Mercedes-Benz Cars invests 600 million euros (Rs 4,783 crore) to upgrade its East London plant in South Africa. The company plans to produce the next generation of the C-Class at the plant. The expansion includes the construction of a new paint shop, body shop, an upgrade of the assembly shop and new logistic warehouses. The company claims that the new workshops will incorporate environment-friendly and state of the art technologies.
The company claims that the new body shop is designed for higher capacities and features more than 500 ‘Internet of Things’- ready robots, which lays the foundation for Industry 4.0. Along with the addition of three lines in the assembly shop, the new paint shop is claimed to be more energy efficient and more environmental friendly. Thus, leading to a reduction of 25 percent energy consumption per produced vehicle at the East London plant. Other expansion measures include on-site battery storage container, rainwater harvesting on rooftops, water storage of 1 million litres and the creation of green corridors.
Markus Schaefer, member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, production and supply chain said, “With the investment of 600 Million Euro we are significantly expanding our plant in East London and equipping it for the future. The investment is also a sign of our commitment to South Africa and efforts to revive economic growth as well as the socio-economic development of the East London region.”
Commenting on the investment by Mercedes-Benz Cars, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa stated, “The announcement by Mercedes-Benz Cars to inject R10 billion (South African rand) (Rs 5,044 crore) in the South African economy signals to the positive momentum we are making to realise the ambitious target of raising R1.2 trillion (Rs 605,291 crore) in new investment.”
The year 2018 also marks the sixtieth anniversary of Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicle production at the East London plant. According to the company, in 2017 the production volume reached 110,000 vehicles at the plant. The plant also produces trucks and buses of the Mercedes-Benz brand and trucks of the Fuso brand.
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