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BAIC South Africa successfully launched its first vehicle -Begin the "Golden Future" of BAIC South Africa with the new model of "Golden Cooperation."

"BAIC South Africa has successfully launched its first vehicle!"

On the afternoon of July 24, Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa simultaneously pressed the production line start button and jointly witnessed first South Africa locally assembled and produced BAIC X25.

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"To build the BAIC South Africa factory as a new model for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa, and to provide more quality Chinese products to the people of South Africa and Africa." The comments made by the leaders of the two countries on the "reports card" of the BAIC South Africa plant project carry the mutual enthusiasm for development.

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The witness of leaders- work together at milestone projects for the cooperation of China and South Africa

China is one of South Africa's most important partners. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 20 years ago, China-South Africa relationship has been through three phases: partnership, strategic partnership and comprehensive strategic partnership, three characteristics: strategic, comprehensive and mutually beneficial and four advantages: political mutual trust, economic and trade mutual benefit, people's friendship and international cooperation. The China-Africa Cooperation Forum, the BRICS cooperation, the "Belt and Road" and the South-South cooperation had been established and become a good model for collaboration between China and Africa and South-South.

To strengthen China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership, President Xi Jinping proposed at the 2015 China-Africa Summit to implement "Ten Major Cooperation Plan" with Africa in the next three years. Under the witness of the leaders of China and South Africa, the two countries had signed 26 bilateral agreements with a total value of 41.9 billion yuan. Among them, BAIC Group and South Africa Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the joint venture and cooperation of the BAIC South Africa factory project with a total investment of 800 million US dollars (about 5 billion yuan).

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In August 2016, BAIC South Africa officially laid the foundation. The construction of the factory will be implemented in two phases. By the end of 2019, BAIC South Africa factory will have three workshops of final assembly, painting and welding. With the construction of the first phase, the goal of annual production capacity of 50,000 units will be gradually realized. According to progress reports, the factory will be put into production at the end of this year and will begin manufacturing and producing BAIC's passenger vehicles, off-road vehicles, light-duty vehicles and other automotive products suitable for the market. At the same time, it will produce left- and right-rudder products, which are expected to become an essential automobile manufacturing base for South Africa and other overseas markets such as Africa.

The BAIC South Africa factory is not only the most significant automobile factory invested by Chinese companies in South Africa and Africa but also a model for the active connection between the new demand for industrialisation in South Africa and the new energic capacity in China. At the off-line ceremony, Xu Heyi, the chairman of BAIC Group, described the cooperation between the two countries as "golden cooperation", which means grasping the important opportunities provided by the BRICS cooperation. He mentioned that it is necessary to connect with a deeper level of strategy and to condense the "golden core" of unity and mutual trust; to achieve complementary advantages with a deeper level and build a "golden cornerstone" of mutual benefit and win-win partnership; to progress of innovation to create a "golden engine" for mutual development; and to exchanges with a deeper level of humanities and tighten the "golden ties" of cultural integration.

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Ms Busi Mabuza, Chairman of the South African Industrial Development Corporation, believes that a modern car factory has begun to take its shape with the efforts of 1540 local workers. "From the blueprint to the reality, we turned the willingness to cooperate into concrete action, and we will enter a new stage our partnership." She expressed her expectation for the bright future.

Leading Technology- Defines a new global benchmark for green production.

China is the largest developing country in the world, and South Africa is the leader of the industrialisation of Africa. Based on 20 years of friendship, the two sides have taken advantage of complementary natural resources and demonstrated adaption to the trends and times regarding capacity cooperation.

 

"BAIC South Africa plant is different from the wholly-owned overseas factory in the general sense. It is based on the development of South Africa's industry and builds a whole industrial chain production base of R&D, procurement, production, sales and financial services. It drives self-owned businesses of parts, logistics and warehousing with whole vehicle manufacturing. We will achieve the goal of 60% local supply of parts within five years, which will lead to more space for cooperation and development." The head of the BAIC South Africa project mentioned.

