Multimillion dollar plant inaugurated

WALVIS BAY President Hage Geingob has officially opened the Peugeot Opel assembly plant.

10 December 2018 | Business

Emre Karaer; Vice President of Peugeot Namibia; “The group has a solid ambition with the push to pass its plan of selling 1 000 000 vehicles in Africa by 2025.”

Leandrea Louw - Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjivikua welcomed the establishment of the N$190 million Peugeot Opel Assembly Nambia Plant in Walvis Bay and commended the government for creating an environment conducive for foreign direct investment.

“We are ready to process applications in record time to ensure a fast process for smooth investment opportunities within our mandate at regional level. We will also do our utmost best to ensure this investment by Peugeot, which is a futuristic business, will withstand the test of time. ”

The cars assembled at the plant include the Peugeot 3008 and 5008, and Opel Grandland X models to start with. To date 15 vehicles, five each of the models, have been produced in the harbour town and 50 jobs were created.

Assembly will reach an annual targeted capacity of 5 000 units by 2020 to meet the market demand of SACU countries. Namibians might also have the opportunity to buy these vehicles manufactured in Walvis Bay at a cheaper price as the project grows.

The employees are currently receiving on the job training and will later receive additional training at plants in Nigeria and France.

President Hage Geingob in his keynote address said that the assembly plant in the harbour town shows the intent of Namibia to become one of the premier destinations for foreign direct investment in Africa.

“We should always be mindful of the fact that government’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment are not merely for the purpose of establishing factories. These investments should ultimately buttress our efforts to boost local enterprise development and increase the entry and participation of emerging and existing businesses into the mainstream economy.”

The president further said that Namibia is still faced with the triple challenge of severe pockets of poverty, unemployment and unequal distribution of income.

“These are the lingering legacies of our country’s past, which was characterised by the politics of structural economic exclusion, among other things.”

The president expressed the hope that the Peugeot Opel Assembly Namibia Plant, will be a project that will bolster the diversification strategy set out in our Growth at Home Strategy.

“We expect our local small and medium enterprises to incur benefit from this investment, further enabling Namibia to realise the positive externalities and spill over from foreign direct investment.”

Geingob reiterated that employees should constantly be retrained, and emphasised the need for them to add on to their skills.

“Improving the competitiveness of our workforce is becoming increasingly urgent with the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution. This is the new reality, which is characterised by digitisation, artificial intelligence and robotics. Change is coming, but we do believe that by properly educating and training our workforce we will avoid the onset of structural unemployment that could result as a consequence of automation.”

According to the president customer service in Namibia still has a long way to go.

“Our people working in customs are the first ones that encounter investors. We should make a point of it to change our demeanour towards those visiting the country.”

Emre Karaer, Vice President of Peugeot Namibia, said it was a historical year for Groupe PSA.

“In the first semester of the year, our automotive division operating margin reached 8%, which is the industry benchmark. Worldwide unit sales stood at 2.18 million vehicles, which is a 38.1% improvement since 2017. The group revenue reached 38.6 million euro in 2018, which is a 40.1% increase compared to 2017.

He added that in 2018, up to the end of October, the Middle East African region sold 269 000 vehicles of which 29 000 are Opels.

“The group has a solid ambition with the push to pass its plan of selling 1 000 000 vehicles in this region by 2025.”

The newly established plant complies with Groupe PSA’s international norms and quality standards.

Photo Caption

Assembly plant 1: President Hage Geingob unveiling the plague during the official opening of the assembly plant in Walvis Bay. Photo Contributed

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