required services.
The Photo below is of part of their "old" press shop with what in their day was the most up-to-date 400 ton press line.
March 13 2014 Over the last few years, Volkswagen has increased its investment to more than R6 billion in the Volkswagen South Africa factory in Uitenhage including the most modern and efficient press shop in the Volkswagen Group
Dec 2013 Volkswagen recently opened a Peoples Pavilion, which is a sports, recreational, rehabilitation and community facility the use of all Volkswagen South Africa employees and their families. It was opened by the Chairman of Volkswagen Group South Africa, Dr Hubert Waltl
Uitenhage is situated close to Port Elizabeth, Eastern
Cape, S.A. and as stated among its main industries are
Volkswagen (automobiles) also Good Year (tyres) as well as
many other companies such as Gearmax, SKF, Goodyear,
Rocklands Poultry, Colibri, to name but a few.
The founding fathers of Uitenhage could not have chosen a better place to settle in their day, there was rich arable land and they had the artesian springs to supply water even in years of drought. Information the town is still ideally situated although the town has become industrialized. it is close enough to the sea both for the residents to enjoy a relaxing day on the beach and for the industries to ship their products. It is also far enough away not to be affected by the salt laden air as the actual coastal towns are.
Volkswagen is the main employer in the town Below is a photo of the plant as it faces Algoa Road, blow that is a photo of their Main Office block and next to that a picture of their Paint Shop. Clicking on any of these three images will open a larger version. The use of External Uitenhage photographs is permitted provided the author is credited for his work copying Internal VW photos banned.
The town is famed for its car and associated parts manufacture but industry really started back in the late 1800’s with Wool-washers playing an important role in the economic and structural development of the town, and by 1875 ten such concerns had been established in its vicinity. Approximately 100,000 bales of wool were washed annually and exported through the Port Elizabeth harbour. The industry used of steam machinery and gave employment to a large number of unskilled labourers. However after 1874 the industry began a slow decline as increasing costs and a failure to modernise equipment forced various firms to either close down or to amalgamate with competitors. Construction of the Port Elizabeth-Uitenhage railway had begun on 9 January 1872, and the line reached Uitenhage on 23 September 1875. About 1875, work was begun on the erection of railway locomotive workshops for the railway system, and by 1904 the Cape Railways had become the major economic force in Uitenhage. The demise of the steam locomotive meant the closure of most of these posts and now the old railway workshop site is scheduled to become a shopping mall. Or so is stated in the local news paper and on a development company's web site
An Industrial development was created near to the Volkswagen factory, allowing automotive component manufacturers to construct their manufacturing plants close to the car manufacturer. More recently a Logistic Park was also created so that components could be delivered in as short a time as possible also keeping the parts away from the salt air prevalent in other parts of the Nelson Mandela bay Municipality
Final Assembly Volkswagen
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Compare this Photo which shows the VW factory in the early 1990's with the banner image at the top of the page and note the differences it shows the amount the company has invested in the town.
All Photos © Alex Cummings