Mercedes-Benz South Africa Wins Bid for the Next-Gen C-Klasse Assembly
Mercedes Benz will be investing a further R2 billion (about $290 million) into the South African plant in preparation for production of the new model which will be introduced to global markets in 2014. The four plants that will produce the 2014 C-Klasse are the East London plant, the one in Bremen, Germany, another in Beijing, and the last in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the United States.
“Daimler AG is delighted to include South Africa among the four manufacturing locations around the world to build the next-generation C-Class – the most popular model within the Mercedes-Benz passenger cars range," confirmed Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Board of Management member, Daimler AG.
"The Mercedes-Benz plant in East London has been recognised repeatedly for its excellent production quality by J.D. Power and Associates and is one of the best manufacturing plants in the industry. This success is not least due to the great efforts of the East London plant’s team and its stringent application of the Mercedes-Benz production system with its robust processes and rigorous quality standards.“
The East London factory has been producing the C-Klasse since 1994, and at the moment it makes the car for the US market. Since the Alabama plant will build the C-Klasse for the US market, the South African factory will build both left- and right-hand drive models for export to markets in Africa and the Asia Pacific region.
The East London facility employs more than 2,400 workers and has produced 41,000 C-Klasse sedans in 2009. The South African subsidiary just recently exported the 100,000th C-Klasse built in East London. The plant has a yearly capacity of 45,000 units, and will be expanded to 65,000 by 2014.