Peugeot moots exiting Namibia

French carmaker Peugeot is debating the future of its Namibian assembly plant, which was opened in 2018 to build cars for the South Africa market but has since suspended operations.

Peugeot global Chief Executive Officer, Linda Jackson, said the company has not yet decided whether to build vehicles in South Africa again.

Stellantis, the Europe-based motor group whose brands include Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Jeep, Opel and Alfa Romeo, has previously put out feelers in South Africa to investigate the feasibility of vehicles being built in the neighbouring country.

Previously, Peugeots were built under contract by other motor companies.

Jackson’s pronouncement to BusinessDay, comes as the Namibian Peugeot-Opel assembly plant situated in Walvis Bay, in which the Namibian government owns a 49% stake, with French automaker Groupe PSA’s having a majority 51%, suspended operations due to its inability to export vehicles out of the country to South Africa, the region’s biggest market.

Only 150 vehicles have been assembled since it started operations in December 2018, out of a production target of 5 000 units by 2020.

To support the plant which is reported to have employed only 20 employees from the targeted 50, Cabinet issued a directive in 2019, directing all government entities to purchase their vehicle assembled at Walvis Bay plant.

The agreement between Groupe PSA and the Namibian government was part of the motoring group’s strategic profitable growth plan, which aimed to satisfy customer expectations in all the regions in which it operates.

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Last modified on Monday, 25 July 2022 22:50

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