Having been inaugurated in July 2014, FAW South Africa’s Coega assembly plant has now celebrated the production milestone of 4 000 units. The R600-million plant was the first large-scale investment made by a China-based company in the Eastern Cape region and remains one of the largest foreign direct investments made in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).
To date, a total of 16 different models have been assembled at the plant in Coega, ranging from the ever popular 8.140 to the landmark FAW 33.420FT truck tractor, which is the newest model in the company’s extra-heavy commercial vehicle range and is the successor to the popular FAW 28.380FT.
The plant has increased production to include almost all FAW commercial vehicles sold in the sub-Saharan region today. It has produced 1 061 vehicles in the past 13 months alone (averaging 81 vehicles a month), which are either sold locally, or exported into southern Africa.
FAW exports reached 159 units in 2016, which rose to 212 units in 2017, establishing FAW as the second-largest commercial vehicle exporter in South Africa.
All vehicles must pass a quality-control procedure before they are given the green light; no less than seven quality check points are in place to ensure that all vehicles that roll off the production line are of the highest build quality.
The plant currently provides permanent employment for 120 people. Some 951 training hours have been completed this year, with the training focusing on health and safety as well as skills development.
Several health and safety practices are monitored and enforced at the site. Each assembly station has been ergonomically designed to provide optimum employee work efficiency and well-being.
Eighty-nine innovations and improvements have been implemented at the plant in recent years, most of which were proposed by the assembly staff.
Furthermore, FAW SA has developed and incorporated numerous policies and procedures to ensure effective waste management at the plant to comply with the environmental standards put into place by the Coega IDZ.