Daimler Invests in C-Class Production in South Africa

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG will invest an additional 2 billion rand ($290 million) at a Mercedes-Benz plant on South Africa’s southeast coast to expand production.

The investment will prepare the East London factory for production of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class starting in 2014, Daimler said in a statement today. The plant, along with facilities in Germany, China and the U.S., will build the new C-Class, the company’s most popular passenger model.

The plant has “managed to provide us with a business and production plan that is competitive globally,” Wolfgang Bernhard, Mercedes-Benz production and purchasing chief, said in the statement.

Daimler, the world’s second-largest maker of luxury vehicles, has invested more than 5 billion rand in South Africa over the past 10 years and the East London plant recently exported its 100,000th C-Class model, according to today’s statement. The South African plant will manufacture left-and right-hand drive C-Class models for export to the rest of Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Garth Theunissen in Johannesburg gtheunissen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net