Volkswagen SA is investing R3 billion over three years to 2010 in its South African plant, Business Report said on Friday.

The company planned to increase the local content of the vehicles it produced locally from the current level of less than 40 percent, to about 70 percent within two years, the report read.

Jochem Heizmann, the member of the Volkswagen board responsible for group production and the chairman of VWSA, said VWSA’s board had developed a very clear vision and strategy to 2018.

At its centre was a renewed manufacturing environment for the Uitenhage plant.

Heizmann was quoted as saying that this renewal process had started last year with the opening of its state-of-the-art R750 million paint shop.

The process was continuing with the R3 billion investment programme.

He said this included the introduction of new production technologies in body shop and vehicle assembly operations, a new engine manufacturing strategy to supply both domestic and export markets, and the introduction of new production systems.

“At the end of this renewal process we will have a completely renewed manufacturing facility capable of building even higher-quality products more productively and competitively for both domestic and export markets,” he told the newspaper.