Since the investment announcement of R10 billion in 2018, the East London Plant has undergone numerous Plant upgrades in preparation for the production of the new model.
At an event commemorating the start of production of the New Generation C-Class on 24 June 2021, Mercedes-Benz Cars announced an additional R3 billion investment into the East London plant. A sure sign of commitment and a concerted effort to revive the economic growth of South Africa as well as the socio-economic development of the East London region.
The launch of this new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, positions Buffalo City and the rest of Eastern Cape to continue its legacy of advanced manufacturing.– Ebrahim Patel Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition
The R10 Billion investment was utilised for a wide modernisation of the East London Plant, including upgrades to a new Body Shop and additional buildings.
“The launch of this new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the latest generation to grace the roads of South Africa and the world, positions Buffalo City and the rest of Eastern Cape to continue its legacy of advanced manufacturing. Through the South African Automotive Masterplan, and the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), we have created a platform for investment in the industry, deepening our technological expertise, creating local value chains, and securing jobs,”said Ebrahim Patel Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition,
East London Plant Sustainability
Mercedes-Benz is aware of the impact that its activities and products have on the environment, and the Company is addressing this in a holistic way along the entire value chain. With Ambition 2039, Mercedes-Benz strives for a fully networked and completely CO₂neutral vehicle fleet in less than 20 years, aiming to have plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles to make up more than 50% of its sales by 2030.
In support of Ambition 2039, locally, the Mercedes-Benz Plant in East London has embarked on numerous initiatives to help preserve the environment for future generations.
The new paint shop is more energy-efficient, reducing energy consumption per vehicle by 25 percent. The new buildings have been equipped with energy-efficient LED lighting, which uses up to 90 % less energy per lumen output.
Through the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the adoption of more efficient technologies and processes, the Plant produces an annual saving of over 16 MWh. This is the equivalent of the annual energy usage for the East London Plant body shop and the buildings of the logistics put together.
Additional plant sustainability initiatives include battery storage containers; rainwater recycling with a water storage of 1 Million Litres; green areas which have been installed on the corridors and the roofs as well as soluble labelling which is being utilised on production parts packaging to minimize waste reduction.
From 2022, the Mercedes-Benz East London Plant along with all own Mercedes-Benz Plants will produce CO2-neutral products. This includes more than 30 passenger car and van plants worldwide and is a further step in the implementation of the Ambition 2039.