The first phase of the fully-fledged BMW export programme kicked off in 1995 with the export of 500 BMW 3 Series vehicles to Australia. Taiwan received the first consignment of left-hand-drive BMWs in the new export programme and in June 1997 the first shipment of 323i left-hand drive vehicles left for South America. Before the turn of the century, BMW South Africa had already started exporting South African manufactured BMW 3 Series Sedans to Germany, the UK, South America, North America, Australia, Taiwan, Japan and the Asia/Pacific rim.
Since 1998, BMW South Africa has grown its overall production volume by 220% while its production of cars for export markets has quadrupled. The BMW Group undertook a major inward investment in Plant Rosslyn in 2002, increasing the Plant's production capacity to 60 000 units per annum. In effect, the dramatic increases in productivity and the growing export program have resulted in BMW South Africa putting over R3.5 billion into the pockets of South African business per year. Seventy-five percent of approximately 270 000 vehicles produced at the Plant Rosslyn during the lifecycle of E46 (1998 - 2005) were exported to customers across the globe.
Since entering the market, the export volume has grown significantly from the original 500 units in 1995 to about 70 000 units of the 3 Series in 2013. BMW SA exports its 3 Series F30 units to eight different destinations globally, namely: Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, USA and Canada. BMW SA Markets are spread over eight include that of the United States, Japan and Australia leading to 87% of production volumes directly destined for export markets.
Today following the expansion of production volumes, and a target of 75 000 units per annum; BMW SA has dedicated 4 rail carriers that each have a storage capacity of up to 240 units. The same carriers are also used to transport import units from the Durban Harbour to the VDC in Rosslyn. The increase also afforded BMW SA the opportunity of exporting the 3 Series Sedans from Maputo in Mozambique. Currently BMWSA ships cars on a bi-monthly basis to the Far East, Canada, USA and Australia respectively.