Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) unexpectedly received an extra order for 6,000 Polos for export to Europe, the company’s managing director David Powels told the website SouthAfrica.info earlier this week. He described the order as a “mini windfall”.
“Our factory was set to shut down completely during the weeks before and after the Easter weekend,” Powels said. “These plans have now been cancelled, and we will run full production due to this increase in export demand.”
The extra export order was a direct spin-off from Germany’s economic support package, and specifically the so-called Auto Industry Financial Support Package, which pays €2,500 (about R32,269) to anyone in Germany who buys a new, low-emission passenger car and scraps an existing car that is over nine years old.
“The short-term demand created by the support package has resulted in VWSA’s receipt of the order for incremental export Polos,” Powels said.
“In view of the current uncertain business climate, we welcome this new development.”
VWSA recently exported its 375,000th vehicle.
Comment: No doubt, the German taxpayer, who is funding the support package with his tax money, would have preferred to save jobs in his own country!
Similar “unintended outcomes” from the stimulation package, eg. booming sales of small cars from France and other non-German car manufacturers, have lead to revisions of the stimulation package in recent weeks. But, it’s unlikely that the “unintended outcome” of bigger imports from South Africa, will be jumped upon by the local media. After all, VWSA is part of the “extended family”.