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Ramsay to manufacture cross-car beams for BMW, Ford


By: Loni Prinsloo

Pietermaritzburg-based engineering firm Ramsay on Friday revealed its latest automotive component manufacturing project, geared towards localisation.

The project would see the company producing 150 000 cross-car beams a year for BMW and Ford in South Africa, previously produced in Germany and Thailand.

Speaking at a site visit, Ramsay financial director Angus Anderson said that the new project had a significant localisation aspect to it that would build skills and develop a new technology capability in the country.

Ramsay secured R30-million in investment capital from the Industrial Development Corporation to acquire technologies, some of which are being used for the first time in the southern hemisphere, such as a map-vision optimal gauge.

"These technologies do not come cheap and five years ago we would not have imagined that such a project would be possible," said Anderson.

The loan would be paid off in five years, through the capital generated by the project.

The project would create 65 permanent jobs over the next two years and would run over a 7- to 12-year period.

Ramsay technical director Stuart Beaumont pointed out that the tools for the new car beam was designed and made in-house.

Toolmaking is one of South Africa's core drives in job creation as it is estimated that for every new toolmaker trained, 20 downstream jobs are created.

Anderson pointed out that South Africa had to import about R4.3-billion worth of tooling a year. "This money needs to be retained in the South African economy, and a lot of testing is being done by government to support and build the toolmaking industry in the country," he added.

Ramsay's toolmaking capabilities were one of the factors enabling the company's strong growth of 20% over the last seven years.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb
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Ramsay to manufacture cross-car beams for BMW, Ford

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