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Sigma Motor Corporation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the Pakistani assembler of Land Rovers see: Sigma Motors

The Sigma Motor Corporation was a South African motor vehicle assembler and distributor. It operated under the Sigma name until 1985 and was based in Silverton, Pretoria. Among the vehicles sold were various models of Mazda, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Citroën.


The Silverton Assembly Plant was originally built in 1961 for Chrysler, and assembled Chrysler Valiants. Chrysler sold its 25% shareholding in January 1983[1] with the remaining shares being held by Anglo American. Earlier, Leyland had approached Sigma about using one of its engines for the Rover V8.[2] In 1978, there were proposals for Sigma to merge with British Leyland's South African subsidiary in 1979, to form a company called "Sigma Leyland", in which Sigma would have 51 per cent of shares and British Leyland 49 per cent.[3] However, the deal fell through almost immediately.[4] This left Leyland South Africa without a dealer network.[5]

Peugeot and Citroën South Africa (PACSA) was taken over by Sigma in early 1979[6] and French car production was moved from the former PACSA plant in Natalspruit near Alberton to their "Sigma Park" plant east of Pretoria.[7][8] Sigma's Mazda and Peugeot light commercials were briefly assembled by Sigma Leyland at Blackheath, Cape Town.[8]


Sigma made great efforts to develop local models, not sold elsewhere in the world. In their first three years, they developed three such models: the Mitsubishi-engined Mazda 323 GLC 1.6, the luxurious Chrysler L-series, and the 2.6-litre Colt Galant.[9] Sigma also sometimes had to choose between Mitsubishi and Mazda products, since the market was limited and local content laws made small production runs uneconomical. For instance, the second generation Mazda Capella was never offered in South Africa, as Sigma chose to build the Colt Galant instead.[10]

It is unclear what models were actually assembled at the Silverton Assembly Plant. Some models may have been imported rather than locally assembled. In 1982, models listed for sale were:[11]

Model Local Price (ZAR)
Mazda 323 1.3/1.5/1.5 AT/S/SL/SLX R7,220 - R9,450
Mazda RX-7 (probably imported) R27,000
Mitsubishi Colt 1600/2000/2000 AT/2600/2600 AT R8,795 - R11,995
Peugeot 305 Sedan/GR/ST R8,600 - R9,630
Peugeot 504 GR/GR SW/Super 7 R8,910 - R11,030
Peugeot 505 SR/SR AT/STI/STI AT R11,875 - R15,700
Citroën CX2400 Prestige (probably imported) R38,000
Mazda B-Series 1600/2000 R6,595 - R8,050
Mazda trucks T2000 petrol /T3000 diesel R10,450 - R13,050
Mitsubishi Canter L300 van/minibus R10,115 - R11,355
Peugeot trucks Canter SWB/LWB R12,550 - R13,150

By January 1984, Mazda 626 and Mitsubishi Tredia models had been added to the line-up, together with additional variants of the 323, L300 and B-Series (B2200). The Canter trucks were then badged as Mitsubishi rather than Peugeot.[12]

In May 1984, the Mitsubishi Starion EX was added at R31,995.[13]


In 1984, after undergoing losses over the past two years, Sigma was restructured into a new company known as Amcar.[14] The following year, it was merged with Ford South Africa to create the South African Motor Corporation (Pty) Ltd., known as Samcor for short.[15] In 1988, Ford Canada divested its equity interest in Samcor and donated most of it to the Samcor Employees' Trust.[16] However, Samcor continued to build Ford as well as Mazda and Mitsubishi products.[17] In 1993, with sanctions being lifted in anticipation of the end of apartheid, Ford Motor Company acquired a 45 per cent stake in Samcor.[16] In 2000, it completed a buyout of Samcor shares and renamed the company Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA).[18] As of 2015, FMCSA still operates from the same site in Silverton.


The slogan "Quality First" was used in advertising.[19]

See also



  1. ^ "Chrysler ends South Africa Role". New York Times. 1983-01-27.
  2. ^ "Leyland-Sigma merger talks confirmed', The Star, 12 May 1978
  3. ^ Autocar, Volume 149, 1978, page 19
  4. ^ The Economist, Volume 271, Issues 7075-7087, page 91
  5. ^ Haler, Justin, ed. (July 1979). "Editor's Log". SA Motor. Randburg, South Africa: SA Motor (Pty) Ltd. 17 (7): 7.
  6. ^ Paratus, Volume 33, South African Defence Force, page 87
  7. ^ Industrial South Africa, Industrial Publishing Corporation, 1982, page 97
  8. ^ a b Howard, Tony, ed. (June 1979). "From the Marketplace". SA Auto. Pretoria, South Africa. 1 (10): 21.
  9. ^ Haler, Justin, ed. (July 1979). "Super-Lux version of Sigma Colt". SA Motor. Randburg, South Africa: SA Motor (Pty) Ltd. 17 (7): 19.
  10. ^ Wapenaar, Piet (June 1979). "Editorial Grapevine". SA Auto. Pretoria, South Africa. 1 (10): 10.
  11. ^ CAR magazine (South Africa) October 1982 p237
  12. ^ CAR magazine (South Africa) January 1984 pp205-206
  13. ^ CAR magazine (South Africa) May 1984 p221
  14. ^ Financial Mail, Volume 93, Part 1, 1984, page 445
  15. ^ Press Digest, Issues 72-94, FOSATU, 1985
  16. ^ a b South Africa News Update, South African Consulate-General, 1993, page 5
  17. ^ International Motor Business, Volumes 149-152, Economist Intelligence Unit, 1992, page 92
  18. ^ Marketing Success Stories, Michael Colin Cant, Ricardo Machado, Oxford University Press, 2002, page 268
  19. ^ CAR magazine (South Africa) October 1982, multiple pages
This page was last edited on 4 May 2020, at 08:55
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