Paramount Group has acquired DCD Protected Mobility’s manufacturing facility at Isando and certain industrial assets located there as well as some of the employees at the facility. This will allow it to significantly increase the production capacity of its armoured vehicle range in South Africa, with a potential output of 400 vehicles a year.
Paramount Group said it took effective control of the facilities in Isando, Johannesburg, on 1 April 2015.
Dirk Els, Strategic Business Manager at DCD Group, told defenceWeb that DCD has many manufacturing facilities spread across the country and that its Isando facility was surplus to its needs, prompting the sale to Paramount, which has taken over the facility, some plant equipment and staff. This eliminates excess production capacity at DCD Protected Mobility, especially as the armoured vehicle market is not as robust as it was during the Iraq and Afghan wars and orders are erratic.
As the majority of DCD Protected Mobility’s vehicles had been produced at its facilities in Boksburg (which are shared with the Rolling Stock division), production is being moved there as DCD is retaining its full armoured vehicle range (such as the Husky route clearance system and the Mountain Lion and Springbuck armoured vehicles).
Paramount said the new acquisition follows increasing demand for its range of military and internal security vehicles. John Craig, CEO of Paramount Industrial Holdings said: “It has always been Paramount Group’s vision to develop equipment that can be produced in customer countries, while maintaining high value jobs in design, research & development and production in South Africa. In anticipation of significant growth in our order book, we have been investigating the prospects of greatly increasing our production capability in South Africa.”
Last year Jordan ordered 50 Mbombe infantry fighting vehicles from Paramount, and these will be manufactured in South Africa and Jordan. Paramount told defenceWeb that the first vehicle to be manufactured at Isando will be the Mbombe and this will be followed by other vehicles in the company’s armoured vehicle range.
Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, Ivor Ichikowitz said that, “It has always been my personal ambition to make decisions around Paramount Group’s growth which will support the development of the South African aerospace and defence industry at large. At Paramount Group we have always believed that the technologies which we develop, and the products which we manufacture, are competencies that belong to the African continent. We are firmly committed to continuing the development, design, research and manufacturing capability on the African Continent.
“Once fully operational, this facility will be one of the largest armoured vehicle and land forces manufacturing facilities anywhere in the world, with a capacity to scale production to more than 400 units per annum. This will have a significant impact on the supplier base and for the South African economy at large.”
Ben Jansen, CEO of Paramount Combat Systems said “We have been exploring opportunities to complement the capabilities and resources of our Combat Systems Business Unit which has been experiencing rapid growth due to major contracts signed in recent months.
“The capabilities that existed in DCD Protected Mobility’s [Isando] manufacturing facilities will be integrated with Paramount Combat Systems, enabling us to bolster the strength and diversity of our production, leading to increased business opportunities, innovation, new product development and R&D.”
Ichikowitz concluded: “Paramount Group constantly strives to attract and develop the best talent and technologies in the industry ensuring that we have the optimum skills and technological base in our organisation to meet the future demands of customers, including the capability to deliver large scale vehicle programmes across the world.”
Andrew Mears, formerly General Manager for DCD Protected Mobility, is the new Chief Operating Officer of Paramount Combat Systems, effective from April. Paramount Combat Systems is the new name of the Group’s expanded Land Systems business unit.