Merc SA gets ready for next 'C'
GEARING UP AGAIN: Mercedes-Benz SA has already started lining up suppliers for production of the next-generation C-Class that it will assemble from 2014.
Mercedes-Benz SA recently participated in a sod-turning ceremony at its South African plant for one of its key suppliers in anticipation of the next C-Class, to be built in East London from 2014.
The Boysen Group, a Germany-based exhaust technology specialist, will set up shop in the East London Industrial Zone's Automotive Park to supply Mercedes production of the next generation W205 C-Class from 2014.
TWO DOWN, MORE TO COME
Boysen develops and manufactures exhaust manifolds, catalytic converter silencers and exhaust systems and the winning the W205 supply contract opens opportunities for its expansion into South Africa.
Earlier in 2012 the first new international supplier to MBSA’s W205 production schedule took up residence at the park with an investment of R80-million. RG Brose will supply seat structures and door modules for the next C-Class and construction of its new premises started in May, 2012.
Three more international suppliers are expected to come on board in terms of local production or assembly, and discussions are under way with a few more.
Vice-president for manufacturing at MBSA, Arno van der Merwe, said: “We've decided to work with partners such as ELIDZ to bring global supply leaders to the country to support of government’s drive for content localisation, skills development and job creation.
“In addition to the benefit to the economy of the country, having world-class component suppliers right on our doorstep holds significant advantages for our 'just-in-sequence' production model, such as improved efficiency and logistics."
MBSA has already announced it will invest R2.5-billion in the new technologies, facilities and skills development for the W205, to be built at its award-winning manufacturing plant in East London which currently employs around 2500 people.
MBSA’s East London plant is one of four Daimler AG plants worldwide that will assemble the next-generation C-Class.