LIXIL Africa, the South African division of pioneering water and housing product maker LIXIL, announced it is ramping up its investment in new technology and facilities across its African brass and sanitaryware operations.
This was confirmed by LIXIL Group CEO, Kinya Seto, who was in South Africa recently on his first visit from Japan since LIXIL fully acquired LIXIL Africa, formerly Grohe Dawn Watertech – GDWT in 2017.
“Our goal is to bring global standards, practices, and among the most modern technology in our industry to South Africa,” says Seto.
“We also want to create the best possible working environment for employees, and to achieve this, we aim to invest around 10% of sales in the medium term, which will amount to around ZAR100 million annually.”
“Now that the South African business is fully-owned by LIXIL, we will be more positively aligned to the global business, better able to control the manufacturing process and improve our design capabilities, quality standards and productivity in line with our operations in Japan, Europe and the United States,” he adds.
Seto’s visit follows LIXIL’s ZAR1.6 billion investment into South Africa during to date, which included acquiring the remaining 49% stake in GDWT, bringing its overall share in the South African company to 100%, as well as upgrading of manufacturing facilities.
Seto used his visit to assess the economic climate in South Africa, as part of the corporation’s global growth planning.
The company’s Sub-Saharan African operation, the bulk of which is in South Africa, is expected to grow in the coming years through expansion on the continent.
“However, our current challenge is market volatility,” Seto says.
“We need to ensure certainty, and this investment will allow us to stabilise local performance through better efficiencies, so that products manufactured in South Africa compete at the highest level.”