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Spotted while surfing at <A HREF="http://www.bday.co.za" TARGET="_blank">http://www.bday.co.za</a><p>Car maker Volvo is looking to increase the number of cars it assembles in Pretoria with a view to start exporting units to Australia, New Zealand and Italy. <br>If the project gets the goahead, Volvo will join the likes of BMW, Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler in using SA as a major car production and export base. <p>It will also strengthen SA's reputation as one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. The country is already ranked 18th in terms of the number of units produced. <p>Volvo Car SA imports completely knocked-down kits from Holland and assembles S40 and V40 models in Pretoria for the SA market. <p>Volvo Car SA MD Deesch Papke said the company would export the models to replace these cars in 2004 if the export programme was approved. <p>Export quantities would not be in the league of those of, for instance, BMW and DaimlerChrysler, said Papke. <p>He could not elaborate but said that "good progress" was made when he visited Sweden earlier this month to discuss a range of issues including the export programme with parent company Volvo Car, which is owned by Ford Motor. <p>The main reason for Volvo's interest in the project is to grow its business by making use of the advantages that could be gained through SA's motor industry development programme, which is under review at present. <p>The Pretoria plant is believed to have sufficient capacity to accommodate the assembly of more units. The production facility is shared with Ford Motor Company SA. <p>Volvo Car produced 418652 cars last year at its main manufacturing plants in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands. <p>In addition to SA, assembly also takes place in Thailand and Malaysia. <p>About 1600 cars were assembled in SA last year, and sales by the SA car maker are at about 4000 units a year at present. <p>Volvo Car's four largest markets are the US, Sweden, Germany and the UK. <p>Italy which could be a new export destination from SA was the fifth largest market for the group, which sold close to 20000 in that country last year. <p>Business Day<p>
 
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