Mercedes-Benz SA wins R2bn contract

2010-12-07 15:02

 Mercedes-Benz SA (MBSA) has won a R2-billion contract to produce the new C-Class in South Africa.

“Daimler AG, one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, announced that it would be investing a further R2 billion into the South African plant in preparation for production of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which will be introduced to global markets in 2014,” the company said in a statement.

The cars would be produced at the East London plant, which was one of four locations chosen worldwide.

The other plants were in Germany, China and the US.

“The Mercedes-Benz plant in East London has been recognised repeatedly for its excellent production quality by JD Power and Associates and is one of the best manufacturing plants in the industry,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler AG management board member.

“MBSA has also managed to provide us with a business and production plan that is competitive globally. Hence, our decision to also build the next-generation of our C-Class at the East London plant is a logical step.”

This follows investments of more than R5 billion by Daimler AG into South Africa in the past 10 years, Bernhard said.

MBSA’s future export programme would include building both left- and right-hand drive C-Class models to export to Africa and the Asia Pacific region.

Hansgeorg Niefer, chief executive of MBSA, said: “In the first quarter of next year we should reach the half-a-million mark of C-Class vehicles produced locally since 1994, which marked the model’s start of production in South Africa.”

The investment should see extensive skills training and the introduction of the very latest technology.

Niefer added: “We will bring more than a dozen new technologies to South Africa in the car and production processes.”

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