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Volkswagen plant in Kariega reopens FactoryTours

After a hiatus of more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Volkswagen Group South Africa’s (VWSA) Kariega manufacturing plant has reopened its popular FactoryTours to the public.

The FactoryTours restarted on 21 June and has already welcomed a total of 921 visitors in its first month of operating since it was stopped in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Using the downtime productively, the team behind the FactoryTours have reinvented the experience for visitors.

In its new form, the tours include a completely reworked script

showcasing the most exciting elements of Volkswagen’s world-class factory, including the production process that combines the efficiency of high-tech robots and the expertise of our production employees.

The tours are led by veteran guide Monwabisi Cekiso, who has been entertaining visitors for 11 years, and Siphokazi Wonci, who joined VWSA in 2021 as a trainee of the YES programme and stayed on to share the Volkswagen story on these tours. All tours are conducted on an open-top FactoryTours train that can accommodate 21 people, with plans to increase the tour capacity in the near future.

Both the FactoryTours and the AutoPavilion museum have been a popular experience among school groups and other visitors. In 2019 the museum welcomed 34 314 visitors, of which 12 780 also participated in the FactoryTours. The museum boasts a variety of unique exhibitions, from the Meet the Freaks display that includes the weird and wonderful elements of Volkswagen history, to the 70 Years exhibition with prominent vehicles from Volkswagen’s seven decades in Kariega.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa