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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2006, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Somerset, UK
Posts: 17
Thanks for the above exchange, it certainly adds some more detail to the bones of the story. I am a little confused by the various apparently contradictory facts, though. According to Wikipedia, and a few other Googled sources:

"RHD Alfa Romeo Production post-1960.
In the late 1960's, a number of European automobile manufacturers established facilities in South Africa to assemble right hand drive vehicles for the Commonwealth (I think that this fact is in error and actually refers to RHD, not Commonwealth, - amarthur) markets. Fiat and other Italian manufacturers established factories along with these other manufacturers in Uitenhage, outside of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
With the imposition of sanctions by western powers in the 1970's and 1980's, South Africa became self sufficient, and in car production came to rely more and more on the products of the Uitenhage factories. In consequence, production levels increased, and many manufacturers including Fiat Spa., Lancia, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo transferring all their right-hand drive production to Uitenhage. Volkswagen AG, Daimler Benz AG and BMW AG followed suit at about this time.
Since then, all right-hand-drive production of Alfa Romeo (and most other European manufacturers) remains in Uitenhage - so that RHD European cars are actually South African in origin, or else have their steering and dashboard assemblies produced there".

I have read elsewhere that there were "factories" in Ethiopia, so I have little doubt that Alfas were assembled from CKD on a fairly world wide basis. East London, Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage (and now Rosslyn) re-occur regularly when Alfa production in SA is written about. Were they all the same "business" relocating to meet industrial/social pressures, or separate discrete ventures? (I note South Africa's information above, but it is possibly incomplete relative to this question). Are Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage actually the same factory? Equally, whilst I have seen documentation of early (1960s) Guilietta models being manufactured in East London which ties in with part of what is contributed above; I assume that the 115 series spiders are associated with Uitenhage..? The next question.. where does this leave the RHD Alfettas/Suds etc and subsequent... were they all assembled in Uitenhage? Were there periods when some were assembled in Italy?

As I started this by saying, I feel that there is a large piece of unwritten history here concerning the history of the RHD cars (probably kept quiet for political reasons through the period prior to the end of apartheid). Perhaps we need someone from one of the SA Alfa clubs to provide a potted history?

1978 Spider
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