Business Maverick


Stellantis, one of the world’s biggest car companies, to set up manufacturing plant in SA

Stellantis, one of the world’s biggest car companies, to set up manufacturing plant in SA
The Stellantis Dundee Engine Complex in Dundee, Michigan, United States. (Photo: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images)

‘The manufacturing site in South Africa will be a new building block in our industrialisation strategy that includes the plan to sell one million vehicles in the region by 2030.’

The French-Italian-Americans are coming. Almost 30 years after Fiat and Alfa Romeo pulled out of South Africa due to apartheid, the brands are reinvesting in the country under the umbrella of automotive group Stellantis, which also owns Citroën, Jeep, Opel, Peugeot and Abarth.

The multinational has announced plans to develop a manufacturing facility in South Africa, in an as-yet-undeclared Special Economic Zone.

On Wednesday, Stellantis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to develop a manufacturing plant in SA, as part of its “Dare Forward 2030” ambition to sell a million vehicles by 2030, with 70% regional production autonomy.

The move will help strengthen the group’s position in the local market, with the manufacturing project to be completed by 2025.


The signing ceremony, which took place at the office of DTIC Minister Ebrahim Patel, was attended by Tshokolo Nchocho, CEO of the IDC; Stellantis Middle East and Africa chief operating officer Samir Cherfan, and Leslie Ramsoomar, Stellantis SA’s managing director.

“This is an important step in our ‘Dare Forward 2030’ strategic plan towards strengthening our leadership in the Middle East and Africa region and becoming a major player in South Africa,” said Cherfan.

“The manufacturing site in South Africa will be a new building block in our industrialisation strategy that includes the plan to sell one million vehicles in the region by 2030, with 70% regional production autonomy, and will bring us closer to our customers’ needs in the region.”

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The manufacturing plant, which is planned for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), will be completed by 2025.

Stellantis could be targeting any one of these SEZs or existing Industrial Development Zones (IDZ), namely:

  • Atlantis SEZ: part of the City of Cape Town’s initiative to establish a greentech manufacturing hub in Atlantis. Situated on the West Coast, 40km outside Cape Town, the Atlantis SEZ capitalises on the province’s renewable energy and green technology sector.
  • Nkomazi SEZ: located about 65km from Mbombela/Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. Its geographic location is its main competitive advantage as it is strategically positioned between northern Swaziland and southwestern Mozambique.
  • Coega IDZ: the first and largest IDZ in Southern Africa. It is located in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape. The Coega IDZ has attracted investment in agro-processing, automotive, aquaculture, energy, metals logistics and business process services sectors.
  • Richards Bay IDZ: a purpose-built and secure industrial estate along the N2 business corridor linking the ports of Durban and Richards Bay. It is tailored for manufacturing and storage of minerals and products to boost beneficiation, investment, economic growth, skills development and employment.
  • East London IDZ: an industrial park renowned for customised solutions for automotive, agro-processing and aquaculture. Located in Buffalo City, it is one of the first IDZs in SA.
  • Saldanha Bay IDZ: a primary oil, gas and marine repair engineering and logistics services complex based two hours north of Cape Town.
  • Dube TradePort: the only facility in Africa that brings together an international airport, a cargo terminal, warehousing, offices, a retail sector, hotels and an agricultural area. Located 30km north of Durban, Dube TradePort focuses on manufacturing and value-addition, primarily for automotive, agriculture and electronics.
  • Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ: in Harrismith, Free State, this newly established SEZ offers exporters a logistics base that facilitates access to the Port of Durban.
  • OR Tambo SEZ: focuses on light, high-margin, export-oriented manufacturing of precious and semi-precious metals. The multi-site development at OR Tambo in Ekurhuleni consists of several industry-specific precincts.
  • Musina/Makhado SEZ: two geographical locations in Limpopo that address unique industrial clusters – a light industrial and agro-processing cluster and a metallurgical/mineral beneficiation complex.
  • The Tshwane Automotive SEZ: this is Africa’s first automotive city and is located in Tshwane. It already hosts the Ford Motor Company and SMMEs providing goods and services to the motoring sector. Spanning 162.6 hectares, the SEZ offers links to regional and international markets.

Stellantis already has industrial operations in nearly 30 countries, serving consumers in more than 130 markets.

Stellantis was formed in January 2021 through a merger of the French-based PSA Group and Italian-American conglomerate, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Its headquarters are in Amsterdam. BM/DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Good news! SA is bad, but never as bad as we perceive it. This has nothing to do with the government but a a lot with our min wage and our placement in Africa. We have so many opportunities, its just going to take a good 20 or 30 years of governance. 🙂

  • Limpet 87 says:

    I know .. let’s set up a car plant in a country with rampant corruption, violent trade unions, no electricity, ineffective government and failing infrastructure. That’s a good idea.

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