Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s East London manufacturing plant marked a milestone with the celebration of two anniversaries: 25 years of women on the manufacturing production line, and the production of the C-Class vehicle.
It was in 1994 during South Africa’s political transition to democracy when the first group of women started working on the manufacturing production line of Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) in East London, Eastern Cape. 25 years later, the company continues on its diversity journey, by reflecting on the pioneering spirit and contribution that women have played in the Plant’s success.
The women of ’94 have paved way for the younger generations to advance in other areas of the automotive supply chain. To date, MBSA employs over 1700 women who continue to manufacture the much-loved sedan for local and international markets.
25 years of C-Class
Building on a rich heritage of 71 years of manufacturing in South Africa, the Plant also celebrates 25 years of manufacturing the C-Class sedan. As one of four Daimler Plants that manufacturers the luxury sedan, the Plant continues to serve as a benchmark for quality, innovation, technology and transformation for Daimler Plants across the world. The first C-Class, the W201 model, rolled off the line for the first time in 1994, and women formed part of this feat.
Commenting on these milestones Executive Director for Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, Abey Kgotle says: “As Mercedes-Benz South Africa, we believe that diversity and inclusion underlie our commercial success. We know that diversity and inclusion matter and creating positive change and a sustainable impact, our responsibility.
“Companies with more diverse workforces perform better and we are very proud to have been a part of such progressive milestones that have helped us lead the premium automotive market in South Africa.”