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HIV / AIDS prevention with BMW

The BMW AG is a Bavarian car manufacturer in the premium segment and known worldwide. With their production plant in Johannesburg and about 5,000 employees the company has managed to produce vehicles on the African continent with exactly the same quality as in Europe. This was not always the case: In the past, cars assembled on the African continent were of a lower quality and could not be sold to European customers. To ensure a similarly high level of production quality as the European sites, numerous staff trainings in Africa were necessary.

In southern Africa, about a quarter of the total economically active population is infected with the HI virus. Every day, thousands of mostly young men from all social classes suffer a miserable death due to being infected. In addition to the suffering of the families, loss of human resources for the economy is unimaginably large and threatens the economic strength of almost all companies. For transnational corporations HIV / AIDS has become a existence-threatening location issue in Africa. In recent years, the South African private sector has therefore invested heavily to combat AIDS and will intensify their efforts in the upcoming years.

Notwithstanding the numerous training and education programmes, many South African employees of BMW are infected with the HI virus. To stop the rise in infection rates among its employees, the luxuy carmaker has recruited some of the best South African company doctors, formed a working group and has gone on the offense with a costly campaign.

WiN=WiN effects

The fight against AIDS can not be won with just implementing measures for your own personnel. BMW has therefore decided to extend its efforts to the families and settlements of all employees. Likewise, suppliers and the dealer network in Africa were also included. With the help of these comprehensive measures, BMW achieved that more than 85% of their employees undergo voluntary testing for HIV.

Thanks to this broadly scoped initiative, BMW is able to secure and protect the most important asset for the company’s success: human capital. Additionally, loyalty and motivation of the entire South African workforce was increased. Furthermore, it reduced absenteeism significantly and created transparency. Due to the above-average assumption of social responsibility, the company also manages to attract the best potential employees of the region.

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