JOHANNESBURG (Bloomberg) -- BMW AG, General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and other carmakers will lose production of more than 2,100 vehicles a day in South Africa after halting output because of a strike that began Wednesday.
About half of that output is destined for export markets, the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organization, based in the capital Pretoria, said in a statement Thursday.
Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, and BMW shut their plants in South Africa Wednesday after workers, who are demanding a 15 percent pay increase, went on strike. GM, which stopped its main assembly lines at the Port Elizabeth plant yesterday, had limited operations Thursday, the company said in an e-mailed statement.
Union demands are “unrealistic and do not take into account the highly competitive nature of the global auto industry, as well as our relative lack of competitiveness when comparing our costs to auto manufacturers in other countries,” the employers’ organization said.
South Africa’s car and car-parts industry accounts for about 6 percent of gross domestic product and is the country’s biggest manufacturing exporter.
Carmakers have offered to increase pay by 7 percent in a three-year wage agreement. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa wants a one-year agreement and increases in bonuses and sick-leave pay.
“The total cost implications of the NUMSA demands are in excess of 30 percent,” employers said. “Employers remain open to engaging NUMSA on an urgent basis to ensure that we achieve a balanced agreement.”
Castro Ngobese, spokesman for the union, wasn’t immediately available to comment.