BAIC South Africa factory is at Coega Economic Development Zone which is located 15 kilometres north of Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and is less than 4 kilometres from the new port of Port Elizabeth. International transportation is very convenient. In the development plan of industrial parks, the Coega Economic Development Zone has automobile, metal, chemical, energy, pharmaceutical, logistics, commercial services, marine economy, agricultural product processing and other industrial zones which industrial clusters were formed and intertwined with one another. This unique effect of the clusters and advantages on skills and resources make Coega Economic Development Zone an ideal ground for the development of the automobile industry.

It is understood that after the BAIC South Africa factory has committed to creating a "high standard, environmentally friendly and intelligent" factory. The factory has installed a series of best industry-standard equipment, adopted international benchmarking standards of automation and AI, and used industrial robots as much as possible to reduce the labour intensity of workers and to ensure the consistency of quality and products. The manufacturing process and the entire plant design fully considered energy conservation and environmental protection and adopted mature, advanced, low pollution and energy saving manufacturing technology. Among the base paint in the primer, the intermediate paint and the top paint, only water-based paints are used. Under the same welding conditions, the overall energy consumption of the CO2 gas shielded welding is about 60% of the manual arc welding, and the production efficiency has increased by 1.2 to 2.4 times. Besides, in the aspects of electricity, water and gas conservation, a series of effective measures are adopted, so that the three types of wastes after treatment can meet the emission requirements of South Africa environmental protection departments and become a true "green factory" in the area.

The Coega Economic Development Zone carries the new platform of the BAIC South Africa project, local customisation, and international cooperation. It will help BAIC building a high-tech product with first-class technology, exquisite quality and cost-leading. It will become the place of high-end manufacturing product, technology conversion and talents gathering as well as the birthplace of high-end brands of the automotive industry for South Africa and entire Africa. It will also effectively promote the transformation of South Africa's industrial economy and achieve win-win cooperation and joint development.

Strong cooperation- The way to seek joint development of future

As the initiator of the strong cooperation of BAIC South Africa project, BAIC Group, established in 1958, is one of the top five automobile groups in China. In 2017, BAIC Group sold 2.51 million vehicles with an operating income of 470.3 billion yuan. In 2018, BAIC group is ranked 124th at Fortune's World's Top 500 Companies. BAIC Group has established a complete industrial chain covering the whole vehicle (including passenger cars, commercial vehicles and new energy vehicles), parts development, manufacturing, automotive service trade, integrated travel services, finance and investment. It also realised the strategic expansion to the general aviation industry and had become the state-owned large-scale automobile enterprise group with the complete varieties of products, comprehensive industrial chain and the leading new energy vehicles in the domestic automobile industry in China.

In recent years, BAIC Group has adhered to the concept of innovation and development, vigorously promoted the optimisation of resources and the re-engineering of core capabilities. BAIC planned the new energy automobile industry, actively carried out forward-looking technology research and industrialisation exploration such as intelligent network and big data and created core competitive advantage of own brands. BAIC will deeply cultivate the automotive aftermarket and accelerate the pace of "going out", access to the market in more than 40 countries and regions. Through fully utilizing our advantages in technology, brand, financial and industrial chain operation and collaborating agriculture facilities and general aviation industry, we have built a global platform for global key markets- Beijing Automotive International Development Co., Ltd. BAIC improves its R&D, manufacturing and quality management capabilities at the company's South Africa manufacturing base through localized marketing and joint venture cooperation. With the aid of automotive finance, BAIC increases the sales of new and used cars and export brands, services and products, technology, finance to the rest of the world. BAIC actively supports Africa's "three networks and one industrialisation " strategy and agricultural modernisation and improves the traffic conditions of African people, and provide all-around travel solutions in science and technology, safety, quality and environmental protection to local people.

An excellent partnership is a guarantee for sustainable business. South Africa Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a large South African state-owned enterprise with a history of nearly 78 years, is one of the project investors. It operates in South Africa and other African countries and is a Financial company which provides financial support for enterprises and investment projects that promote the industrialisation of Africa. Through mutual trust, assistance and cooperation, BAIC and IDC will be able to develop the BAIC South Africa project into a regional base in South Africa and access major markets in South Africa and rest of Africa. This partnership will also explore a feasible way for the overseas development of Chinese auto companies.