This is not a trucking related story. It’s about a motor car engine. However, I highlight it here as it is a story that captures national pride and which we can all stand behind and cheer as it shows what South Africa is capable of if we get on and do the job instead of being immersed in the divisive politics driven by our leaders that have served to take our eye off our true capabilites as a nation.
It’s about a milestone reached earlier this month by Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) when it produced its one millionth EA111 engine – an engine manufactured in South Africa for our local market as well as export markets including China, India, Taiwan, Mexico and Malaysia.
Production of the EA111 engine started back in January 2010 when the first engines for the then new Polo and Polo Vivo were produced for the local market. This was followed by producing engines for export markets. Apart from assembling the engine locally, the grey cast iron cylinder block for the engine as well as the bearing cap for the block is also machined in-house.
“This is the most successful line we have run in the Engine Plant since it was opened in 1981. It’s still operating flawlessly and at an output performance level far exceeding the initial target,” says Richard Reid, Unit Head: Engine Plant.
The production line is designed in such a way that the output capacity can be adjusted without affecting the quality or stability. The Engine Plant is currently producing over 450 engines and just over 470 machined engine blocks per day with a two shift pattern run by 192 operators and setters. Yes, you read that right – 450 engines per day!
“The Engine Plant‘s continued dedication to meeting the strict quality standards set by the Volkswagen Group and continuous achievement of volume targets is a credit to their great team work. They are a great example of a team that live our Volkswagen Values of Respect, Integrity, OneTeam and Excellence,“ says Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa.
If only our polical leaders would drive these values for South Africa we could, as a nation, achieve so much. Instead, as I write this, we are seeing Eskom in chaos with load shedding once again looming. We are also seeing service delivery protests all over the country, tyres burning, trucks being burnt, shops being looted, rubber bullets being fired – and so on. We are living Zuma’s Legacy.
It is all so sad. As is proved by this story, South Africa can really shine if we all stand together as a team. Instead, divisive wedges have been driven into society over the years by politicians hell-bent on their own power instead of on unifying a nation to reach its true potential.
FleetWatch extends its congratulations to Volkswagen South Afrca – not only on this great achievement but for also being a beacon of light in an otherwise pertty dark tunnel. Such achivements give hope.